Download Cultural Marxism in Postwar Britain: History, the New Left, by Dennis Dworkin PDF

By Dennis Dworkin

In this highbrow heritage of British cultural Marxism, Dennis Dworkin explores some of the most influential our bodies of up to date idea. Tracing its improvement from beginnings in postwar Britain, via its numerous alterations within the Nineteen Sixties and Seventies, to the emergence of British cultural reports at Birmingham, and as much as the arrival of Thatcherism, Dworkin exhibits this historical past to be considered one of a coherent highbrow culture, a convention that represents an implicit and particular theoretical attempt to unravel the hindrance of the postwar British Left.
Limited to neither a unmarried self-discipline nor a specific highbrow determine, this ebook comprehensively perspectives British cultural Marxism when it comes to the discussion among historians and the originators of cultural reviews and in its courting to the hot left and feminist routine. From the contributions of Eric Hobsbawm, Christopher Hill, Rodney Hilton, Sheila Rowbotham, Catherine corridor, and E. P. Thompson to these of Perry Anderson, Barbara Taylor, Raymond Williams, Dick Hebdige, and Stuart corridor, Dworkin examines the debates over problems with tradition and society, constitution and business enterprise, event and beliefs, and concept and perform. the increase, loss of life, and reorganization of journals similar to The Reasoner, The New Reasoner, Universities and Left Review, New Left Review, Past and Present, also are a part of the heritage instructed during this quantity. In each example, the focal point of Dworkin’s consciousness is the highbrow paintings noticeable in its political context. Cultural Marxism in Postwar Britain captures the buzz and dedication that a couple of new release of historians, literary critics, artwork historians, philosophers, and cultural theorists have felt approximately an unorthodox and important culture of Marxist theory.

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Extra info for Cultural Marxism in Postwar Britain: History, the New Left, and the Origins of Cultural Studies

Sample text

90 Dobb not only explained the decline o f the feudal mode o f production, but he analyzed the rise o f capitalism. In his account, 32 C u ltu r a l M a rx is m in P o s tw a r B r ita in capitalism appeared only after feudal disintegration had reached an advanced state of decay. While Dobb acknowledged that the evo­ lution of capitalism was connected to the expansion of trade, he argued that the merchant class associated with it depended on existing productive relations, and hence trade expansion did not usher in the new mode of production.

75 Rather, the productive forces had to be consid­ ered in relationship to the historically specific social relations of production and the complex of superstructures to which those relations gave rise. ” 76British Marxists, no less than members of the Frankfurt School, viewed history and society as a totality. The historians’ commitment to total history simultaneously im­ plied a critique of narrow specialist approaches and advocacy of an interdisciplinary methodology. Moreover, even during the most doctrinaire years o f Stalin’s rule, British Communist historians never regarded the superstructure as a mere reflection of the eco­ nomic base, nor did they minimize the importance of politics and ideology.

In contrast to the foreign roots of the ruling classes, the people’s traditions were indigenous. Correlatively, it was the culture of the common people, not their rulers’, that authentically represented the English way of life. Hill was, in effect, implicidy using an organic definition o f culture—the idea o f culture as the whole way of life of a people. His approach foreshadowed the cultural studies and cultural Marxist history of the late 1950s and 1960s. Hill’s essay was a historical account of the theory of lost rights.

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