By Paul Blackledge, Neil Davidson
Even if Alasdair MacIntyre is healthier identified at the present time because the writer of "After Virtue" (1981), he was once, within the Fifties and Sixties, essentially the most erudite participants of Britaina (TM)s Marxist Left: being a militant inside of, first, the Communist celebration, then the recent Left, and eventually the heterodox Trotskyist overseas Socialism crew. this feature of his essays on Marxism from that interval goals to teach that his younger suggestion profoundly knowledgeable his mature ethics, and that, within the wake of the cave in of the state-capitalist regimes in Russia and japanese Europe, the robust and confident progressive Marxist ethics of liberation he articulated in that interval is arguably as salient to anti-capitalist activists this present day because it used to be part a century in the past.
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Additional resources for Alasdair MacIntyre's Engagement with Marxism: Selected Writings, 1953-1974 (Historical Materialism Book Series, Volume 19)
67 MacIntyre insisted that orthodox Trotskyism, through its reification of one moment of Trotsky’s evolving attempt to achieve a scientific analysis of the Soviet Union, was built upon an indefensible and incoherent foundation. To cling, dogmatically, to the word of Trotsky’s falsified prewar perspectives implied a necessary break with the critical and revolutionary spirit of his thought. How did MacIntyre attempt to remain true to the spirit of Trotskyism in the early 1960s? Knight suggests that his position at this juncture involved him embracing dogma.
Socialists, he wrote, ‘can only carry through an effective educational effort as part of the industrial and political struggle’. 47 While he was a member of the SLL, therefore, MacIntyre managed to combine a refusal of the sectarianism of the leadership of that organisation, with a defence of Leninist politics. , within which he articulated a humanist interpretation of Leninism. MacIntyre opened this pamphlet, which was in fact a collection of articles taken from the SLL’s paper The Newsletter, with an outline of the Marxist theory of alienation, and the privileged position of the working class therein.
MacIntyre’s rejection of the identification of socialism with statism in the West presupposed IS’s critique of the socialist credentials of the Stalinist states in the East. While this perspective helped immunise him against the Wilsonite bug, he was equally wary of the abstractly theoretical practice of the new New Left Review. Indeed, the fact that MacIntyre’s Marxism was rooted in a model of the actualised desires of workers in struggle meant that Anderson’s project would have struck him as irredeemably formalist.
Alasdair MacIntyre's Engagement with Marxism: Selected Writings, 1953-1974 (Historical Materialism Book Series, Volume 19) by Paul Blackledge, Neil Davidson