Socialism, Marxism, and Neo-Marxism

  • Mike Cole
Part of the Marxism and Education book series (MAED)


In order to understand Marxism (which Engels described as scientific socialism) and neo-Marxism, it is first necessary to briefly address earlier visions of socialism. Accordingly I focus on the work of three key utopian socialist thinkers: Henri de Saint-Simon, Charles Fourier, and Robert Owen. I then discuss Engels’s assessment of the contributions of the utopian socialists to scientific socialism in the light of his overall critique of utopian socialism as a general theory. I conclude with a consideration of the neo-Marxist response to a key aspect of scientific socialism, the materialist conception of history when interpreted as promising inevitable and imminent socialism. Specifically I outline some of the major theoretical concepts of Gramsci and Althusser. To illustrate the efficacy of these concepts, I outline some recent events in party politics in the U.K. and the U.S.


State Apparatus Capitalist Society Class Struggle Socialist Party Materialist Conception 
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© Mike Cole 2011

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  • Mike Cole

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