By Laurence Cox
We stay within the twilight of neoliberalism: the ruling periods can now not rule as prior to, and usual everyone is now not keen to be governed within the previous means. Pursued via international elites because the Nineteen Seventies, neoliberalism is outlined through dispossession and ever-increasing inequality. The refusal to remain governed like this - "ya basta!" - seems in an arc of resistance stretching from rural India to the towns of the worldwide North.
From this community of events, new visions are rising of a destiny past neoliberalism. We make our personal historical past responds to those visions via reclaiming Marxism as a idea born from activist adventure and practice.
This publication marks a holiday either with proven social stream conception, and with these varieties of Marxism which deal with the perform of social stream establishing as an unproblematic procedure. It exhibits how activities can strengthen from neighborhood conflicts to international struggles; how neoliberalism operates as a social circulate from above, and the way renowned struggles can create new worlds from below.
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Extra info for We Make Our Own History - Marxism and Social Movements in the Twilight of Neoliberalism
Thompson once remarked that the question is not whether we are on Marx’s side, but whether he is on ours. The Marx of purely structural analysis is often a rather distant ally at best: naming and criticising capitalism within a fairly narrow ield, but not suggesting what, if anything, we can do about it. If, however, we see Marxism as one of the most important languages in which social movements have spoken theory in the modern world, we can ind other kinds of resources there. Marx did not fashion his theoretical apparatus for the battleields of academia, but for the frontlines of the struggles shaping nineteenth-century society, which in turn shaped his thought.
The reason why Marxism remains a live force in social movements today is not because (say) the concept of neoliberalism carries an evidential force which sweeps all before it, but rather because certain kinds of activist ‘good sense’ transported by Marxism have taught later generations of activists how to make alliances between diferent groups, how to ind common cause around radicalising the critique of broad social structures, how to name elite agency for what it is and how to construct struggles against it in a strategic key.
It is not a determination with which they directly merge. Conscious life activity distinguishes human beings immediately from animal life activity. It is just because of this that they are species beings. (Marx 1981a: 68) It is this mediation of needs and capacities through conscious activity that we see as the core of praxis. This idea was irst articulated through the concept of ‘objectiication’: It is just in her work upon the objective world, therefore, that the human being really proves herself to be a species-being.
We Make Our Own History - Marxism and Social Movements in the Twilight of Neoliberalism by Laurence Cox