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On the Future of HistoryThe Postmodernist Challenge and Its Aftermath$
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Ernst Breisach

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780226072791

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226072814.001.0001

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What Kind of Marxism in Postmodernity?

What Kind of Marxism in Postmodernity?

(p.169) 19 What Kind of Marxism in Postmodernity?
On the Future of History
University of Chicago Press

The contest of ideas between Marxism and poststructuralist postmodernism has been especially tumultuous because its issues were of large proportions, involved sharply antagonistic positions, and touched many lives directly. Marxists defended their versions of the progress theory, which had a theoretical structure honed in decades of conflicts, discussions, and revisions. Against them, poststructuralist postmodernists put an antiprogressive theory to end all systematic theories, especially those marked by a telic linearity. At stake in the struggle was the elaborate and dogmatic Marxist scheme of history affirmed by the Second International (1889) and subsequently refined and revised by theoreticians and regimes. According to that orthodoxy, changing production relations shaped history. Its teleological course displayed a fixed sequence of periods leading from primitive communism to industrial capitalism and onward to an end stage of fully realized economic justice.

Keywords:   antiprogressive theory, Marxism, postmodernism, postmodernity, industrial capitalism, economic justice

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