Democracy against Capitalism: Renewing Historical Materialism / Edition 1

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Ellen Meiksins Wood argues that with the collapse of Communism the theoretical project of Marxism and its critique of capitalism is more timely and important than ever. In this book she sets out to renew the critical program of historical materialism by redefining its basic concepts and its theory of history in original and imaginative ways, using them to identify the specificity of capitalism as a system of social relations and political power. She goes on to explore the concept of democracy in both the ancient and modern world, examining the concept's relation to capitalism.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...a provocative, much needed, and timely intervention. It will invigorate and arm those who wish to argue against the dead end of the politics of difference and reassert the centrality of class theory and politics." Contemporary Sociology

"Wood stakes out a strong and clear perspective here. It is an important one and should receive a wide hearing." Michael A. Principe, Canadian Philosophical Reviews

"This relevant anthology will be read with interest by any philosopher interested in social theory." Ethics

"...a terrific book that deserves to become a classic of our political tendency....Wood provides a brilliant explication and defense of the key theoretical concepts relevant to socialism...." Against the Current

"This book deserves to be read by more than social theorists and followers of contemporary marxist debate. Wood engages in a critique of capitalism not despite the apparent triumph of captalism but because of it." John P. Burke, Research in Philosophy and Technology

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521476829
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 4/14/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 316
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction; Part I. Historical Materialism and the Specificity of Capitalism: 1. The separation of the 'economic' and 'political' in capitalism; 2. Rethinking base and superstructure; 3. Class as process and relationship; 4. History or technological determinism?; 5. History or teleology? Marx v. Weber; Part II. Democracy against Capitalism: 6. Labour and democracy, ancient and modern; 7. The demos v. 'we, the people': from ancient to modern conceptions of citizenship; 8. Civil society and the politics of identity; 9. Capitalism and human emancipation: race, gender and democracy; Conclusion.

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