Neo-Marxists : Capitalism with an (In)human Face
What can broadly be labelled neo-Marxist approaches to the Third Way encompass a diverse range of critics. However, they are united by a shared perception of politics as being (to varying degrees) determined by economic and class relations. There is an unlikely similarity between Third Way and neo-Marxist analysis, in that both privilege ‘extra-political’ factors. Neo-Marxists are concerned with the changing structure of capitalist economic organisation, the recomposition of class relations and how these are reflected at the level of politics. Third Way theorists, while certainly not using the language of Marxism, are similarly concerned with the impact of social and economic change on the scope for political action. This shared theoretical terrain may account for the fact that while neo-Marxists are, in political terms, perhaps the most dismissive of the Third Way, they have nevertheless maintained a sustained critical engagement with it. Neo-Marxist assessments of the Third Way’s sociological claims take two main forms. The first rejects the Third Way account of contemporary social change out of hand. The second recognises that major shifts have occurred, but attributes them to the recomposition of an enduring system of capitalist accumulation, for which the Third Way is the latest political vehicle.
KeywordsRecombination Lester Nised
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