Alasdair MacIntyre's Engagement with Marxism: Selected by Paul Blackledge, Neil Davidson (editors)

By Paul Blackledge, Neil Davidson (editors)

Even supposing Alasdair MacIntyre is better identified this day because the writer of "After advantage" (1981), he was once, within the Nineteen Fifties and Nineteen Sixties, probably the most erudite individuals of Britain's Marxist Left: being a militant inside of, first, the Communist occasion, after which the recent Left.

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Additional info for Alasdair MacIntyre's Engagement with Marxism: Selected Writings 1953-1974 (Historical Materialism Book Series)

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He could therefore assume, with a reasonable degree of certainty, that it would be familiar with the theories of Popper or Wittgenstein, the novels of Koestler or Hemingway, or the editorial positions of Tribune or the New Statesman. That culture has long since passed into 2 A. MacIntyre, ‘Hume on “Is” and “Ought”’, in Against the Self-Images of the Age: Essays on Ideology and Philosophy, Duckworth, London 1971, p. , especially pp. 142–56. indd liii 1/22/2008 5:23:54 PM liv • A Note on the Selection and Annotation history.

76 Kidron’s comments were aimed at Henry Collins’s defence of a left-reformist political strategy on the pages of IS. 77 On this issue, MacIntyre seemed to take a middle way between Kidron and Collins; arguing that the role of the permanent arms economy was significant, but that this did not negate the importance of human agency in the transition from pre- to post-war capitalism. He suggested that post-war capitalism had been transformed by the ‘conscious, intelligent innovation’ of the bourgeoisie and its representatives: ‘If capitalists had behaved in the forties and fifties as they did in the twenties the apparently mechanical laws of the economy would have issued in slump.

101 More generally, he explicitly rejected the applicability of Marx’s categories to the modern world. [Marx] envisages the concentration of workers in large factory units and the limits set upon the growth of wages as necessary conditions for the growth of [political] consciousness; but he says nothing about how or why the workers will learn and assimilate the truths which Marxism seeks to bring to them. . 103 This argument prefigures that expressed in his essay ‘The Theses on Feuerbach: A Road Not Taken’ (1994).

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