A Dictionary of Marxist Thought (2nd Edition) by Tom Bottomore

By Tom Bottomore

This ebook, half dictionary and half encyclopaedia, has develop into the traditional reference paintings at the suggestions of Marxism and the contributors and faculties of notion that experience for this reason contributed to the physique of Marxist rules. The dictionary has been fulled revised and up-to-date, with over fifty new entries on significant texts, on issues that experience turn into suitable because the first version seemed, and in components the place the nation of information and realizing has moved considerably. All entries were revised the place wanted, all examining lists up to date, and the bibliography has been thoroughly revised and multiplied.

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Always appears as the aim of production', and observed that 'from one aspect, therefore, the childlike world of antiquity seems loftier . . whereas the modern world . . is base and vulgar! (Grundrisse, pp. 487-8). Two related themes in this radical anthropology are: (i) a sustained criticism of the historical connection between traditional anthropology 28 ANTHROPOLOGY and imperialism, a connection which was most obvious at the time when anthropology was regarded as making an important contribution to the training of colonial administrators; and (ii) a critical view of Soviet ethnology which, it is argued, neglects the study of present-day primitive societies and concentrates instead upon 'early1 societies (using the data of archaeology and prehistory) in order to uphold 'the five-stage theory of evolutionary, and progressivist, determinism' (Diamond ed.

That shift was necessary to register the reality, to quote Anderson again, of a 'plurality and heterogeneity of possible modes of production within any given historical and social totality'. This removes the difficulty that in Roman Italy, in particular, during the centuries in which slavery on the land reached a magnitude and an importance beyond anything known before, a free landowning PEASANTRY remained numerically significant. But there are still serious problems in other periods and places of the ancient world.

Human beings are not the authors or subjects of this process which, decentred, has no motive subject. They are supports, effects, of the structures and relations of the social formation. Marx, according to Althusser, rejected the idea of a universal human essence or nature. He espoused thereby a theoretical antihumanism. Althusser's work has provoked strong reactions, both partisan and hostile. Calm judgement will be more balanced. Though couched at times in an overblown, pretentious rhetoric, some of what he said was important, especially when he said it.

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