Neo-Marxian Theory Essay by Research Group

Neo-Marxian Theory
A discussion of the differences between Neo-Marxian theory and Marxist theory.
# 26694 | 1,919 words | 6 sources | MLA | 2002 | US

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This paper provides an insight into Neo-Marxian theory and discusses how it differs from traditional Marxian theory primarily in its rejection of both economic determinism and the view that individuals play no role in shaping society. It analyzes how Marx believed the ideas of individuals to be powerless as a force in history unless they are connected with materialism. It examines how Neo-Marxian theorists have emphasized the individual in ways that certainly distinguish those theorists from both Marx and his traditional interpreters. It concludes that the greatest weakness of neo-Marxist reconsideration of Marxist theory is that it is still in process and requires additional study (particularly the questions of over-accumulation and stagnation), but such a "weakness" is to be expected in such a revisionist effort.

From the Paper:

"Lukacs' neo-Marxist view of class consciousness gives more power to individuals than Marxist theory, or least individuals within the proletariat, which is capable of a true class consciousness he believes is denied to the bourgeoisie, which "at best . . . understands the development of capitalism as something external, subject to objective laws, which it can experience only passively." The proletariat, on the other hand, has the capacity to develop true class consciousness, and as it does, the bourgeoisie is thrown on the defensive. Lukacs refused to see the proletariat as simply driven by external forces but viewed it instead as an active creator of its own fate. . . . "The class struggle must be raised from the level of economic necessity to the level of conscious aim and effective class consciousness" [writes Lukacs]. When the struggle reaches this point, the proletariat is capable of the action that can overthrow the capitalist system."

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