Download How to Change the World: Reflections on Marx and Marxism by Eric J. Hobsbawm PDF

By Eric J. Hobsbawm

Within the a hundred and forty four years because Karl Marx's Das Kapital was once released, the doctrine that bears his identify has been embraced via hundreds of thousands within the identify of equality, and simply as dramatically has fallen from grace with the retreat of communism from the western global. yet because the unfastened marketplace reaches its severe limits within the fiscal and environmental fallout, a reassessment of capitalism's so much full of life and eloquent enemy hasn't ever been extra well timed. Eric Hobsbawm presents a desirable and insightful review of Marxism. He investigates its impacts and analyses the miraculous reversal of Marxism's fortunes over the last thirty years.

Reviews:

"Hobsbawm has lived via rather a lot of the political turbulence he portrays that you could fantasize that historical past itself is conversing right here, in its wry, all-seeing, dispassionate knowledge. it's difficult to consider a critic of Marxism who can handle his or her personal ideals with such honesty and equipoise."—Terry Eagleton, London evaluation of Books
(Terry Eagleton London evaluate of Books 2011-03-03)

"[T]his assortment exhibits [Hobsbawm] is a superb author, erudite critic and, as he methods his 94th birthday, a joyfully unrepentant communist. . . . [How to alter the realm] is a publication a person drawn to politics may perhaps and will eat. it's charmingly confident and always lucid, and includes the distilled knowledge of an exceptional philosopher, puzzling over a superb thinker." Amol Rajan, Independent
(Amol Rajan self reliant 2011-02-20)

"This is a publication of great rules, no longer of politics."— Ben Wilson, day-by-day Telegraph
(Ben Wilson day-by-day Telegraph 2011-01-14)

“Hobsbawm… is as transparent and trenchant as ever in how you can swap the World.”—Bookforum
(Bookforum)

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Extra info for How to Change the World: Reflections on Marx and Marxism

Sample text

Now British socialism was in fact intellectually derived from classical British political economy in two ways: through Owen from Benthamite utilitarianism, but above all through the so-called ‘Ricardian socialists’ (some of them originally utilitarians), notably William Thompson (1775–1833), John Gray (1799–1883), John Francis Bray (1809–97) and Thomas Hodgskin (1787–1869). These writers are significant, not only for using Ricardo’s labour theory of value to devise a theory of economic exploitation of the workers, but also for their active connection with socialist (Owenite) and working-class movements.

Implicit in him is the recognition that industrialisation is fundamentally incompatible with an unplanned society. The emergence of the ‘industrial class’ is the result of history. How much of Saint-Simon’s views were his own, how much influenced by his secretary (1814–17), the historian Augustin Thierry, need not concern us. At all events social systems are determined by the mode of organisation of property, historic evolution rests on the development of the productive system, and the power of the bourgeoisie on its possession of the means of production.

Its adherents ranged from social reformers to freaks. Two aspects of early socialism must therefore be distinguished: the critical and the programmatic. The critical consisted of two elements, a theory of human nature and society, mainly derived from various currents of eighteenth-century thought, and an analysis of the society produced by the ‘dual revolution’, sometimes in the framework of a view of historical 25 How to Change the World development or ‘progress’. The first of these was of no great interest to Marx and Engels, except insofar as it led (in British rather than French thought) to political economy.

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