The Marxist Legacy

Authored by: Peter Beilharz

Routledge International Handbook of Contemporary Social and Political Theory

Print publication date:  March  2011
Online publication date:  March  2011

Print ISBN: 9780415548250
eBook ISBN: 9780203875575
Adobe ISBN: 9781135997946

10.4324/9780203875575.ch1

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Abstract

What is the fate of marxism, a hundred and fifty years after its original inception at the hands of Marx and Engels? The results of this story are mixed, and contradictory. On the one hand, marxism seems completely exhausted, expired, perhaps returned to the mainstream as the renewed common sense that capitalism is the central world power and protean agent of creative destruction. We are all Marxists now, perhaps again especially after the Global Meltdown. On the other hand, the status of marxism is newly marginal, at least in the hands of transatlantic university radicals, for whom marxism remains the truth. For marxism became the de facto consciousness of a good part of the global radical or university left into the 1960s, and its residual influence is still apparent but often unworldly.

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