The Transposition of Republican Thought

  • Geoffrey Foote


The fundamental problem of any new republican conception lay in its ability to adapt to the mass society which had grown within a centralized and sophisticated capitalist economy. The limits of the new republican politics in explaining a society so different from the small city-states for which it had been originally developed were laid bare in a series of articles by one of the key figures of the New Left, Alasdair MacIntyre. His exposure of the anachronistic nature of liberal moralism (and, by implication, Socialist Humanism), can serve as an intellectual yardstick against which to measure the limitations of the New Left. Above all, while the New Left were able to recognize the undemocratic nature of British society, they lacked a separate, republican economic theory to understand that society. In failing to transpose republican political theory on to more than the administrative structure of society, they were forced back on the very corporatist theories of the economy from which they had sought to escape.


Foreign Policy Communist Party Moral Rule European Economic Community Income Policy 
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Copyright information

© Geoffrey Foote 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Geoffrey Foote
    • 1
  1. 1.University of TeesideUK

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