The Retreat from Class: A New "true" Socialism

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Exploring the connections between class, ideology and politics

In this classic study, which won the Isaac Deutscher Memorial Prize, Ellen Wood provides a critical survey of influential trends in "post-Marxist" theory. Challenging their dissociation of politics from class, she elaborates her own original conception of the complex relations between class, ideology and politics. In the process, Wood explores the links between socialism and democracy and reinterprets the relationship between liberal and socialist democracy.

In a new introduction, Wood discusses the relevance of The Retreat from Class in a post-Soviet world. She traces the connections between post-Marxism and current academic trends such as postmodernism and argues that a re-examination of class politics is a necessary counter to the current cynical acceptance of capitalism.
 

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Contents

The New True Socialism
1
Displacing Class Struggle and the Working Class
12
Nicos Poulantzas
25
The Autonomization of Ideology and Politics
47
The Randomization of History and Politics
75
Politics and Class
90
A Historical Case
102
Platonic Marxism
116
Socialism and Democracy
130
Capitalism Liberalism Socialism
140
Socialism and Universal Human Goods
167
Conclusions
180
Index
201
Copyright

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About the author (1998)

Ellen Meiksins Wood, for many years Professor of Political Science at York University, Toronto, is the author of many books, including Democracy Against Capitalism and, with Verso, The Pristine Culture of Capitalism, The Origin of Capitalism, Peasant-Citizen and Slave, Citizens to Lords, Empire of Capital and Liberty and Property.

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