The Retreat from Class: A New "true" Socialism
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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abolition of class agent argument autonomous bourgeois democracy capital and labour capitalist capitalist relations Chantal Mouffe Chartism class exploitation class interests class politics class struggle classless conception constituted constructed critical democratic determined discourse economic effect electoral essential Eurocommunism Eurocommunist example existing forms fundamental Gareth Stedman Jones goals hegemony historical human Ibid identity ideology and politics intellectual Kitching Kitching's labour movement labour-power Laclau and Mouffe liberal democracy liberal-democratic logic Maoist Marx Marxist theory material conditions material interests means mode of production non-correspondence principle objectives oppression organization particular Paul Hirst Perry Anderson petty bourgeoisie political forces popular alliance post-Marxism Poulantzas Poulantzas's precisely production relations productive forces proposition radical relations of production revolution revolutionary sense simply social conditions social democracy social relations socialist movement socialist politics socialist project socialist strategy society specific sphere Stedman Jones structure struggle for socialism subordination theoretical tion tradition transformation workers working-class interests working-class struggles