From orthodoxy to the post-Soviet school of critical Marxism
in Twenty-first-century capital
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This chapter describes the post-Soviet school of critical Marxism in the context of the contemporary Russian intellectual milieu. Despite the collapse of the USSR and the incursion of Western social sciences, the topic of Marxism remains very widely discussed in Russia. Indeed, Marxist works have been appearing with increasing frequency in the new century. As a result, social scientists have defined themselves quite precisely in relation to Marxism. Several groups can be distinguished in terms of their relationship to Marxism.

The post-Soviet school of critical Marxism, to which the authors of the book belong, declares itself to be Marxist, with a strongly critical attitude to social-democratic reformism. This school emphasises not just the reactualising of classical Marxism, but also its positive negation, criticism, and dialectical development. The school also stresses the need to understand the modern period (broadly, since the beginning of the twentieth century) as an epoch of global qualitative changes in the very bases of humanity’s collective life. These changes are creating the preconditions not only for a post-capitalist society, but also for a post-industrial, post-economic society (the ‘realm of freedom’). This approach makes it possible to view modern social and economic life in integrated systemic and dialectical fashion, within the context of its historical development. The crucial basis for such work is a new dialectical method, reconfigured in light of the transformations that have taken place in the past century.

Twenty-first-century capital

Critical post-Soviet Marxist reflections

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