Unredeemed Marxism: political commitment in Bourdieu and MacIntyre

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Abstract

In different ways, Alasdair MacIntyre and Pierre Bourdieu owe an intellectual and political debt to Marxism. They belong to the same generation of critical scholars formed by an engagement with Marxism in the course of Cold War working class militancy, anti-imperialism and anti-Stalinism. These recent collections of their most politically committed writings represent important contributions to reflexive praxis today. MacIntyre's 'revolutionary Aristotelianism' is shown to be rooted in his Marxist analyses and practices of the 1950s and 1960s, while Bourdieu's critique of neoliberalism was informed by a decades-long engagement with Marxism in opposition to the pseudo-science of Stalinist apologetics. Political engagement is imposed on the intellectual, conceived after Pascal as a 'thinking reed', by capitalism's vast accumulation and destruction of social potentiality. Between them an effort is made to round out and deepen the classical Marxist inheritance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)665-681
Number of pages17
JournalCritique
Volume37
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009

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