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Alasdair MacIntyre's engagement with Marxism : selected by Alasdair MacIntyre

By Alasdair MacIntyre

Even supposing Alasdair MacIntyre is healthier recognized at the present time because the writer of "After advantage" (1981), he used to be, within the Fifties and Nineteen Sixties, essentially the most erudite contributors of Britain's Marxist Left: being a militant inside, first, the Communist social gathering, after which the recent Left

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Rees, The Algebra of Revolution: the Dialectic and the Classical Marxist Tradition, Routledge, London and New York 1998, p. 60, note 135. indd lv 1/22/2008 5:23:54 PM lvi • A Note on the Selection and Annotation the wrong article and this is noted and the correct details entered. In another, (a reference to a book by Clement Attlee in Chapter 30, ‘Labour Policy and Capitalist Planning’) he misidentifies The Labour Party in Perspective as The Future of the Labour Party. Other than these, the only comment offered in what follows is in relation to his interpretation of Engel’s 1895 ‘Preface’ to Marx’s The Class Struggles in France from the same chapter.

While this perspective helped immunise him against the Wilsonite bug, he was equally wary of the abstractly theoretical practice of the new New Left Review. Indeed, the fact that MacIntyre’s Marxism was rooted in a model of the actualised desires of workers in struggle meant that Anderson’s project would have struck him as irredeemably formalist. However, in a context of political retreat for the Left, it was incumbent upon him to provide a viable alternative to New Left Review’s re-emergence as a medium for academic Marxism.

61 The fundamental premise of the theory of bureaucratic state capitalism was that socialism could only be achieved through workers’ self-emancipation. This assumption in turn informed both an orientation towards rank and file workers’ struggles on the part of Cliff’s group, and a critique of the SLL’s model of leadership. Following Marx’s democratic insistence in the third of his theses on Feuerbach that ‘the educator must himself be educated’, Cliff argued that the SLL’s ‘school-masterly’ approach to the workers’ movement had to be rejected.

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