On the Crisis of Marxist Theory

  • Nicos P. Mouzelis


After the impressive revival of interest in Marxist writings during the 1960s and early 1970s, both sympathisers and opponents recognise and discuss a certain theoretical malaise and disillusionment with Marxist theory. Gregor McLennan’s basic argument in Marxism and the Methodologies of History1 is that recent epistemological developments in Marxist philosophy of science, if taken seriously, can contribute considerably to the resolution of the present theoretical difficulties.


French Revolution Historical Materialism Marxist Theory Structural Tendency Capitalist Mode 
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  1. 1.
    Gregor McLennan, Marxism and the Methodologies of History, London: Vergo, 1987.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    See R. Bhaskar, A Realist Theory of Science, Sussex and New Jersey: Harvester Press, 1978;Google Scholar
  3. 2a.
    see also his The Possibility of Naturalism, Brighton: Harvester Press, 1979;Google Scholar
  4. 2b.
    and D. H. Ruben, Marxism and Materialism, Brighton: Harvester Press, 1979.Google Scholar
  5. 7.
    A. Soboul, The French Revolution 1787–1799: From the Storming of Bastille to Napoleon, 2 vols, London: New Left Books, 1974.Google Scholar
  6. 8.
    G. A. Cohen, Karl Marx’s Theory of History: A Defence, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1978.Google Scholar
  7. 11.
    See Nicos Poulantzas, Classes in Contemporary Capitalism, London: New Left Books, 1975.Google Scholar
  8. 12.
    For an attempt to conceptualise political contradictions in a noneconomic manner, see E. Laclau, Politics and Ideology in Marxist Theory, London: New Left Books, 1977. For a critique of his approach, see below, Appendix II.Google Scholar
  9. 14.
    See Nicos Poulantzas, State, Power, Socialism, London: New Left Books, 1978.Google Scholar
  10. 15.
    George V. Taylor, ‘Non-Capitalist Wealth and the Origins of the French Revolution’, American Historical Review, 1972, 1966–67.Google Scholar
  11. 21.
    See A. Giddens, A Contemporary Critique of Historic Materialism, Vol. 1, London: Macmillan/Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Nicos P. Mouzelis 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicos P. Mouzelis
    • 1
  1. 1.The London School of Economics and Political ScienceUK

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