The recent emergence of global anti-capitalist and anti-war movements have created a space within which Marxism can flourish in a way as it has not been able to for a generation. This book shows that by disassociating Marxism from the legacy of Stalinism, Marxist historiography need not retreat before the criticisms from theorists and historians. It also shows that, once rid of this incubus, Marx's theory of history can be shown to be sophisticated, powerful and vibrant. The book argues that Marxism offers a unique basis to carry out a historical research, one that differentiates it from the twin failures of the traditional empiricist and the post-modernist approaches to historiography. It outlines Marx and Engels' theory of history and some of their attempts to actualise that approach in their historical studies. The book also offers a critical survey of debates on the application of Marx's concepts of 'mode of production' and 'relations of production' in an attempt to periodise history. Marxist debates on the perennial issue of structure and agency are considered in the book. Finally, the book discusses competing Marxist attempts to periodise the contemporary post-modern conjuncture, paying attention to the suggestion that the post-modern world is one that is characterised by the defeat of the socialist alternative to capitalism.

simply to valorise this book’s approach. Instead, the main aim is to explain why the ontological foundations of globalisation studies curtail the analysis of ideas in political economy through a bias towards materialist and structuralist explanations. And even where structuralism is mitigated with reference to actual political actors, materialism tends to remain. This counts against the analysis of globalisation as an ideational phenomena: agents may influence their structural context and may even have ideas about it, but globalisation is the macro-context of their

in Globalisation and ideology in Britain
Abstract only
Misery, pornography, utopia

the critical diagnosis of the mediated, self-conscious, lost world it describes. And this is nowhere clearer than in its use of pornography. For Houellebecq – more straightforwardly, perhaps, than for Despentes – pornography demonstrates the reductive materialism of contemporary sexual relations. The paradigm of the measurable, marketable body to which western men and women are now to aspire, is the pornographic body, reduced

in The new pornographies

– were drawn only in the 1960s; however, these and related words were also being used in similar senses thirty years previously. 1 ‘Secular’ had neutral, negative and positive connotations in the Oldham group, evoking, respectively, a shared ‘common life’, a dangerous ‘materialism’ and an appreciation of science. Group members even saw a role for secular actors and ideas in pursuing a more Christian culture. However, finding a middle way along Oldham’s ‘frontier’ also meant emphasising faith’s distinctiveness and its absolute necessity in building a better society. In

in This is your hour
Real sympathy, the imitation of suffering and the visual arts after Burke’s sublime

terror, ‘supped’ so ‘full with horrors’ and grown so ‘familiar with real Aris Sarafianos 179 distresses’ that, given the chance, they would swarm the theatre to enjoy any fictitious distress on offer.65 Moreover, to stress again the political stakes imbricated in this debate, Knight portrayed Burke’s real sympathy and its founding stone, the physicality of pain, as another stage in the odious road to sedition or, more aptly, ‘materialism’. For Knight, the fact that Burke raised ‘physical danger and pain’ into his prime means of the sublime, meant that ‘all the

in The hurt(ful) body
Open Access (free)

: conflict, struggle and war; non-materialism; irrationalism and anti-intellectualism; nation and race; the leader and the elite; the state and government; fascist economic and social theory. Conflict, struggle and war Fascism attached an astonishingly positive value to war. War was regarded as the ultimate conflict in a world in which struggle was the essence of existence. Permanent peace was not only nonsense, it was dangerous nonsense, as humans grow

in Understanding political ideas and movements

enjoy a sense both of self-fulfilment and community with others’ (248). The activity of being a citizen is intertwined with that of being a whole individual, an individual who could see the beauty in nature, enjoy music, and at the same time perform the duties of a virtuous citizen. This, of course, was not a unique ambition for a great philosopher. Plato, Kant, Hegel and even Mill (to name but a few) aspired to do the same. Did Rousseau succeed in his endeavour? He recognised – like Burke – that the advent of Godless materialism was undermining the moeurs, and that

in The political philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Christian State discussed at length the history of socialist ideas, theories of surplus value and dialectical materialism. But the battle against socialism in the Irish case had long been won. On 29 January 1916, in The Workers’ Republic, James Connolly praised a ‘splendid speech’ by the Capuchin priest Father Laurence in Dublin to an audience of Catholic working men and women. Connolly professed himself to be unable to identify any fundamental differences between Laurence’s views and those of Irish socialists. In declaring this, he was undoubtedly trying to encourage the

in Irish adventures in nation-building

vacuous materialism of contemporary America, depicting and denouncing that society as a sterile wasteland, lorded over by indulgent, vicious, morally corrupt and emotionally unaware elites. The social fabric is rent, discrepancies between economic and cultural classes abound, and the structures and processes of the city create alienated individuals, enclaves and subgroups, mutually fearful and antagonistic. Within this

in Terry Gilliam
Open Access (free)
Irish drama since 1990

, and we move into a world in which new media and faster communications create different networks of kinship and organisation across much larger distances, Irish theatre inevitably faces a huge crisis of identity, a deep question about who the audience now is, and how it should be addressed.10 The fallout of the triumphalist materialism of the 1990s, coupled with loosening bonds between nation and identity, continue to present a challenge for the new playwrights of the 1990s and those who follow. Yet while the 1990s did herald a break with various aspects of

in Irish literature since 1990