The objectives of this study are: review the aims and assumptions of Dialectical and Historical Materialism as a framework within Critical Paradigm; and discuss. Historical Materialism and the National Development Question in Nigeria. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN (Print) ISSN. Utopia, Heimat and the Materialist Concept of History. Published in Anthropology & Materialism, 3 | · Back to index About the journal. Presentation of the.


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Notions of war of positions and war of maneuver were widely discussed by Lenin and Trotsky, for instance.

Historical Materialism (journal)

So, as a historical category, I think that there are some problems with the notion of Western Marxism — problems that today, in changed political circumstances, we should perhaps revisit and rethink, while attempting to develop other concepts to understand the different phases of the development of Marxist theory in the twentieth century.

I think in the interwar historical materialism journal and then in in the post-World War II period, there are further complications that need to be taken into account.

One of these is the fact that for many continental Marxist theorists in this period, there was always a very important connection with political practice of different types and theoretical work. In many respects, his central thesis in Considerations on Western Marxism was formed by means of a synthesis, or a particular reflection upon, the conditions of postwar German theoretical production in the Frankfurt School and some elements of later production in France primarily among the so-called Althusserian school.

Arguably, however, these currents were not in fact representative of broader trends in European Marxism in that period, but quite idiosyncratic or particular.

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The real central point of reference for an analysis of Western Historical materialism journal Marxist theory in the postwar period has to be upon the largest communist party in Western Europe, which was the Italian Communist Party and the massive galaxy of theorists that it produced.

This culture of Marxist theory was quantitatively and qualitatively superior to anything France or Germany produced in the same period, a fact unfortunately only partially registered historical materialism journal the established histories of the period, and grossly underrepresented in terms of the translation and diffusion of post-war Western European Marxist theory into English.


I also think that Marxist theory in this period needs to be understood integrally and politically, that is, not simply in terms of theoretical productions essays, books, etc. In that sense, the greatest Western Marxist theorist of the postwar period is not Sartre or Althusser or Colletti or any of the other figures discussed at length by Anderson, but instead, Palmiro Togliatti.

In addition to his own theoretical writings — of much greater value than is often supposed today — Togliatti was also a theoretician of politics engaged in creating a hegemonic apparatus that encouraged a profound and real dialectic and real critique of the politics of his period.

Whatever disagreements I might have with his substantive theoretical and political positions — historical materialism journal there are many — this should not preclude acknowledgment of his real importance as a theorist and politician with a real, mass impact on the politics of his time.

Furthermore, Italy was also the site of a wide range of other important thinkers in the period, from the workerist tradition, in the work of Tronti and Panzieri — tragically neglected in the English-speaking world — through to such fascinating figures as Cesare Luporini and many others.

Historical Materialism

Taking these contributions into account helps us to modify the rather limited picture we can derive from focusing on Marxist theory in Germany, where there was a Berufsverbot against communist party members, or the situation in the French Communist Party, which, whatever prestige it had in the historical materialism journal liberation period, and whatever its undoubted strengths, was still the smaller cousin of the much more significant Italian party.

So, revisiting these historical materialism journal help to us to rethink the real complexity of that period, moving beyond the type of geographical-historical distinction Anderson makes between western and classical Marxism, and to reconsider the political dimensions of the Marxist theory that developed in western Europe in the postwar period.

When we undertake such a rethinking, the situation seems very much different from the picture of a retreat from politics and economics to philosophy and aesthetics, as Anderson claims.

In short, I think that it is time today to revisit these categories and to re-imagine other possible histories of Marxism in the postwar period, because such a re-imagining will also be one of the preconditions for re-imagining the possibilities of Marxism today.

GS Is there something alive from the Western Marxist tradition today? PT There are many important elements that continue to be fundamental. There was very important work also in different directions produced in Italy, often by figures not discussed in Considerations on Western Marxism at any length, such as Magri, Gerratana, Badaloni, or Luporini.

There were very important theoretical studies of the development of the critique of political economy that are essential for us today to understand, such as the works of Backhaus, Reichelt, Heinrich and also from other traditions in Germany, like the work of Wolfgang Fritz Haug and Frigga Haug.

Historical Materialism at Sixteen: An Interview with Peter D. Thomas

It is this sense of Marxism not being a fixed position or a finished theory, as Althusser once said, but instead of Marxism being a growing and developing tradition, that will help us to determine which elements of that complex history can still speak meaningfully to our present circumstances.

Historical materialism journal One last question regarding your book on Gramsci. On the other hand, I think it goes against the post-Marxist tendency, mainly developed by Chantal Mouffe and Erenest Laclau, in which hegemony is used as an analytical tool to interpret processes of social homogenization.

Do you agree with this description? If yes, what are the points historical materialism journal your differentiation regarding these two interpretations? PT I agree in broad terms with your understanding.

You captured some of the main themes of my work historical materialism journal Gramsci. This seemed to me to be a slander against his memory as a militant, and it was necessary to confront that slander with the facts. I considered that it was crucial not only for reasons of historical accuracy, but also because I think Gramsci is the fundamental theorist who formulated the most important perspectives for the future development of Marxism, perspectives that we desperately need to study and to work to develop today.

So I think by engaging in the historical materialism journal between Gramsci and Poulantzas, we will be more capable today of developing a new theorization of the state, but even more importantly, new forms of organization for the struggle against it.

In that sense, Gramsci remains the fundamental author to whom we must always return if we wish to understand the nature of the capitalist state and the tasks required in order to oppose it effectively, in the perspective of abolishing it. For Laclau and Mouffe, hegemony is represented as fundamentally a theory of political unity.

This approach belongs to a tradition of modern political thought that goes from Hobbes to Rousseau and beyond, which attempts to think processes of political unification and often homogenization.

It is, instead, a historical materialism journal of political leadership historical materialism journal a method of political work.

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