Transforming the World or Transforming Action: Reflections on Art, Labour and Politics

  • Jean-Marie Vincent
Part of the Language, Discourse, Society book series


Marxism first began to be placed on trial a long time ago, but the trial seems to have moved into a new historical phase. The weight of the accusations has grown, both in the East and in the West. The pleas against the defendant are gaining in insistence — and incisiveness. Clearly, a great ideological battle is being waged over the heritage of Marx. Some think that the practical and theoretical eradication of Marxism is the major stake of the late twentieth century; others, who side with Marxism, do so in bad faith or bad conscience, with uncertainty, or, as is more often the case, in confusion. The arguments which can be wielded against it are indeed countless. In its ‘Marxist-Leninist’ guise, it has turned into a justification of oppressive and retrograde regimes, incapable of adopting a path of auto-reform and emancipation of the mass majority. As a dominant ideology in the workers’ movement, it appears to be defenceless against the latest developments of capitalism (in particular economic crises). Even the smaller critical currents of Marxism give the impression of being paralysed and out of commission. In the intellectual debates of these past decades, it cannot be said that Marxism has made a good showing, by reason of its fluctuation between eclecticism and dogmatism.


Social Relation Social Exchange Labour Movement Communicative Rationality Instrumental Rationality 
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  1. 3.
    A very rich reflection on these problems may be found in Alfred Lorenzer’s Das Konzil der Buchhalter. Die Zerstörung der Sinnlichkeit. Eine Religionskritik, Frankfurt am Main, 1981.Google Scholar
  2. Claudio Pozzoli, Rosa Luxemburg oder die Bestimmung des Sozialismus, Frankfurt am Main, 1973.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean-Marie Vincent
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Paris-VIIIFrance

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