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New Left Review I/56, July-August 1969


Miriam Glucksmann

Lucien Goldmann: Humanist or Marxist?

In recent years we have seen in Britain a systematic identification of Marxism with neo-Hegelianism, by left political groups and by bourgeois commentators alike. Neo-Hegelianism views society as a homogeneous totality revolving around one central contradiction; constituent elements are dissolved into an undifferentiated unity, and the internal contradictions and inter-relationships of specific levels and structures within a given social formation are ignored. Theory is denied any autonomy, and becomes an expression of class consciousness rather than a science capable of rigorous analysis and of providing a framework for political strategy. As no content is given to the strategic and organizational aspects of practice, this too is reduced to a spontaneous expression of consciousness. Neo-Hegelianism is thus a purely reflective, if critical, activity.

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