Marxism as Science: Historical Challenges and Theoretical Growth Author(s): Michael Burawoy Source: American Sociological Review, Vol

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MARXISM AS SCIENCE: HISTORICAL CHALLENGES AND THEORETICAL GROWTH*
MICHAEL BuRAwoy

University of California, Berkeley claimtobea science.Thefirst Thispaper examines Marxism's partconsiders possiblemodels of scienceand arguesthatthe mostcoherentis ImreLakatos'smethodology of scientific research programs. In his conception scientific knowledge growson thebasisof a hardcore ofpostulates whichareprotectedfrom refutation bythedevelopment of a seriesof auxiliary theories.Sucha researchprogramis progressiveratherthandegenerating if successive withthecore,explain theories areconsistent anomalies andmake predictions, someof which are realized. In thesecond thehistory partI arguethatwithsomequalifications of Marxism -from MarxandEngels,to German to Russian Marxism, Marxism, andfinallyto Western tothemodelofaprogressive Marxism-conforms research Inthethirdpartlclaim program. thatdeviations are due to the breakdown from the model,such as SovietMarxism, of the reciprocal interaction between Marxism's heuristics andhistorical challenges.

sociology consistently belittled Marxism'sclaimto science (Hughes1958, Chapter 3). Weber,Durkheim, Pareto,andmore for substitutrecently,ParsonsassailedMarxism ing moralpassionandHegelianmetaphysicsfor scientificreason,for not treatingevidence seriously, and for failing to adoptthe techniquesof modemsocialscience.Marxists themselveshave battledfiercelyover Marxism'sscientificstatus, so much so thatthey areconventionally divided into two opposed camps - scientificMarxists who attemptto establishlaws of economic developmentin analogyto the laws of the natural sciences,andcriticalMarxistswho deny the existence of any fixed determinismand concenof capitalism,the gap trate on the irrationality between what is and what could be. Determinism versus voluntarism,science versus revoluversusidealism,the old versus tion, materialism the young Marx,have been enduring antinomies within Marxism (Gouldner 1980, Chapter2). However,whetherfrom the perspectiveof sociology or within Marxismitself, the critiquesof

Classical

Marxistsciencehaverarelybeencarefullyexplicated,let alone subjectedto empiricalexamination. Thatis the task of this essay. This task requires,however,thatwe firstturnto philosophy to clarifythe possible meaningsof science. WHAT SHOULDWE MEAN BY SCIENCE?

"Historyof science withoutphilosophyof science is blind"(Lakatos1978,p. 102).In orderto makesenseof thehistory of anypurported science andto evaluateits scientificstatusit is necessary to work with a clear conceptionof science. But whichconceptionof science?Philosophyof science providesus with severalmodels. The first partof thisessay seeks to demonstrate thatLakaof scientific tos's methodology research programs is the most coherentfrom a philosophicaland his methodolological standpoint. Furthermore, gy has the advantageof providing,indeed demanding,the evaluationof a historicalsequence of theories,notjust a single theory.All too often the entiretyof Marxismis condemnedfor the of supposedsins of one of its theories- whether * Directall correspondence to Michael Burawoy, Lenin,Stalin,Marx,Engels or whomever- inDepartment of Sociology,University of California, steadof considering each as a partof anevolving CA 94720.Theideasin thispaper devel- tradition. Berkeley, I have ingraduate onMarxism, on courses oped taught Philosophymay providethe models but their andon thephilosophy of scienceover methodology, relevance must be established:"Philosophyof I should allthestudents liketo thank thelastdecade. science without history of science is empty" Thepaper benefited who participated. considerably andconstructive comments of the (Lakatos 1978, p. 102). Philosopherstoo often fromthe critical fiveanonymous thecopyeditor, ASR reviewers appeal to isolated illustrations of scientific editor, andJulia Adams. progressto support theirparticular conceptionof
AmericanSociological Review, 1990,Vol. 55 (December:775-793)

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It is ideology.Marxistspursuedconfirmations of their theoriesrather criteriafor their thanestablishing likepsychoanalysis. It calls for passionsto select whatis andto persuade vital. PersonalKnowledge As an accountof the historyof science. FromInductionto Falsificationism Contemporary philosophyof sciencehas moved from normativeconceptionsthat searchfor the methodof science. They thus gave a 'conventionalist twist' to the theory. than the doctrinebeing the result of research" ([1896] 1958.Popper's "falsificationism" was as flawedas the "verificationism" it was supposed to replace.525-6). Chapters 15-21). 37.The early inductive models of science associated with Hume. essayI examinethehistoryof Marxism in relation to Lakatos'smodel of scientificrationality. Accordingto Popper. According to Popper. see also Popper 1945." For rithm" suchas "induction" all its empiricalcontrols.that is whenMarxism renounces thedialogue between its own historicallyemergentrationality and the external historical In othchallengesit confronts.Durkheimput it bluntly.This is particularly clear in philosophers' commentaries on Marxismwhere they assertits nonscientificor pseudoscientific statuswithoutstudyingthe relationship between theirmodelsof scienceandthe historicalgrowth of Marxism. erwords. Polanyi (1958. In this way they rescuedthe theoryfromrefutation. whentheyhave falsificationinto a brilliant turnedan apparent corroboration of the original theory.expoundinghow science should be conducted withoutexaminingfirsthow it actuallyis conducted.Marxism.to historically rootedcharacterizations thatseek to establishthe logical conditionsfor the growthof knowledge. they frequently practice preciselytheoppositeof what they preach. As we shall see.but it was proven conjecture false and shouldthereforebe rejected.ignored. 132- . p.but were based on a very differentconceptionof science.therefore.p. Science involves tacit skills which cannot be articulated but have to be learnedthroughapprenticeship (Chapter 4). not througha processof securingthe best fit or "explainingthe greatestvariance"but throughthe refutation of bold conjectures.and so sciencecannotbe reducedto an "objective" process linkingtheoryto data. Popper's conclusions about Marxism were similar.I mustconsidercompeting conceptionsof science. "Thetruthis thatthe facts and observations assembledby [Marxist] anxiousto theoreticians documenttheiraffirmations arehardlythereexThe research cept to give formto the arguments. science is not an induction machinewhichderiveslaws fromfacts.to makeleapsof imagination othersto see the world in a new way (pp.andby this stratagem they destroyedits much advertisedclaim to scientificstatus" (Popper1963. religionor moralpassion.Marxism is mostsuccessfulas a science when there is balancedreciprocitybetween its internal andexternalhistories. is said to impose itself on the facts. Fromthis point of view.Facts exist neitherto generatenor even to confirm but to falsify theories. falsification."Yet instead of acceptingthe refutations the followers of Marx reinterpreted both the theory and the evidence in orderto make them agree.to a "logic"or "algoor "falsification. Great have often come when scientists breakthroughs haverefused to acceptrefutations.rather than respondingto the facts.science still has an irreducible "subjective" core based on personal ratherthan impersonalknowledge.Inhis view. metaphysics. could notbe provenwrongandtherefore couldnotbe a truescience.776 scientificrationality withouteven attempting serious historicalanalysis.butnot science (Kolakowski 1978. but a devicewhich theydidso atthepriceof adopting made them irrefutable. pp. Marxism.Science proceeds.Marx's originaltheory of the collapseof capitalism wasjust sucha bold and thus scientific. studiestheymadewereundertaken to establisha doctrine thattheyhadpreviously rather conceived. Chapter examination wereneverso crucialin 1) concludedthat"data" or greatscientificadvancesas "verificationism" "falsificationism" claimed. From his of science.Mill andthe school of logical positivism (Nagel andHempel)insistedthatscientificlaws be derivedfrom empiricalexaminationsof the facts. datahave often been wrong. 8). But first. Thisformsthe basisfor the thirdandfinalpart where I argue that Marxism loses it scientific character when it denies its own historicity. In Popper'sview the best theoriesarethe ones thatareunlikelyto be trueyet "holdup"undersustained attempts at refutation. in the secondpartof this Therefore. AMERICANSOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW Theoriesnecessarilyprecedefacts becausethey determinewhich facts are relevant.or deceptive.In his view.I try to applythis to the challengeto Marxism posedby the demise of "communism" in EasternEuropeandthe Soviet Union.

It woulddrownin anoceanof anomalies.PolanyiclaimedthatMarxismwas immorality parading in the guise of science. viii. not because it could were notbe falsified. Lakatos's point of departurewas Popper's falsificationtheoryof scientificgrowththrough ism.the accumulation from emergentcompeting puzzles.oreven Thechoicebetweenparadigms thana logical process. However. Normaland Revolutionary Science Like Polanyi. questions. werebased Differentparadigms posed differentqueson differentassumptions.Marxismwas the enemy of true science(pp. what we mightcall exceptionalmomentsof scientific Kuhn distinguishedsuch revolubreakthrough. 20-1. but he took it to its logical conclusion. passions. psychological. orthelogic of transition Lakatos(1978) attempted to supply to another. destroyingthe the skills. he showed that if theories were rejectedevery time they were confrontedwith a counter-instance. consensualparadigm For Kuhn.whether The "scientific method" induction or falsification. absorbingor "normalizing" stancesto a paradigm's theories. Kuhn agreed with Popperthat Marxismis not a science. The paradigmbreaksdown and a period of revolutionary science begins in which comvie forthe support of scientists. communitywhichnourished andcommitments of personal knowledge. petingparadigms A period of normalcyis restoredwhen a new is established.its personal knowledge or tacit skills . Marxismwas the most interesting case of the "moral force of immorality" (p. of ScientificResearchPrograms Methodology Kuhn systematizedand expandedon Polanyi's ideas but failed to clarifyeitherthe internaldynamics of paradigms. Kuhn (1962) tied the growth of knowledge to the communityof scientists.The samedatacouldbe interpreted in differentways.Here Kuhnwent beyondPolanyi'stheoryof personal knowledgeto establisha more sociologicalconWherePolanyi ceptionof scientificdevelopment. then science would never get off the ground. presentedscientistswith diftions andtherefore ferentpuzzles. Scientists "normally" .andcommitments is a delicateprocess. While agreeingwithPopperon the defectsof induction.to establisha totalitarian society that would destroy science.rather Kuhn's work was not motivatedby Polanyi's anticommunist zeal and was not concerneddirectly with the scientific status of Marxism. 227).refuteanomaliesin orderto defendtheir theories. whathe calledscientificresearchprograms. of science is puzzle Whatis most characteristic counterinsolving.He claimedthatthereis no one "scientificmethod. Marxism preached the subordination of science to society.instead of forrejecting their anomalies as grounds regarding theories." .he took the existenceof a pluralityof withinthe social scienccompetingframeworks es as evidencethattheyarenottruesciences. andpressure paradigmsleads to a period of crisis in which scientistsbegin to lose confidence in the paradigm. 7-8).the so-called normalscifromone paradigm ence.passions.227-45). pp. tionaryscience from whathe called normalsciwork within paraence. 160). is what Kuhnhad Refutingcounter-instances .Basing his view on Soviet Marxismas the prototypeof all Marxism.In the social they arein a pre-paradigmatic to a sciencesthereis no consensualcommitment single paradigmthat would permitthe normal science of puzzle solving to flower (1962. For Polanyi. Polanyi arguedthat sustainingthese skills. the scientific communityitself .thatestablish digmsthataretakenfor granted sharedassumptions. pp. of one paradigm lish the superiority is a social.According to Lakatos science grows not through the refutation of conjectures but throughthe refutation of refutationsof core theories. focused on the great advancesin science. Marxism's universalisticclaims to science establisheda following amongscientistsandat the same time concealedits trueintentions. or such a theoryof the dynamicsof -paradigms. It requires a self-regulating communityof scienof politics(Chapter tistswhichis independent 7). so thatfacts themselvesare Outsidethejudgmentof relativeto theparadigm.MARXISMAS SCIENCE 74).rational processemerging of thehistorical independently andsocialcontext.there could be no forprogress thatwouldestabsinglesetof criteria overanother. So Lakatosproposedthat scientists.andanomaliesas well as exemplarsor models for solving them.that stage.and of the transition fromone program to another.In Kuhn'sconof unsolved ceptionof science. paradigmsrepresenteddifferent 777 worldviews andas such wereincommensurable andincompatible.is a label for the way we reconthehistoryof scienceto give theimpression struct thatourpresentknowledgeis the natural culminationof an objective.butbecauseits practitioners not primarilyconcerned with normalizing its anomalies(Kuhn1970.. Real science develops very differently.

Feyerabend one paradigm logic. It predicted impoverishment power of the orderto increasethe explanatory that the first socialist revolutionwould take place in the industrially most developed society.who simplyreferred fic revolutions the accumulation of unsolvedproblemsand the (1982). research RESEARCH DEGENERATING content PROGRAM? new belts of theoryexpandthe empirical anomalies of the program.successes as well as failures.Prague1968. They 'explained' Berlin 1953. Chapter16. But their auxiliary coreshould thetoolswithwhichthehard indicates hypotheseswere all cooked up after the event to be defended. The positive heuristic to catch up with them (Lakatos1978. pp.Chapters3 and 5). butshouldseekthemout. He triedto endow Kuhn's transition to the next with a "supraprogram" 8).the Marxian Newtonianprogram into a corroborarefutation andturnan apparent lagged behindthe facts and has been runningfast tion of the core theory. not only by absorbing but by making predictions. Chapter4). Chapter ones.WhileMarxistssoughtto absorbanomalies. Althoughhe failedto provideclearcriteria (1975.becauseit is Itpredicted thattherewill be no conflict revolutions.forinstance. researchprogram. of dif. forward.or whathe calledits heuristics.See Hacking(1981. to solve.they even explained why the first core encompassesnot only theoriesbut also the socialist revolution occurred in industrially assumptionsand questionsthat define the probackwardRussia.Thus the of interests between socialist Accordingto Lakatos. and thus ' Lakatoshas beenroundlycriticizedforthe vagueknowledgedoes not grow. for assessingthe relativeprogressiveness ferent researchprograms.some of which are Inapplying research of scientific themethodology In a degeneratingprogramsuc. In a degeneratingprogramnew theories do not anticipatenew facts.778 AMERICANSOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW earliercalled puzzle solving. Here scope of the theory. normsandfor insistingthat ness of his supraprogram Lakatosclaimedthat scientistsdo and should apparentlydegenerateprogramscan always make a for progressive comebackwith the result that they can be evaluated abandondegenerating programs from only in hindsight.as it unsuccessfulpredictions.programsto Marxismit is necessaryto amplify corroborated.each researchprogram were bold and of Marxism early predictions is governedby its own principlesof developexplainedall their buttheyfailed. see also guides the scientisttowardthose anomalies also Worrall1978. The hard imperialism.butof doing so in a way content. pp.2 amples to the core theory.on the otherhand. Newton-Smith (1981. thatwould increasethe empiricalcontentof the a stunning Marxism everpredicted Has.used the idea to rebuildParson- . It by program. The theories els thataredrawn uponto buildauxiliary led to novel facts. 5-6. which has actuallyhad dramatic throughthe construction theoriesto deal in succession with counter-ex. the task was not so novel fact successfully?Never!It has some famous much to reduce the numberof anomalies. 55-7). therefore. 1983.by reducingthe in the writingsof Lakatosandhis students.patching certainof its elementsthatremainundeveloped up anomaliesin ad hoc fashion.or by simply barringcoun.Their terexamples.They 'explained'the gram.The positive heuristic.Scientistsshouldnot be frightened predictedthat socialist society would be free of anomalies.That is. Budapest. cessive beltsareonlybackward looking.These arethe exemplarsandmodprotect Marxian theory from the facts. Russian-Chinese conflict. for example. they auxil.neverthelesshe did to the ideaof a 2 Recentlyothershave also appealed of scienti. I arguethatthisis an inaccurate predictive of an expandingbelt of ism.According failures:they explainedthe rising living standards the hard to the negativeheuristicof the program of the working class by devising a theory of core should be defendedat all costs. Chapter10).Marxists stunning ment. Alexander thanKuhn. programas having a core theory that scientists totype of the degeneratingresearch program.researchprogramin the social sciences but theirconsupplya betterguideto the rationality to ceptions are much more loose thanmine.Laudan(1977. But Lakatosgave sense of crisis withinthe scientificcommunity.1956.Here Lakatosdistinguished between progressiveand degenerating MARXISM:A PROGRESSIVEOR the In a progressiveprogram programs. program anomalies thatdrivea research countries. thatarethe most important portrait of MarxA research program develops. 1981. by constructing protectagainstrefutation empirical iary hypotheses.' He saweachresearch Marxismas theproLakatoshimselfregarded thisprocessmoreprecision.I simply presentthem withoutdiscussion. but to exploit specific ones in of the workingclass.It predictedthe absolute was for Kuhn.It was not simply a matterof did so only by reducingthe program's gettingridof anomalies.

vergentbut still interconnected studies. Strugglesin France ([1850] 1964). carryit very far. Different thatreorient research evolving interpretations or"newframeworks" ideas" Marxisms have elaborated.indicatingdistinctiveways of developI regard program."He delineatedseven majorpostulates. generated 5) Withinsocial science anomaliesaregener. successivetheoriesdevelopas beltswithin 1978.centrality and often com. fromother canbe distinguished Marxism andexemplarsof the positiveheuristic. branches.Each branch tionby beginning the core in a differentway.only placehe brought intoa coherthemtogether We canalso ent andpithysummary.the collapse of capitalism.withina single re. p. In this the core of his work.to the trajectory (1989) usedit to reconstruct capitalism. even new branches emplars.3 of "progressiveness"and "degeneracy. 48. debatedquestionand consensushas never been processof trialand error" footnote4). 1) As Lakatos not discuss. Neither take the details of Lakatos's these theoriesherein orderto establishhow they scheme seriously. as majorexItis theelaboration theorizing. its concernwith humanemancipation.particularly the three changingthe worldit studiesandnot simplypas. reinterpretedand withoutclearpay-offs in termsof prediction.pp. I As must be apparent. ing new theoriesin a research 6) Inasmuchas Marxismis concernedwith Marx'seconomicwritings.Historical changes provide an expanding fund of new ThePositiveHeuristic of new anomalies whichmandate theconstruction belts of theorywithinbranches andoccasionally The positive heuristiccontainsmodels and exof the researchprogram." Howard of the research Bernstein (1981) suggests how the idea might be but he doesn't developedfor Marxisthistoriography. tried it may be necwithina single researchprogram for competingand terrain the terms and supplied essary to recognize the contributionof "new of that core. particularlyThe Eighcernedwith solving anomaliesand makingpre.I believe we can capturethatlimitapetingcoreswhichgive riseto different withhow Marxhimselfdefied withina single researchprogram.scientificwritingsas well .laidoutin Table 1."thegeneralresultat which I arrived once won. andprogressive generating Evenso.the challenges(anomalies) ated externallyas often as internally. thesepostulates ask why some branchesprove to be more pro." of develop. 1894] 1967) consively reflectingit.Thereis no single consistentinterpreall othersas Cohen(1978) whichsupplants tation new branches or subtraditions 4) In evaluating these postulateshave Rather to maintain. of its analysisof class.elaborated researchprogram them in otherwritingsbut this is the searchprogramwe may be able to identify de. with in accordance combineddifferent postulates by history.Lakatos'sportrait.I depart from classical which reducethe Marxismand Frenchstructuralism truthin Marxto his mature. preliminary Marxistresearch This has been a hotly program? (Lakatos1978. Marxism. 3) While it may be difficult to compareone presentedhere in Table 1. Individually. 1885. reconstructs to theCritique Intheprefaceto A Contribution view.the idea of a positive and negative for subsequent development foundations the lay andthe criteria of prediction heuristic. as it applies sian "neo-functionalism. of Marxist emplars and Evans and Stephens of thecoretheory.volumes of Capital ([1867.I only describethe rudimentsof ment theory. ofPoliticalEconomy branches. The same can be said of the models reached.MARXISMAS SCIENCE 779 in subsequent TheNegativeHeuristic will become apparent importance sections.do not define an unambiguous hard core of gressivethanothers.teenthBrumaire ([1852] 1963) and The Class dictions. served as a guiding threadfor my branches.Marx to another. the importance program.4-5) Marx (Tucker on the otherhand. bodies of thoughtby its focus on economic facthe 2) The hard core of a researchprogramnot tors. or its theoryof only developsover time but is often best under. Whatis it Whatthenlies in the coreof Marxism? butdoes that Marxistscling to at all costs and abandon himselfacknowledges. the hard core "does not actually when they become ex-Marxists? Whatis it that emergefully armedlike Athenefromthe headof attracts erstwhile non-Marxists to adopt the Zeus. thereforedid not considerthe coexistenceof di. it must be particularly and political writings.but the possibilities stood as afamily of overlapping branches arelimited. It develops slowly. as was based on an unambiguoushard core and describedhis theoryof historicalmaterialism andwhich. by a long.

4-5 in TheMarxEngels Readery.the prehistoryof humansociety to a close" (p. politicalandintellectuallife processin general"(p..but of one arising from the social conditions of life of the individuals.Technology. "At a certain stage of their development. relations of productionwhich correspondto a definite stage of the developmentof the productiveforces"(p. A successful transitioncan only take place when the materialconditions are present. religious. The "economicbase"or mode of productiondefines the limits of variationof the superstructure. While insights into the character of communism. culminating evitabilityof its demise.It exemplifiedP3 (Table 1):thewayin whichrelations of production would first promoteand then fetter the forces of production. "No social orderever perishesbeforeall the productiveforces for which thereis room in it have developed. and the legal. new technologyto once one capitalist introduces the laterspecific analysesof capitalism. Marxmade it dynamicby introducing surviveas petitionamongcapitalists.that is they must produce the means of their existence. 5). at the same time the productiveforces developing in the womb of bourgeois society create the materialconditionsfor the solution of thatantagonism.780 Table 1. .therefore. In a situation of perfect competition an individual capitalist canincreaseprofitsby reducingwages. of these methods.In considering a distinctionshouldalways be madebetweenthe materialtransformation such transformations of the economic conditions of production.From forms of development of the productiveforces these relations turn into theirfetters. 4-5).feudal andmodem bourgeoismodes of productioncan be designatedas progressiveepochs in the economic formationof society" (p.ideological forms in which men become conscious of this conflict and fight it out" (p. thatis.antagonisticnot in the sense of individual antagonism. which can be determined with the precision of natural science. The mode of productionof materiallife conditionsthe social."In broad outlines Asiatic. political. by deskilling. of class struggle. the real foundation."With the change of the economic foundationthe entire immense superstructure is more or less rapidly transformed.We no longermakehistorybehindourbacksbut consciously andcollectively. 5)."pp. men and women must transformnatureinto means of their survival.. by extending the length of the workingday.andnew. Prefaceto "A Contribution to the Critiqueof PoliticalEconomy. 4). Marx's Seven Postulatesof HistoricalMaterialism AMERICANSOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW P1 For thereto be history. the capacityto work.Hegelianmanuscripts. and of ideology abound. by intensifyingwork. 5).however. P5 P6 P7 Source:KarlMarx. This surplus value is the originof profit.in short. I P2 P3 P4 Class struggle is the motor of transitionfrom one mode of productionto another.the materialproductiveforces of society come in conflict with the existing relations of production. aestheticor philosophic. 5).can adworksrelateto the earlierones as positive heuristicto themost negativeheuristic.4).[1859] 1978. This was a staticpictureof theisolatedcapitalcomist.edited by RobertTucker. A mode of productiondevelops throughthe interactionbetween the forces of production(how we producethe means of existence) and the relationsof production(how the productof laboris appropriated and distributed).The earlycriticaltheoryrepresents vancewithintheselimitsandis therefore the core of the researchprogram which is assumedin distinctivemode of increasingprofit.on which rises a legal and political superstructure and to which corresponddefinite forms of social consciousness.whereaswages correspondto the costs of goods and services necessaryto reproduce laborpower. History is progressive insofar as it follows the expansion of the forces of production.of primitiveaccumulation. men enter into definite relations that are indispensableand independentof their will.butthereare as fromcriticaltheorywhichfinds therealMarxin his definite limits (biologicalandalso legal) to each In my view.New York:Norton.This social formationsbrings. ancient. Communismspells the end of social antagonismsandthe beginningof the emancipationof individuals.the majorcontributionof Marx's Capital was his theoryof the withthe indynamicsof capitalism. higherrelations of productionnever appearbefore the materialconditionsof theirexistence have maturedin the womb of the old society itself' (p.However. "Thebourgeoisrelationsof production are the last antagonisticform of the social process of production. "Thesumtotal of these relationsof productionconstitutes the economic structureof society.. the later youthful. referto the apcapitalistrelationsof production propriation of more labor value from workers thanthey receivein the formof wages. Capitalists such only insofar as they make a profit.Then begins an epoch of social revolution"(pp. If relationsof productionrefer to the relationsthroughwhich surplusis appropriated. "In the social productionof their life.

In Francethe earlyupsurgeof the workingclass in 1848 was a forerunner of the Paris Communeof 1871.This. Tudor and Tudor.crises of overproduction resultas moregoods areproducedthancan find consumers becausewages areso low. andbecause the state daily recreateda political threatto its own existence in the form of the bourgeoisie.In Franceecoin the politnomic classes gainedrepresentation ical arenathroughpartiesthatplayed out a system of alliancesgiven by the logic of the formof state. The degraded. theformsof class ing P4 (Table1).historywas already casting doubt on his predictions.unchains 781 class struggleby throwingclasses into the political arena where they are compelled to parade their true interests. all the othersmust also introduce thattechnologyor riskbeingdriven out of business.is the pictureMarxand Engelsdrawin TheCommunist Manifesto ([1848] 1978) which grew out of the Englishexperience in thefirsthalfof thenineteenth Followcentury.credit. If this is how Marxunderstood the way capitalist relationsof productionwere transformed from forms of developmentof the productive forces into theirfetters. Bernsteinargued thatthe expansionof the forces of production was not beingfetteredby capitalist relations of production.The same process of accumulation bepolarizesthe class structure tweencapitalandlabor. 56). p. not the dynamicsof the economy. theyregarded from one mode of prostrugglein the transition ductionto another as contingenton politicaland ideologicalforms.MARXISMAS SCIENCE reducethe cost of production."but at the same time it is "the most prostitute and ultimateform of statepower"([1871]1968."first throughskirmishesat the level of the factory.creatinga workingclass thatis homogenized.andfinally by forminga workingclass partythatseizes state power.Thisleads to a dualcrisis:On the one handthe rateof profitfalls as the source of profit.trustsand monopoliesthat stifle further economicdevelopment. The intensificationof crises of overproduction of capital and the corresponding concentration leads on the one handto the destruction of capital. In England.surplusvalue . Franceit was much morecomplicated. In violation of P3 and P4. intotrade thenby combination unions. Writingtwentyyearslaterwhen the ParisCommune arose on the heels of the collapse of Marx still contendedthat it was Bonapartism.the most advancedcapitalist country. Thesetwo crisistendenciesintensifyeach otheras overproductionleads small capitaliststo go out of business. On the contrary trusts.and . and on the otherhand. "theonly possiblestateformin whichthe appropriatingclass can continueto sway it over the producingclass. 1952.his disciple and the executor of his will. at any rate. and on the other hand to the formationof cartels.Whereasin Englandthe process was relativelysimple by virtueof the more in advancedpolarizationof the class structure. the emergenceof joint stock companies. see also Gay.how did he understand the epoch of social revolution?We have seen how competitivecapitalismcompels each individualcapitalist to pursueprofitandhow thishas the aggregateeffect of bringingabout the economic demise of capitalism. 1988).the workingclass largely surrenderedits radicalgoals after 1850.Universalsuffrage. furtherconcentrating capitaland bringing down the rate of profit as well as displacing workers intothereservearmyof theunemployed.He viewed the rapidmovement of regimes between the Social Republic inaugurated in February1848 and the rise of in 1851as thecrystallization Bonapartism of class strugglebetween capital and labor. but with its collapse the centerof the workingclass movementshiftedto Germany. InTheClassStruggles inFrance([1850] 1964) andTheEighteenth Brumaire ([1852] 1963)Marx examinedthe dynamicsof the politicalregime. Engels had hardlybeen buriedwhen Eduard Bernstein. beganto revisethe hardcore of Marxismto suit the new historical circumstances([1899] 1961. subordinating on behalfof the bourgeoisie. A dictatorall classes to itself butruling ship.Nor was the working classdemonstrating therevolutionary fervorMarx expected. because it would puncturethe illusions of the supporting class of peasantry. ReformversusRevolution By the time of Marx'sdeathin 1883. workingclass becomes a "class for itself.The concentration and centralization of capital.cartelsand trustsdid not spell the end of capitalism butonly of competitive capitalism.was to be the final beforecapitalism's politicalsolution denouement.becomes a steadily diminishingproportion of the capitaldeployed. Marxthought it wouldnotlastbecauseit couldn't extend materialconcessions to the subordinate classes. Therethe Social DemocraticPartywas moving from strengthto strengthin the electoralarena(Schorske 1955) and it was in Germanythat Marxismadded a new belt of theory aroundthe implicationsof capitalistdemocracyfor socialiststrategy.Marxargued. anddeskilled.

mustcombineparliamentaSocialistdemocracy ry representationand basic civic rights with foin extraparliamentary popularparticipation rums.butthey shouldnot be turnedinto models for all revoluthe trajectory She anticipated tionarytransitions. his vision of socialismviolated P7 by going no furtherthan a modified labor capitalismbased on collective bargaining. But saidaboutdemocracy" the realizationof democracy'spotentiallay in union classorganization outsidethetrade working and parliamentary terrains. continuallythreatened by the bourgeoisie and defended by the workingclass as a conditionof its emancipation. pp.33-91) Luxemburg refutedBernstein'srefutation of the Marxisttheory of the collapse of capitalism.Bernstein'smechanismsof economic adaptation of werein factmodesof adaptation individualcapitalists.Credit. While Luxemburgwas able to refute Bernstein's theoryof the evolutionof capitalisminto socialism.Equalization pressingcapitalism of cooperativescould not and the introduction come about throughthe reform of capitalism. He viewed socialismas the fulfillmentof the ideals of the bourgeoisrevolution.Whenthe whole worldis dividedup. 257-331) addressedthe crisis of Germansocial democracy for the war and anticibroughton by its support patedthe rise of fascism. thatcapitalistresuppression lationsof production sow the seeds of theirown destruction by fetteringthe forces of production (P3). versal weapon of revolutionary The interminglingof political and economic strikes would take the place of street fighting. 391). pp. and that class struggle will determine whethercapitalismis followed by socialism or barbarism (P4). a new Lakatos. Without parliamentary of theRussian Revolution: assemblies.is revision of the core to absorb anomalies. 365-95) which applauded Bolshevikseizureof power in the most difficult of circumstances. wouldadvocate building belt of theorywhichwouldturnan anomalyinto a corroboration of the core.Basing her analysis on the events of the RussianRevolutionof 1905 idealizedthe mass strikeas the uniLuxemburg class struggle. In taking the of theindividual Bernstein's standpoint capitalist. 74). pp.782 were thepersistence of smallscale entrepreneurs reducingthe severityof crisesandallowingcapitalismto slowly evolve into socialism.In proposinga law of increasing democratization thatwould spread of its own accord from political to economic P2. Froma methodologhe would have to endorseLuxical standpoint thatsocialismrequiresthe emburg'sreassertion of capitalism(P7). She regardedBernstein as equally utopian in a law of increasingdemocracysince postulating she consideredeven bourgeoisdemocracyto be a very fragile form of state.Premature shouldnot be turned zuresof powerwere necessaryat times. therebyintensifyingclass struggle." of of the proletariat would become dictatorship the bureaucracy (Waters[1918] 1970. realms.and smallsize entrepreneurs reflectedin differentways increasedsecurityfor the individualcapitalistbut of the expansionof capitalism and arelubricants thereby accelerated its demise. Luxemburg accused Bernstein of utopian thinkinginsofaras he thoughtthatthe effects of capitalism could be suppressed without sup- AMERICANSOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW of wealth itself. p. InReformor Revolution (Waters[1899] 1970."life [woulddie] out in every public inincludingthe Soviets. to this question. Luxemburgwas the first to recognize the close link between the expansion of capitalism and militarism. legislation and the redistribution of wealth.withoutfreedomof press and association. It follows Popper's principle of rejecting a theorywhenit is falsified.anddictatorship stitution.The Junius PamIn returning phlet (Waters [1915] 1970. She saw the expansionof social dein electoralpolitics as a mocracy'sparticipation two edged sword:"Butcapitalismfurnishesbesides the obstacles also the only possibilitiesof The same can be realizingthe socialistprogram.trusts. capitalistcountrieswould be forcedinto warsto redivide it.p. she still was faced with the "anomatendenciesof the Germanworklous"reformist ing class. (Waters1970. Searching commodities capitalists would seek out new markets through forcible incorporation(colocapinialism) of countriesinto an international talistorder. however.but warned that a necessity seiinto a virtue. to the systemicfeatures theorypaid no attention of capitalism. While recognizing the peculiar conditions in Russia. Equallypropheticwas her analysis of the RussianRevolutionin 1918 the (Waters1970. Later in The Accumulation of Capital ([1913] 1951) Luxemburgdeveloped a of crisesof overproduction theoryof theextension for outletsfor their to the worldlevel.Bernsteinwas also contradicting Revisionism.by definition.Farfrom liberatinghumanbeings throughthe collective directionof society. Luxemburgarguedagainstthose in the the mass Social DemocraticPartywho regarded strikeas a weapon specific to the workingclass in absolutist andeconomicallybackward regimes .

shows ways and methods of furtherclass of Germanyand the struggleto the proletariat with canbeidentified 4This newresearch program theworkof Sidney Hook. arguingthat there was still room for the expansion of the forces of productionwithin capitalismand thatits workingclass was correwas revolution immature. proposals 783 mostadvanced capitalist countries" (Waters 1970.capitalismdid not develop unilinearly . content ducedits empirical to look Kautsky([1891] 1971. 1909) preferred for confirmations of Marxismthanto tackle its by appealing anomalies.It did hadbeenrecentlyuprooted not embrace the conservative traditions of Western proletariatswhich had evolved with capitalism.arguedthat Russia had to undergo a bourgeois revolution before it could advance to socialism. But why was the workingclass the only possible agent of a bourgeoisrevolution? Capitalism in Russia developed very late under the sponsorshipof the state and of foreign (particularly French)investment. WalterKorpi'sanalysisof andBowlesandGintis's socialdemocracy Swedish of American fordemocratization society. trends account of the theoryat workin T.As we haveseen. Whereas radical fromthe departure Bernstein's program.Luxemburg of a new series of revolutionas the forerunner revolutionsin the West. He neither reconstructed the core nor creatednew theory.At the same time that absolutismstifled the growth of the forces of production. 1969). when broughttogetherin huge factoriesthe Russianworkingclass displayedall class.203). the politicallyweakerrevolutionary and UnevenDevelopment of Combined Capitalism in theoWhile GermanMarxismwas struggling ry and in practicewith anomaliesbroughtabout andthecontinued by theextensionof democracy the oppoexpansionof the forces of production. Trotskyargued carryout a bourgeoisrevolutionin Russia was the workingclass. It was therefore at a loss to exploitthe growingmilitanof the workingclass. Accordingto Trotsky.4 coreoriginated a new research Marxist defense of the hardcore led to the Luxemburg's developmentof a new and progressivebelt of new theory. This was Trotsky'stheory of permanent revolution.As the situationin Germanypolarizedduringand after into the widening WWI. The propheticpower of Results and Prospectsis supported by the fact thatTrotsky's celebratedHistory of the Russian Revolution writtenin 1930 (1977) was based on the same theory. The majorityof Russianworkers fromtheirland. Marshall's Britishwelfarestate. the Russian bourgeoisiewas continuallyplundered by a Czaristregime that was threatened militarily by statesbuilton muchmoreadvanced (capitalist)economic foundations. Therefore. Developmentsin Russiaappeared to refute the Marxian idea thatrevolutionwould first breakout in the most advancedratherthan the most backward capitalistcountries. Being weak anddependent. in Russia by OrthodoxMarxism.DanielBell.progressivein thatit anticipated phenomena. theirconvergence theoryandrealityby projecting into an unspecified future.While Luxemburgintuitedthe solutionto this anomaly.andSeymour associalist themselves whoallregarded Martin Lipset democratic the progressive becausethey defended Wecan alsoseeEduard Bernstein's ofcapitalism.represented the towering figure of Plekhanov. H. She nevermanaged (Schorske1955.the establishmentof the most (technically) advanced capitalism in the majorRussiancities createda new and militant workingclass.developedhis theories of the combined and uneven development of andof permanent revolution to explain capitalism and anticipatethe OctoberRevolution and its aftermath.He held ontoorthodoxy to P5. There site situation confronted RussianMarxism. of both should be contrasted The contributions with Kautsky'sdefense of Marxismwhich reby denyinganomalies. as earlyas 1906 in Resultsand Prospects([1906].some of which actually occurred. "The most proletarian backward countryof all. p. the featuresof a revolutionary The novelty of Trotsky'stheoryof combined of and uneven developmentlay in its treatment of capitalistdevelopthe international character mentandits politicalimplications. spondingly He dealtwiththedivergencebetween premature. and by virtueof thatfact the hadto proceeduninterruptbourgeoisrevolution whichcouldonly be edly to a socialistrevolution successfulif it also triggereda revolutionin the West.So.just becauseit has been late with its bourgeoisrevoluso unpardonably tion. Kautskydisappeared revisionism socialdemocratic and gulf separating Marxism. Chapter to reconcileherselfor hertheoryto the reformist tendencieswithinthe workingclass.MARXISM AS SCIENCE 2). absolutismbasedon a semifeudaleconomy was thegrowthof capitalism andatthe same fettering time creating a powerful and radical working saw the 1905 class.it was Trotskywho. By concy andradicalism thattheonlyclass thatcould trast.

1917he surprised all his Bolshevik followers by announcingthat the time was now ripe to seize power and move forwardto socialism.it wouldhave to move forward to socialism. By spreadingback from East to West the revolutionwould be permanentin the international arenaafter it had been made permanent withinRussia. Stateand Revolution WhenLeninsteppedoff the sealedtrainat Petrogradon April3. P3 when he wroteaboutthe fetteringof forcesof production by absolutism.P4 when he said this would lead to revolution. For all the referencesto events of his time." which would then evolve into communism. Chapter one). creatingin countries of the "secondrank"a weak bourgeoisie andan explosive workingclass. He assumedthatthe objectiveconditions would be present(P3) and so reducedthe problem of transitionto a question of state power and (P4). He anticipated the broadoutlinesof what actually happenedafter 1917. AMERICANSOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW the process he analyzed with great acuity in Revolution Betrayed([1936] 1972).Stateand Revolution ([1917] 1967. Leninarguedagainsttwo othermodels:orthodox Marxism.Trotskywas not expectating stages of development to be skipped(which would violate P5 and P6) since sucha revolution wouldtakeplacein the context of an international thathadexhausted capitalism its potentialfor developmentin the core countries. Indeed. pp. But therewas no theoryof thetransition to socialism. Precisely because it was a working class andits interestswere therefore at odds with capitalism.Uneven developmentled to the of the most advancedandthe most combination backward formsof production. The tragedy of Trotsky'slife was thathe was destinedto be the agentandthe victim of his own accurate predictions . he assumed that a Russianrevolutionwould be certainof support from the socialistrevolutionsit would ignite in the advancedWest.In Resultsand Prospects(1969) he wrotethatfailing a revolutionin the West the Russianrevolution wouldbe aborted andwouldturninwardon itself.the dictatorship of the proletariat .set Marxismon an entirelynew footing by making the statecentralto the processof transition. We shouldnotbe deceivedby Lenin'sabilityto sound as thoughhe was merely parroting what Marx and Engels had said.the involutionof a RussianRevolution thatwas not followed by revolutionin the West. Workingwith the positive heuristicthey had establishedin their political writingshe constructedan entirelynew belt of theory. Furthermore.Trotsky was also true to the Marxistcore.Indeed.784 in parallelfashion withineach countryas Marx had assumed. 283376). Both models reduced the transitionto communismto a single stage.butrather jumpedfromone country to another.He was in effect declaring his support for Trotsky's theory of permanentrevolution. He defended P2 whenhe wroteaboutthe limits of absolutism posed by its economic foundations.leavingcommunism behind.it couldnot leada revolution. writtenby Lenin two months before the OctoberRevolution.German Marxism had studied the collapse of capitalismmore intensively thanthe transition to socialism. VolumeTwo. Kautskysaw the . While creatinga new belt of theory. whetherpositively or negatively.whose strugglescould not be read off fromeconomicrelations butwouldbe shaped by politicaland ideologicalfactors." It did not consider the concrete circumstances tranwhich mightthwartor fosterany particular sition. like Trotsky. The capitaliststatehadto be destroyed. it is difficult to appreciatethe stateof MarxisttheorybeforeLeninbecauseinevitablywe readit. chism. While the peasantrywas crucialin destabilizingabsolutism. Even Trotskydid not precludethe possibility of the defeatof the workingclass in the West. Lenin and Gramsciin differentways would develop that theoryto explainthe pacification of the Western workingclass just as othershave used it to explaintheradicalcharacter of the workingclass in ThirdWorldindustrializing countries today. Thatrole wouldhave to be adopted by the workingclass. a new state. whichwould not be able to stop at the overthrowof absolutism.In anticipating a socialistrevolutionin Russia. andanarrepresented by Kautsky.such as Braziland SouthAfrica(Seidman1990).had to be set up in its place.while he was in hiding. this was an abstract modelof "objective possibility. This dictatorship wouldwitheraway. The questionLenin posed in State and Revolutionis: Whatmusttakeplace if thereis to be a transitionfrom capitalismto communism?His answerwas a revolutionary transformation from capitalismto a transitional stage called "socialism. through the prism of Lenin's theories (Polan 1984. Thathe was wrongin his diagnosisof the situation in the West does not detractfrom the fecundityof his theory of combinedand uneven developmentof capitalism.

see also Harding 1983.etc.while the real business went on behind the scenes through the thousandsof threadsthat connected the bourandthebureaucracy.This was a necessary featureof thetransitional stage.we must thata new class would not emerge.alreadyexhaustedand defeatedin war.the dictatorship of the proletariat -that would lay the economic and the political foundationsfor communism. thatstateofficials be elected. Lenin wrote that the dictatorship bourgeoisie would have to defend bourgeois rights and formal equalityand it would in that sense be a bourgeoisstate.in guarantee a class of officials and experts. to Still it may be the case that this transition socialismis inherently infeasible. Statesocialismwouldhave to be examinedin the light of the way it first promoted and then fetteredthe developmentof the forces of production at the sametimethatit engendered classeswhichmightdemand. Volume Two. to Dependency FromImperialism Whatled Leninto changehis mindandpropose the overthrowof the ProvisionalGovernment when he arrivedin Russiain April 1917? It was notsimplyopportunism.At the sametime thepolitical taskof the dictatorship of the proletariatwould be to establisha radicaldemocracy which would guaranteethe witheringaway of formof state. Far from aiding the RussianRevolution. undermining both the principleof rewardaccordingto labor and the possibility of effective planning. 667-768.Lenin particular thoughtthatadvancesin technologywould per- 785 mit the reductionof statefunctionsto "accounting andcontrol. Lenin counteredKautskyby arguingthat capitalist democracywas capitalistin content and provided democraticin form.whatwe mightcall state socialism. pp. Likeso muchof Lenin's political strategy. be abolishedand armedworkersset in its place.understood by Leninas the standingarmy.MARXISMAS SCIENCE in termsof the reformof the capitalist transition stateby a workingclass partyvoted into office." therebylimitingthe possibility of the rise of a new class basedon its monopoly of knowledge. be subjectedto inworker's stant recallandbe paidanaverage wage. We have here an instanceof fruitfuldialogue between rival traditionsin which MarxisminWhilerethe challengeof anarchism. democratization. The very radicalismof his proposed democracytestifies to his recognitionof thedangers of bureaucratization andofficialdom. third.demanded of the capitaliststatebut considthe destruction eredthis sufficientto move straight intocommunism. . that parliamentbe transformedfrom a "talkingshop"into real workingbodies. a public platform. second.therearosea new guarantee class of statebureaucrats who monopolizedcontrol over the means of production. Volume One. Only much latercan radicaldemocracybe introduced. Lenin defendedthe necessity of a transitional state. corporates as utopiansfor thinkingit gardingthe anarchists was possibleto skipthe stageof socialism.It was not enoughto eliminate one class .his decision was rooted in a of the decline of capitheoretical understanding talismon a world scale.Why did events turnout this way? The Russianrevolution took place in a semi-feudal agrarian country.thatthe milireplacingthe bureaucracy. over the bourgeoibeginningwith a dictatorship sie and the creationof the economic conditions of communism. on the otherhand.andin theendfight for.Western statesblockadedthe Soviet Union and promoteda civil waragainst thefledglingstate.These were not the best conditionsfor establishinga radicaldemocracy. Chapters 2 and 3).Lenin tooktheirfearof the emergenceof a new formof statevery seriously. it also protectedthe inclass by obscuring thereal terestsof thecapitalist mechanisms of power. The anarchists. Fromthe standpoint of this model of the transitionto communism it is obviouswhy all socialist revolutions hitherto havefailedto realizetheir goals of justice and efficiency: Instead of the institutionalization of radicaldemocracyandthe of bourgeoisrights.Its economic task was to eliminatecapitalism ownby centralizing but ershipandcontrolof themeansof production at the sametime assuring the continued cooperato their tionof all by rewarding peopleaccording of the labor. Parliamentsgave the people an illusionof power.) to forge a solidaryworkingclass.Is it ever possibleto sustainsome sortof dualpower:dictatorshipover one class (thebourgeoisie)anddemocracyfor another(the workingclass)? One might arguethatthese two antithetical partsof the diccan never be impletatorshipof the proletariat but only in succession mented simultaneously. While parliament the political resources(freedomof speech and organization. Were geoisie to themilitary a socialistpartyto prevailin parliament it would not be able to breakthose ties.the bourgeoisie.This required this democratic first. thatis into Soviets. as workedout in Imperialism:TheHighestStageof Capitalism ([1916] 1967. tary.

This was a directchallengeto Kautskywho argued thatimperialism was a policy preferred by financecapital rather thananinevitable outgrowth of capitalism.Butonce capitalism itself at a world level. it plants whereby itself in economicallyunderdeveloped countries and from thererepatriates profitsto core counhas established tries.neverone to ignorethe importance of nationalism.e.The weak link in Lenin's argumentwas the one tyingthe divisionof the world amongcartelsto the divisionof the worldamong nations. Indeed. and this was the materialbasis of the "reformism" of socialdemocratic andof their parties supportfor nationalwars.When the whole world had been divided up among cartels and there was no furtheroutlet for excess capital.. National warswould powerful capitalist precipitatecivil wars between classes as the working class realized the costs of supporting theirown bourgeoisie. Theautonomy of states refersto their"freedom" to inducecapitalto invest within particular nationalboundaries.furtherbalkanizing the labormovementin advancedcapitalist countries. Lenin projected Marx's economic theory of capitalismonto the world level. Perhapsthe most contentiouspartof Lenin's argument was the inevitability of imperialwars. As . the more stateswill compete witheachother forcapital. Whereasthe earlierstage of capitalismwas characterized by the overproduction of consumer goods.Lenin argued thatthe spoilsof imperialism wouldtrickledown to the workingclass to create an aristocracy of labor. instability broughtaboutby the unevendevelopment of capitalismon a world scale would lead inevitablyto imperialistwars among the most countries. It addressed theoryof thedynamics a numberof anomaliesand made a numberof some of which indeedcame to pass. formalautonomy. reflects a transformation in the character of its subordinationto capital.Thistransformation of worldcapitalismis reflectedin recenttheorizingaboutthe of the state. In short.one can reconstruct Lenin's argument as follows. directpoliticalcontrolof less developedcountriesis no longernecessaryandcolonialism loses its raison d'etre.to recognize the formalautonomyof the stateis also to recognize its actualweaknessin the presentconfiguration of worldcapitalism. defined monopolycapitalism.then. from bondage to formallyfree labor. Finance Capital ([1910] 1981). He attempted to digest what was both an anomalyand a profoundsetbackto the socialist movement:the support given by socialistparties for national war in violation of international workingclass solidarity. by the rise of a financialoligarchywhich bound togetherinternational financeandindustrial cartels.Lenintriedto turnthis anomalyinto a corroboration of Marxisttheory by showinghow warswerea sign of thefettering of the forces of production (P3) and would necessarilylead to revolution(P4). this new stage saw the overproduction of capital.Therefore.on the otherhand.The changingstatusof the statein relationto capital is akinto the transition fromserfto wage laborer. thata majorchallenge anticipated to capitalismwould come from warsof national liberationin the colonized ThirdWorld. increasing farfromindicating an increasing strengthof the state. What. thenonly throughimperialist warscouldterritoriesbe redistributed The amongcapitalist nations.Lenin. The more international capital becomes (i. Rueschemeyerand Skocpol 1985). The external constraintsof capitalism become internalized withincountries in theformof class alliancesand class formation(Cardosoand Faletto 1979). He assumed that nation states are the of cartels.colonizedandsemi-independent nations Lenin had already anticipated contemporary worldsystemsanalysis. butLenin'swas the most comprehensive reconstruction of theoriginal Marxian of capitalism. had formulated Luxemburg an earlierversion of this argument.He postulated industry a new stageof capitalism. Thus.But if the latterbecome instruments trulyinternational they have no nationalaffiliation and stateswouldbe less andless compelled to enterwarson theirbehalf.which sought "superprofits" through exportto backwardcountries. But if my analysisis correct. certainsectionsof the working class had a definitematerial interestin imperialism.is the significanceof imperialism? is the vehicle thoughwhichcapitalImperialism ismbecomestrulyinternational. Lenin argued that the concentration of capitaltook place not only in butalso in finance. In the core countries. predictions.In characterizing the worldsystemin terms of core. Lenin also saw how the expansion of capitalism into backward AMERICANSOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW countrieswould uprootthe populationand provide a pool of cheap labor.786 WhereasTrotskyanalyzedthe political consequences of the expansion of capitalism into backward countries.Sucha vision of the world autonomy economy sheds light on currentinterestin "dependent development"and "bringingthe state back in" (Evans. Influencedby Hilferding's classic. the more it does not recognize nationalboundaries).

1964.MARXISMAS SCIENCE 787 is thepio. for their is too ad hoc and superficialto count as a proMarxismof the Second International slavish adherenceto laws of developmentthat gressivedevelopmentof theory.greatrefusal. is the higheststage of imperialism. and how remnantsof resistanceto capiand independent talism were being destroyedas the family.tion at bay and bring true consciousnessto the to his brilliant analysis ing theHegelianmomentof Marx'searlyworks. thatmen and women enterrela.as necessary. 47-128.In The Eco.was to retainand develop Lukacs's butoften at the expenseof tive the workingclass wouldhave if it could see analysisof reification (AratoandBreines. Amidst despair.namelythatmanualworkers Marxist in theirphysicalactivity.divorcedfromtheirproduction. from would lose any confidencein the revolutionary fellow producersand from the essence of the agency of the workingclass which was irrevoLukacs'stotalityhad by capitalism.GeorgeLukacs's and proletariat Revolution History councils suchas worker institutions ([1922] 1971) is one of the prefigurative Class Consciousness foundationtexts of WesternMarxism.andfinally to embracingthe Party thatwouldkeep reificalished the core and positive heuristicof a new as a totalisticinstitution branchof Marxism. has putit. the totality." by drawingon the analysisof fe.Jay 1984). isolatedconsciousnessratherthan a revolution. was demonstrated capitalism's However. atomized.It estab.Marx tion. workingclass.Thus. TurningorthodoxMarxismon School saw no emancipaIt affectsnot only commodities butalso factsand its head. Certainly. was invaded by tishismof commoditiesin CapitalvolumeI.butin theirmentallives The RussianRevolutionrevolutionized officialSovietMarxismas well they were left untouchedto reflectupon the extheory. Lukacs's lasting contribution his analysisof why the workingclass mightnot philosophytracedhow reasonhad become "unachieve a view of the whole and thus become a reason. imperialism or turningLeninon his head. The project andelaborating thenunknownwritingsof Marx. totalizingclass consciousness."how as the potentialfor emancipation revolutionary subject.not a necessarybut an objec.criticaltheory.the School to the rise of highlightedthe importanceof class conscious.accordingto Lukacs. no [1944]1972).fascism. critical theory uct becomesa powerover its producer is alienatedfrom the productionprocess. Theturnto durability.agencies of mass socialization (Horkheimer andAdorificationreferredto the way in which products [1936]1972.prospectsfor its realizationreelaborated PI. 1969) describedthis processas alienation: in is lost.that struggleswould demystify the totality.Pollock([1941] 1978)developedtheories of organized and state capitalismwhich tively possibleconsciousness.revolution. the prod.Boththe successfulandfailedrevolutions orthodoxresiduesin Lukacs'swriting. art and philosophy. Compared of dereification Lukacs'streatment Lukacs's essays attacked the "mechanical" of reification.pp. Re. Criticaltheory would all but discount these repressedthe humanvolition upon which they rested. dox Marxism. Class con.tionshipto naturethe expansionof the forces of could only intensifyhumansubjuganomic and PhilosophicalManuscripts([1844] production to Lukacs.Itcreated .therewere flashes of uto1975).and tory aspectsto the domination relations.Unless It leadsto a fragmented.humans could develop a more balanced relaary.the Frankfurt of nature.His theory of reification became greater.ceded.from regardingthe itself to viewing as ableto emancipate of 1919. FrankfurtSchool abandoned the substantive In his analysis of dereification.comingon theheels of a failedworkers' sciousness.is the perspec.Lukacsshowed the lingeringpresenceof orthoWarren (1980).It is an eloquenttestimonyto the cablytainted everyonein a onetrapping coherence and power of the Marxist research become totalitarian.Inspired tremecommodification. however.He regarded the deepeningof crineer of capitalism.by resurrect. and tions which are "indispensable of theirwill. 1979.It is a consciousnessimputedto the historicalmaterialism workingclass .He added anothercompoFromReificationto CriticalTheory maybe reified nent.or his glimpsesof emancipation of production jective authorship who then.WesternMarxism. Between 1919 and 1922 as its anti-Christ by the Russian Revolutionand the Hungarian Lukacs's ideas changed .thus the human psyche itself. Horkheimer become objects.pianism such as Marcuse's(1955.whichwerenot available As the sub.response of the Frankfurt ness in the revolutionaryprocess. ses as lending a consciousnessof the inevitable capitalism demise of capitalism. humanspecies. thatLukacsfelt compelledto fill outthe dimensionalsociety that had lost sight of any program coreof Marx'sintellectual by reinventing vision or project for a different world. postulatesof Marx'sprefaceto embraceonly his .

788 an elaboramost generalcritiqueof domination. The strugglebetween system and lifeworld rather than the betweenclasses suppliesthe dynamicof struggle rescueof modemsociety.Hesaw theprogressive communism as a societyin whichthe economyis turned froma structure of domination into an inof emancipation strument (p. nalityof all hitherto Habermas(1984. andrelations of production pp.the political and ideological forms in which men becomeconsciousof the conflictbetweenforces andfightit out (1971. Gramsci'sTurnto the Superstructures The failureof revolutionandthe rise of fascism in the West led criticaltheoryaway fromMarxism.178). he did not believe thatby themselves these economic crises would lead to the breakdown of capitalism (1971. 366.since knowledge of them can change them (1971.pp.at the framework.However. Habermas'sbrilliantsynthesisremains. 177). 371-2).143-5) to make explicit the indeterminism in the seven postulatesof hisGramsciagreesthathuman toricalmaterialism. ratherthan scientifictheory. p. gy assumedmuch greaterimportance.Only Gramsciwas the Marxistframework able to both reconstruct and also deliver the rudimentsof a scientific theoryof superstructures.like thatof TalcottParsons. but it had the oppositeeffect on the Italian his youthful socialistAntonioGramsci. In triedto cometo terms hisprisonwritings Gramsci with the collapse of the Turin factory council rise movement(1919-1920) and the subsequent of fascism by fusing his voluntarismwith the deterministicstrandsof historicalmaterialism.made much of the distinctionof P4 between the relationof social forces ("closely of objective. has been an ordercannotperishuntilits potential exhausted andtheseedsof a new societyhavebeen created(1971. 1987) has undertakJUrgen en the heroictask of saving criticaltheoryfrom degeneratinginto nihilism by reunitingit with On the one materialism. butthese able andindependent relationsare not entirelyexternal.in 1918 voluntarism to the RussianRevolutionas a Gramscireferred "revolutionagainst Capital. into thesuperstructure thestate isabsorbed butwithin civilsociety(1971. ing a revolutionary AMERICANSOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW Gramsci drew on Marx's Theses on Feuerbach ([1845] 1978.ThiswasGramsof theendof prehistory ci's interpretation (P7).the subjectivemomentin history became the vehicle for consolidating capitalismas well as the only meansfor mountchallenge. 180-1. wouldfetterthe forcthe relationsof production es of productionand thus generate economic crises(P3). pp. Thus. Not only is the relationshipbetweenbaseandsuperstructurereversed. On the basisof thisreconstituted core. therefore. pp. In their hands adherenceto P7 became less a commitmentto the inevitabilityof communismand more a critiqueof the irratioexistinghistory. while on the other hand he drew on Durkheimand Mead to constitute potentially action. 365.Gramsci expandedthe positive heuristicof Marxism giving greaterautonomyto the realmof the suRatherthanperiodizingthe histoperstructures.politicsandideolotheoryof automatic Gramsci.Gramscisaw the superstructure arisingout of the economicbase (P2). 367). The hallmark of Gramsci'swritingslies in the he gives to the realmof degreeof independence But whatdid he say aboutthe "superstructures. butit was ("human will")to possiblefor the superstructure react back on the base ("economic structure") (1971. Thus.that realmsof communicative autonomous institutions publicandprivate is self-detenrining where dominationis limited. 244.It turned in a Marxist direction.403).andhetookforgrantedthatthe of theforcesof production wouldleadto expansion development ofhistory (P6)." to a commitment economy?Heretoo he retained Whilehe maintained that historicalmaterialism. tion of PI.p. with the humanwill andwhichcan be measured systems of the exact or physical sciences")and the realm of subjective will formation.independent linkedto the structure. In this later analysis.Habermas's critical theory comes at the expense of the vision of P7: Thebestwe canhope emancipatory andto prevent for is to controlthe system-world it fromcolonizingthe lifeworld. 162. national versus . andfecundcriticaltheHoweverilluminating ory was. sociology andhistorical handhe extendedthe Marxiananalysisof reificationfromthe economicsystemto the political system. Gramsci'soriginalitydevelopedwithintheconfines on P5 of Marxist He alwaysinsisted orthodoxy. pp." againstiron laws which state that the most advanced forms of capitalismundergosocialist revolutionfirst. whichareindispensbeingsentersocialrelations of theirwill (PI). of an orienting level of meta-theory. Without a collapse. ry of capitalismon the basis of its economy competitive versus monopoly. as 352-3). its systematiccritiqueof "positivism" of sufficiently specific thedevelopment restricted theoriesthatwouldstandup to Lakatos'scriteria of scientific growth.263). 138.253.

moves through threestages:first.promise and by ideological apparatuses Manifesto. Workingfrom theoryprovedprophetic.second. At this saw 1871 as markingthe beginningof the de. He saw the state as the profitsof capital(Przeworski1985.compromise forLenin's"irreconcilability of class ety"to organizeand structure interestsin accor. 126) . etc.Bourgeoishegemony. Concessionselicit Gramscimade corresponding the innovationsin the consent of workerswithoutthreatening the theory of the state.His theorieshaveprothatthe economicbase set parameters for politicalandideoterrain erationandon the effects of the superstructures.of historicalmaterialism. Its stabilityrests on economic growth simplynegativeandrepressivebut also positive anda capitalist class prepared to makeeconomic and "educative" not simply the militaryand sacrifices.the mass strike.a ing attention organization .ideology. andsocialmovements. Thus.stead.it has to buildan alternative itself for civil society. andthird. anarchic versus organized. there was a properrelation hegemony and in building class alliances. Orbetween state and civil society. continues to hold sway while socialist Gramsciarguedthatclass strategy.MARXISMAS SCIENCE 789 imperial. essentialinterestof thatclass.at least in the West.but al mechanism whichconcessionsareexthrough managesto win the activeconsentof those over tractedfrom capital and redistributed to other whom it rules"(1971. stituted politicalactorsas classes. revolution the permanent rev. the theoryof class formationin The Communist constructedin civil society throughclass comof the of class strug.the party. 244). . combination into sectoralassociations(tradeasGramsciperiodizedit on the basis of its political sociationsin thecase of capitalists ortradeunions institutions. substituting of socialismalreadywithA war of movement(assaulton the state)could figurativeinstitutions only be successfulaftera warof positionhas re.The from partyis to the workingclass whatthe stateis to calledfora changein revolutionary strategy one that emphasizedseizure of state power to the capitalist class. for the transformation hegemonyby churches. vided an important Aboveallhisrewriting of Marxist As in Marx'spoliticalworksthe economy con.the state. and education."In so doing he underlinedthe of capitalism. in which war "a concretephantasythat would act on the diswill to arouseandorganize of positionfollows warof movement. p. tradeunions. the State was every. but it does not have access to one thatcalled for the conquestof civil society. statetrembleda sturdystructure of civil society subordinate groupsmustassumea criticalrole in was at once revealed" (1971. and with faith in. an "economicThe complex of privatebut nationalorganiza.and extendedthe exolution.Ideology . any such warof position.andpoliticalpartiesas well as the cre. 238).law. backward ings. to the warof position.as built civil society.logicalstruggle.its collective will" (1971. of capitalist dancewith the preservation strength hegemonywhichcouldonly Such a revisedtheoryof politicsandideology be brokenby the modemprince(the party). Democracybecomes the institutiononly justifies and maintainsits dominance.for Gramsciit signalledthe nomic sacrificesin orderto elicit the consentof ascendancyof the bourgeoisieover boththe old the led. He suppliedimmenselyrichtheoriesof edBut Gramsciwas still a Marxist:He insisted ucation. around its commoneconomicinterests. The state is not classes.whichareonly appropriate to earlyor emplarsin Marx's and Engels's political writformsof capitalism. democraon the op. in the West. the police but parliament. and mass media. p. specificallythe rise of civil society. civil society was primordialand gelati. particularly means throughwhich the capitalistclass "not Chapter 4).antagonisms. and when the ganic intellectualsclose to. but these "concessions" don't touch the classes andthe workingclass. nor can it dispense materialconcesInof schools. has given increasEighteenth Brumaire. Lenin's model.point the dominantor leadingclass makes ecomise of capitalism. integrated subordinate classes a politicalor hegemonicphase in which a class into capitalistsociety. In his Prison Notebooks Gramsci rewrote GramscicriticizedLuxemburgand Trotskyfor theoryon the basisof the corepostulates applying to advanced capitalism theories of Marxist .supremely importantin countering bourgeois nous.in the frameworkof capitalism.cy. p.becomes thing. such as the peasantry.tradeunions. Whereashis predecessors presentsits interests as the interests of all. Gramsci substitutedthe possibility of class The stateuniteswith the "trenches of civil soci. . sions to allied classes.corporate"phase when the class is organized tions suchas mass politicalparties. creatingpreationof new arenasof oppositionto capitalism.appliedto persedand shattered Russia because there ". coercion.and characterizations gle in The Class Struggles in France and The state. in the case of workers).

atrophies of proliferation In the face of contemporary fromhisretreats Marxism anomalies.But in attemptingto consummate the truthof all previousMarxisms. to those"dissiWe could do worsethanreturn dent" traditionswithin Marxism that have focusedon the unstableanddynamicaspectsof the . less socialism. Wright1985. of selectinganomaliesfromhistorynora mechapostheuristics them.can be explainedpreciselyin the denialof autonomyto the Marxistresearchprogram.this latesttriumph italism spells the deathof Marxism?Not at all.The result is the same in both cases .ourhistorical to dissolveMarxism.analytical Marxism takes Marxism out of history.a limitedcapacityto first have Neither recognizeandthendigestanomalies. Russian Marxism to the radicalismof the Russianworkingclass.turndependedupon suchdevastating theoretical ing theminto challengesthatspurred growth. ThirdWorldMarxismto engenderedby international underdevelopment capitalism.Jacoby 1981. and stratification Elster 1985.) The expansion of Marxism's progressive the integrity branchesdependedon maintaining of Marxism'sdistinctiveheuristicswhile being responsiveto the worldit soughtto change.namely the collapse of state socialism.Gramsci Marxismbut how are we now to reconstructed of socialismin grapplewith the headlongretreat the East? Just as capitalismgeneratesutopian visions of socialismso statesocialismhas generatedequallyutopianvisions of capitalismas the of capradiant future. As WesternMarxismturnedfrom a dialogue with the workingclass to a dialoguewith bourgeois theoriesof philosophy.Itpossessesneither protects hard-coreassumptionsnor a positive andproblem-solving withits exemplars heuristic Indeedit makesa fetishof opposition machinery. While analytical Marxism insulates itself from historical chalabandonsMarxism'sdislenges. 1985.environmental peace movements (Laclau and Mouffe. The goal is to establisha true Marxistscience by marryingthe techniquesof REVIEW AMERICANSOCIOLOGICAL modem social scienceto all thatis valid anduseful in Marxism.whereasan equallyimportant is to become absorbedby history. challengesthathavebeen eclipsingthe historical growth. game theory (Cohen 1978.Insulating of its theoretical the "motor" itself from its own historicitywhile makingfetishes of clarity and rigor. 1988. analytical philosophy.Without nismforabsorbing It has no internal history Marxismis rudderless.sociology. the weakness of working-class to somovementsand a dwindlingcommitment to indisbeyondMarxism cialismleadsMarxists criminately embrace new social movements which have a nonclass or multiclasscharacter.Such"post-Marxism" with multifarprimacyof economicexploitation andinsteadof a classious formsof domination.analyticalMarxismand post-Marxism between theconnection beforetryingto restore historicalchallengeandtheoretical growth.GermanMarxismwas a responseto reformismin the GermanSocial DemocraticParty. hasthreatened Thisis notthefirsttimethathistory analIndeed. its goal is radical democracy (Bowles and Gintis 1986).mustreston continuing the recipromunism" history. andtherefore Internal historyandexternalhistoryaremutu. fails to grow as a science. whichseeksto bringMarxism intothelastquarter neoclasof the twentiethcenturyby assimilating sical economics. cal balancebetweeninternal andexternal In this concludingsectionI brieflydeal withtwo tendenciesthat threatenthis balcontemporary ance . 1986). The momentousevents of 1989 and 1990 call for a new branchof Marxismthatupof historical holds the mutual interdependence challenge and theoreticalgrowth. and suchas feminism.790 FAREWELLTO MARXISM? In coming to termswith the absenceof revolumay have successfully tion in the West.civil rights.Surely. Przeworski1985). Typicalin this respectis analyticalMarxism.on the otherhand.The degeneratingcharacterof Soviet Marxism. one that reflects back on earlierbranchesas well as on the Marxistcore. replacesthe Boggs. Roemer 1986. post-Marxism tinctive theoreticalautonomy. (See also Lichteim 1961. Anderson 1976.andeconomics. From this perspective. Post-Marxismgets lost in the web of history where everythingis and explanationis thereforeimpossiimportant which a negativeheuristic ble.it has becomemoreconcernedwith acathanthe challengesof histodemicrespectability ry. ysis has shown thatthe growthof Marxismhas set backs. a means hasneither andtherefore to all heuristics. analyticalMarxism as science. had much to say aboutthe most profoundchallenge to Marxism.analytical modemtrend tory.while Western Marxismwas a responseto the failureof revolutionandto the rise of fascism.the collapse of the one leads ally constitutive to the collapse of the other.the break-upof "com.The emergenceof a new belt of theoryor to meetthe of Marxism morelikelya new branch challengeof the East . theory.

In all East (2) demonstrate that the combinationof public shapingpatterns and marketsis European countries. The open attack on Marxism-Leninism in the themorethe apparatus elements Soviet Union. andthegreater mustbe the initialchaos though we have a great deal to learn from the accordingly of conceptions. outas they Disillusionedby eventsnot turning to statesocialismthanto advancedcapitalism. The longer the present state of affairs continues. therefore. futureis undermoreintenseassault.and second.for exthe SovietUnionas a transitionample.issues:first. 791 socialismto capitalismis a reversalof the progressivemovementfromfeudalismto capitalism to communism (P6).and bringsthe thinking of society to despair.eitherinfeasibleor wouldnot solve the econom-inatedby anticommunism. 251)." dent MarxistRudolfBahroshowedhow central the collapse of capitalismand more sure of the of themeansof production fettered the pathto communismif it did collapse.ical theory'sbelief in the durability of capitalism consciousness" with revolutionary turnedcommunisminto a utopianvision.eachgeneration from state own The God That Failed (Crossman 1949).MARXISM AS SCIENCE Soviet Union.capitalismbrings the prehistoryof dynamics. Only Stalin believed in the possibility of socialismin the Soviet Union.This has been the lost of EasternEurope. its burialin EasternEurope. were on the roadto class power. the more consistently it the movementtowarda world wide hegemony for themselves obstructsthem from understanding of on the other are all as capitalism presented the possible changes. ability of such a society is called into question. and redistribution of surplus.Konrad state socialismas a society based on the central human society to a close.it would be fallacious to concludefrom the failureof but one of disorganization (1978. In the transition from"actually" existing social. Concluding his analysis of the degenerationof Soviet society Trotskywrote:"Thefall of the presentbureauif it were not replacedby a cratic dictatorship. then the more do all the evidence the Alof socialism.RussianMarxismwas less sureof existingin socialism. Othershave insisted on the sui generis character More interestingand more profound is the of the Soviet Union and tried to work out its challengeto P7: As the last antagonistic mode of andSzelenyi(1979) theorized production. they arguedthat intellectuals ism the likelihood of the rise of communism.communism. andP7. On the face of it the transition .belief in the possibilityof a communist advance calls potential (P2andP3). fromPlekhanov to TrotskyandLenin.with the possibleexception ownershipwith democratization of Bulgaria.reactionto the political and state socialism's successes (underthe most adof the pasthas been crucialin versecircumstances) ideologicalterrain andnotjust its failures. 308).Trotskyandhis followers. GermanMarxismbelieved in the inevitabledeAnticipating the contemporary crisis of what mise of capitalism andthepossibleemergenceof he calls"actually thedissi. p.ButP5 argues thatsuccessful transition beyondcapitalismcan only takeplace when the materialconditionsare present.regarded al form between capitalismand socialism and therefore inherentlyunstable.Technological for higherlevels of educationamongall classes.while critownership forces of production andat the sametime gener.the likelihoodof the demiseof capilective interest is an inherently activ.and of class struggle(P4). given the demise of capitalintellectual ity and.Not only is the pathto communismblockedbut the very viwhich in turncreatesits own opposition. its own ideological space nor the political capacity to statesocialismso effectivelydiscredited defendits own interests. ideology and because it equally effectively deIf PI.which divides into two collective interest. against feasibility energiesfocus simplyon destroyingthis apparatus. P3 andP4 workbetterwhen applied mobilizedits workingclass.The competinginterpretations appropriation of this postulatehave dominantclass of "teleologicalredistributors" traditionally revolved aroundthe possibility of legitimatedtheirappropriation in the name of a arrivingat communism. p. democracyand free ic problemsof socialism.wouldthusmeana return to declineof capitalistrelationswith a catastrophic industryand culture"(Trotsky [1936]1972.it of Marxists writesits would seem that the greaterchallenge is to P6 hadhoped. As we have seen.talism. its formsthatsocialismin generalis impossible. new socialistpower.lost because The workingclass has hadneitherthe opportunity enterprise. ated"surplus Today. P2. the greater the danger of mere experienceof state socialism.That socialismcould neveremergein backward Russia withoutrevolutionin the West was a central tenet of all Marxismfrom Marxto Kautskyand Luxemburg.At least such a claim would have to (1) explain ism to capitalism. ideologicaldiscoursehas beendom.The definitionof such a col.

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