- Gebundene Ausgabe: 448 Seiten
- Verlag: University of California Press (Juni 1992)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0520060822
- ISBN-13: 978-0520060821
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 3,2 x 16,5 x 24,1 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 2.684.667 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Althusser and the Renewal of Marxist Social Theory (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – Juni 1992
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The writings of the French Marxist philosopher Louis Althusser and his associates have figured prominently in the development of contemporary social theory. The Althusserian school of Structural Marxism and Modernism, which has produced a large body of work that extends across the human sciences and the humanities to engage a wide variety of cultures, theoretical problems and political issues. Despite the fact that Althusser himself is widely recognized as a major figure, the breadth, coherence and achievements of Structural Marxism as a whole have gone largely unrecognized. The author provides a comprehensive and thematic introduction to the work of Althusser, Nicos Poulantzas, Pierre Macherey, Etienne Balibar, Emmanuel Terray, Terry Eagleton, Goran Therborn, Renee Balibar, Perry Anderson, Pierre-Philippe Rey, Michel Pechaux, Guy Bois and others. Resch's study demonstrates the enormous significance of Althusser's modernist renewal of Marxist and social theory and its ongoing challenge to post-Marxist movements such as post-modernism and neo-liberalism.
Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
Robert Paul Resch is Assistant Professor of History at Texas A & M University.
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Furthermore, for anyone who has tried to read Althusser, whether Reading Capital, For Marx, Lenin and Philosophy, or anything else he wrote, a plodding, uninspired style is welcome, so long as it's also lucid. Very much to his credit, Resch translates Althusser, along with his post-structuralist and post-modernist critics, as well as his student Nicos Poulantzas, into accessible English prose. To my admittedly limited knowledge, no one else has done this, though it's something that certainly needed doing.
Some readers may object, holding that scholarly work should be more interpretative and less descriptive than Resch's account of structural Maarxism and the intellectual ferment it occasioned. This holds for most of Resch's book, but is especially evident in the long section covering Nicos Poulantanz's work on a Marxist theory of the state, located in the latter half of the volume. However, the work of rendering Althusser, the early Poulantzas (see especially Political Parties and Social Classes), and their willfully obscure critics into accessible English prose is a monumental task that requires mastery of a broad range of contemporary social theory and an engaged scholar's commitment to making it available to a much larger audience. For this, Resch is to be commended.
Nevertheless, when all is said and done, it remains true that there is a good deal less to Althusser than meets the eye. Having read Althusser and the Renewal of Marxist Social Theory, it is still unclear what Althusser has contributed. Once one gets past the enormously frustrating scholasticism of Althusser's best known work, his celebrated contribution to the revival of interest in Marxism is very difficult to discern. Instead, Althusser seems simply obscure and vastly over-rated.
Poulantzas, I suspect, would be better remembered and more influential if he had not done much of his work while still under the influence of Althusser and others who, in fits and starts of self-indulgence, wrote only for each other, discouraging broader interest in Marxism rather than promoting a revival of interest in Marx. In his third theoretical book, State, Power, Socialism, it seemed clear that Poulantzas had begun to find his own voice. Sadly, his suicide at age forty-three deprived that voice of further development.
Structural Marxism may or may not be passe'. Benton's (1984) work in The Rise and Fall of Structural Maxism, may have been premature. Certainly Althusser, Balibar, Poulantzas and others who wrote in the structural Marxist tradition have had vastly diminished influence over the last thirty years. Resch judges this to be unfortunate, a set of circumstances that he is trying to rectify. However, the sterility, scholasticism, and the absence of a program for political action make it seem unlikely that Resch will succeed.
Nevertheless, if you want to understand structural Marxism and have wrestled with the seminal works and lost, much as I did, Resch's book is invaluable. He should be commended for making structural Marxism much more accessible for most of the rest of us.
One final thought: there may be a good deal more interpretative originality in Resch's work than I was able to discern. If that's the case, it's just another inidcator of my inablity to understand the texts about which Resch wrote. Either way, he comes off a winner.
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