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New Left Review 2, March-April 2000

Responding to Callinicos’s critique of Giddens and Bourdieu, Jeffrey Isaac attacks the idea that it is possible to reject capitalism today. Alex Callinicos doubts that world history has thrown in its hand so quickly.



It is unclear whether Jeffrey Isaac regards the kind of discussion I sought to develop around the recent political interventions of Pierre Bourdieu and Anthony Giddens as having any legitimacy at all. He seems, first of all, somewhat confounded to discover that Marxists still exist. ‘The demise of the Marxist vision’ being ‘an accomplished fact’, he invites us to take our cue from the likes of François Furet and meekly depart the historical stage, leaving progressive politics to those who will, in a spirit of ‘democratic pragmatism’, devote themselves to ‘problem solving’. One might have thought that the very frequency with which the death of Marxism has been announced in the past would have encouraged a certain note of caution here.

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Alex Callinicos, ‘Impossible Anti-Capitalism?’, NLR 2: £3

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