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The crises of marxism and the transformation of capitalism

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Chapter Summary

The Marxist theoretico-practical mix can only assert itself as the bearer of the 'spirit of scission' (Sorel) immanent in the capitalist order in so far as it (re)constitutes itself as a 'scissile science',5 irreducibly divided into a multiplicity of tendencies, governed by a relationship of mutual interdependence that takes the form of confrontation. In proclaiming Marxism's entry into crisis towards the end of the 1970s, and in banking on the liberating aspects of this performative statement, Althusser was hardly breaking new ground, contrary to what he himself seemed to think. More profoundly the hypothesis of a change of historical cycle is corroborated 'objectively' by the transformation of capitalism that certainly predated the dramatic reverse of 1989-91, but to which the latter imparted an irresistible force.

Keywords: Althusser; Capitalism; Marxism



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