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Introduction

  • W. Peter Archibald
Chapter
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Abstract

We have just now emerged from a period of theorizing by Marxists where individual human beings have often been discounted as epiphenomenal. Their psychic characteristics have been conceived as nearly totally derivative of social relations, ideology, or social for mations as a whole, and as having little impact upon social structuration and change. To the extent that such characteristics have any role at all in this mode of theorizing, they have usually done so only passively. For example, because human individuals have an expanding coterie of needs the production of commodities is also said to expand (automatically). That such individuals are also the conscious and active producers of their own social relations and ideology, who demand that (certain of) their needs be met and (sometimes) become agents of social change when these needs are not met, has often been lost in the fray.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    Louis Althusser, For Marx (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1969) pp. 10–11, 221–3, 231.Google Scholar
  2. 1.
    (With E. Balibar) Reading Capital (London: New Left Books (Verso), 1979) pp. 111–12.Google Scholar
  3. 1.
    See also Victor Molina, “Notes on Marx and the problem of individuality”, pp. 230–58 in Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies, On Ideology (London: Hutchinson, 1978) pp. 232, 236, 243.Google Scholar
  4. 2.
    Georg Lukács, History and Class Consciousness (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1971) pp. 73, 51.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    E. P. Thompson, The Poverty of Theory (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1978) p. 131.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    In the first category I would place such works as Adam Schaff’s Marxism and the Human Individual (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1970)Google Scholar
  7. 1.
    and Istvan Mészáiros’s Marx’s Theory of Alienation (New York: Harper and Row, 1972);Google Scholar
  8. 1.
    in the second, Bertell Oilman’s Alienation (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1971).Google Scholar
  9. 8.
    Oilman, op. cit. John McMurtry, The Structure of Marx’s World View (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1978).Google Scholar
  10. 1.
    Norman Geras, Marx and Human Nature: Refutation of a Legend (London: New Left Books (Verso), 1983).Google Scholar
  11. 9.
    As is implied, for example, by Agnes Heller, The Theory of Need in Marx (London: Allison and Busby, 1978) pp. 32, 43.Google Scholar
  12. 10.
    Louis Dumont, From Mandeville to Marx: The Genesis and Triumph of Economic Ideology (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1977).Google Scholar
  13. 1.
    D. F. B. Tucker, Marxism and Individualism (Oxford: Blackwell, 1980).Google Scholar
  14. 1.
    Jon Elster, “Marxism, functionalism, and game theory: The case for methodological individualism”, Theory and Society, vol. 11, 1982, (July), pp. 453–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    John Plamenatz, Karl Marx’s Philosophy of Man (Oxford: Oxford University (Clarendon), 1976) p. x.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Melvin Rader, Marx’s Interpretation of History (New York: Oxford University Press, 1979) p. vi.Google Scholar
  17. 18.
    G. A. Cohen, Karl Marx’s Theory of History: A Defence (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1978).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© W. Peter Archibald 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Peter Archibald
    • 1
  1. 1.McMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada

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