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Is ‘analytical marxism’ marxism?

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines what really is left of Marxism in analytical Marxism. It discusses some of this work (especially that of Elster and Roemer) in order to explore the extent to which it can be considered 'Marxist'. The conclusion is that analytical Marxism is not Marxism and that, indeed, it is, in essence, anti-Marxist. There are several alternative labels which have been attached to analytical Marxism and its practitioners; they include neoclassical Marxism, game-theoretic Marxism and rational-choice Marxism. Consideration of these labels themselves provides a good point of entry into an examination of analytical Marxism. The chapter says that it would be quite wrong to conclude that analytical Marxism has little to offer Marxists. Analytical Marxism can keep us on our toes. Nevertheless, not only is there not much of Marx left in 'analytical Marxism' but its essential thrust (as traced above) is anti-Marxist.

Keywords: analytical Marxism; methodological individualism; neoclassical Marxism; rational-choice Marxism



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