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Paul Blackledge

1 Marxism and history How are we to understand the nature of historical knowledge? The way that historians traditionally have answered this question has come under sustained attack since the 1980s in the wake of what has become known as the ‘cultural’ or ‘linguistic turn’. This shift in perspective can be understood as a reaction to two developments. Negatively, as Bonnell and Hunt have argued, the old positivistic assumption about the nature of history – that it consisted in the accumulation of facts collected by diligent historians – came increasingly to be

in Reflections on the Marxist theory of history
Open Access (free)
Kevin Harrison and Tony Boyd

Although Marxism and even anarchism are sometimes treated as if they are simply varieties of socialism, we consider that they have sufficiently distinctive characteristics to warrant separate treatment. Starting with Marxism, we examine Marx’s theories of history, economics and politics before discussing the controversies within Marx-inspired political organisations in the

in Understanding political ideas and movements
Mark Harvey

1 Journeying through Marxism This book is the unlikely product of two people who somehow managed to collaborate across what was historically a yawning sectarian chasm: one with a Trotskyist formation (Norman Geras) and one with a Maoist one (myself ). This by no means exhausts the possible incompatibilities between someone with a long and prolific academic career, and someone with a truncated one; a dedicated political philosopher, and a disciplinary floater between history, political economy and sociology. And yet, close friends from undergraduate days in the

in Inequality and Democratic Egalitarianism
Yasmeen Daifallah

217 9 Marxism and historicism in the thought of Abdullah Laroui Yasmeen Daifallah Like many of his generation of Arab thinkers, the Moroccan historian Abdullah Laroui (b. 1933) is often described as a defector from Marxism. In Laroui’s case, the defection is mostly described as one to liberalism, or to a state-​centred modality of liberalism that Ibrahim Abu Rabi’ calls ‘liberal étatism’.1 This purported change of heart is usually explained in terms of Laroui’s supposed adaptation to the changing tides of Arab politics that, once sympathetic to leftist

in Colonial exchanges
Robert Fine and Philip Spencer

3 Antisemitism, critical theory and the ambivalences of Marxism Citizens, let us think of the basic principle of the International: Solidarity. Only when we have established this life-giving principle on a sound basis among the numerous workers of all countries will we attain the great final goal which we have set ourselves. (Karl Marx – a speech given following a congress of the First International, 8

in Antisemitism and the left
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Mass and Propaganda. An Inquiry Into Fascist Propaganda (Siegfried Kracauer, 1936)
Nicholas Baer

Written in French exile, the following text by Siegfried Kracauer from December 1936 outlines a research project that the German-Jewish intellectual undertook with funding from the Institute for Social Research. The work outlined here would be a study of totalitarian propaganda in Germany and Italy through sustained comparison with communist and democratic countries, especially the Soviet Union and the United States. Appearing in English translation for the first time, this document from Kracauer‘s estate is crucial for a full understanding of his career as a sociologist, cultural critic, film theorist and philosopher, demonstrating the global scope of his engagement with cinema, mass culture and modernity.

Film Studies
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Material Gothic
Stephen Shapiro

As Gothic works knock the stuffing out their subject and splatter the remains over the page and screen, their obsessive focus on an economy of decomposing bodies in distress makes a compelling case for the attraction they exert on materialist criticism. A broad and heterogeneous spectrum of left social and cultural critique has always relied on Gothic referents to make descriptive sense of the teratology of life within societies dominated by the bourgeoisie. Marx‘s Capital begins, after all, by seeing the ‘monstrous ungeheure accumulation of commodities’ as the symptom of something gone terribly wrong in liberal political economy.1 What, though, if the Gothic codex is more than simply ornamental language or images added to the otherwise dry bones of philosophical, political, and economic writings and is itself a mode of critical inquiry into capitalist modernity that may also interrogate classical Marxisms precepts and underexplored aspects? If Marxism has depended on Gothic referents to make its point, can Gothic return the favor by thinking through obstacles and potentialities within familiar Marxist claims? In this light, we mean ‘material Gothic’ as something greater than simply a less provocative name for Marxist-inflected readings of Gothic works, and understand it as a project in which Gothic studies can inform and reshape cultural and historical materialism.

Gothic Studies
An Introductory Text and Translation (Halit Refiğ, 1971)
Murat Akser and Didem Durak-Akser

Halit Refiğ had impact on debates around Turkish national cinema both as a thinker and as a practitioner. Instrumental in establishing the Turkish Film Institute under MSU along with his director colleagues like Metin Erksan and Lutfi Akad, Refiğ lectured for many years at the first cinema training department. This translation is from his 1971 collection of articles titled Ulusal Sinema Kavgasi (Fight For National Cinema). Here Refiğ elaborates on the concept of national cinema from cultural perspectives framing Turkey as a continuation of Ottoman Empire and its culture distinct and different from western ideas of capitalism, bourgeoisie art and Marxism. For Refiğ, Turkish cinema should be reflected as an extension of traditional Turkish arts. Refiğ explores the potential to form a national cinema through dialogue,and dialectic within Turkish traditional arts and against western cinematic traditions of representation.

Film Studies
Author: Paul Blackledge

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.

A guide for A2 politics students
Series: Understandings
Authors: Kevin Harrison and Tony Boyd

In liberal democracies there is a belief that citizens ought to take an active interest in what is happening in the political world. Political debate in modern Western democracies is a complex and often rowdy affair. There are three fundamental political issues: 'politics', 'power' and 'justice', which feature in almost all political discussions and conflicts. The book assesses the degree to which the state and state sovereignty are disappearing in the modern world of 'globalised' politics, economics and culture and new international institutions. The main features of the nation and the problems of defining it are outlined: population, culture, history, language, religion, and race. Different types of democracy and their most important features are discussed. 'Freedom' is usually claimed to be the prime objective of political activity. The book discusses equality of human rights, distributional equality, equality before the law, the claims for group equality on the grounds of race, gender, class. Rights, obligations and citizenship are closely associated. Ideology is the driving force of political discourse. The book also discusses nationalism's growth and development over the last two centuries with particular reference to its main features and assumptions. It outlines the development of conservatism as a political ideology and movement in Britain during the last two centuries. An overview of liberalism, socialism, Marxism, anarchism, and Fascism follows. Environmentalism and feminism are also discussed. Finally, the book talks about how ideological change occurs and stresses the importance of rationality in politics.