Tag Archives: historical materialism

Making History: Agency, Structure, and Change in Social Theory (Alex Callinicos)

makinghistorycvr“Making History was first published in 1987. Certainly its tone and perhaps also its substantive preoccupations may seem to belong to a world that is irretrievably lost. There are, I think, two reasons for this. The first has to do with the political context. I wrote the book in the spring and summer of 1986, in the immediate aftermath of the great British miners’ strike of 1984–5. (Indeed, Making History was conceived and much of the work for it done before the strike, but its writing delayed, principally by my involvement in covering the strike for six months as a journalist at Socialist Worker and my co-authoring a book about the miners’ struggle.)1 The strike and its defeat by the Thatcher government was an event of global resonance, both symbolically and practically. It marked the end of a particular kind of workers’ movement and the apparent triumph of a neo-liberal capitalism that was at once brutally single-minded in its preoccupation with profit-maximisation and insidiously effective in mobilising the desires of individuals as possessive consumers.” (from “Context”)

Download: Making History – Alex Callinicos

Critical Companion to Contemporary Marxism (Jacques Bidet and Stathis Kouvelakis, eds.)

companiontomarxismcvr“Periodically proclaimed to be dead, or on its way back, Marxism and, more generally, references to Marx are an integral part of contemporary culture. A broad view capable of taking the slightest distance indicates that even today, more than two decades after the eruption of the last ‘crisis’ of Marxism and at a time when the régimes of cially identi ed with it belong to history, reference to Marx is in no sense ephemeral – mere residue of a period that is now past – or a local phenomenon, con ned to a few geographical and cultural zones or countries. Marxism is demonstrating its persistence, its productivity and its capacity to adapt to contexts and conjunctures. Such is the statement of fact that guided us in the choices governing the production of this book: to indicate the diverse forms – emulating the famous mole of history, they are often subterranean – through which that reference has shaped, and continues to shape, the theoretical debates of the last three decades.” (from the editors’ introduction)

Download: Contemporary Marxism