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

55, No. 6 (Dec., 1990), pp. 775-793 Published by: American Sociological Association Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2095745 Accessed: 29/12/2009 15:38
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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


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)


776 scientificrationality withouteven attempting serious historicalanalysis. As we shall see, they frequently practice preciselytheoppositeof what they preach- expoundinghow science should be conducted withoutexaminingfirsthow it actuallyis conducted.This is particularly clear in philosophers' commentaries on Marxismwhere they assertits nonscientificor pseudoscientific statuswithoutstudyingthe relationship between theirmodelsof scienceandthe historicalgrowth of Marxism. in the secondpartof this Therefore, essayI examinethehistoryof Marxism in relation to Lakatos'smodel of scientificrationality. Thisformsthe basisfor the thirdandfinalpart where I argue that Marxism loses it scientific character when it denies its own historicity,that is whenMarxism renounces thedialogue between its own historicallyemergentrationality and the external historical In othchallengesit confronts. erwords,Marxism is mostsuccessfulas a science when there is balancedreciprocitybetween its internal andexternalhistories.I try to applythis to the challengeto Marxism posedby the demise of "communism" in EasternEuropeandthe Soviet Union. But first,I mustconsidercompeting conceptionsof science. FromInductionto Falsificationism Contemporary philosophyof sciencehas moved from normativeconceptionsthat searchfor the methodof science,to historically rootedcharacterizations thatseek to establishthe logical conditionsfor the growthof knowledge.The early inductive models of science associated with Hume,Mill andthe school of logical positivism (Nagel andHempel)insistedthatscientificlaws be derivedfrom empiricalexaminationsof the facts. Fromthis point of view, Marxism,rather than respondingto the facts, is said to impose itself on the facts. It is ideology, metaphysics, religionor moralpassion,butnot science (Kolakowski 1978, pp.525-6).Durkheimput it bluntly, "Thetruthis thatthe facts and observations assembledby [Marxist] anxiousto theoreticians documenttheiraffirmations arehardlythereexThe research cept to give formto the arguments. studiestheymadewereundertaken to establisha doctrine thattheyhadpreviously rather conceived, than the doctrinebeing the result of research" ([1896] 1958, p. 8). Popper's conclusions about Marxism were similar,but were based on a very differentconceptionof science.In his view, science is not an induction machinewhichderiveslaws fromfacts.

AMERICANSOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW Theoriesnecessarilyprecedefacts becausethey determinewhich facts are relevant.Facts exist neitherto generatenor even to confirm but to falsify theories.Science proceeds,therefore, not througha processof securingthe best fit or "explainingthe greatestvariance"but throughthe refutation of bold conjectures. In Popper'sview the best theoriesarethe ones thatareunlikelyto be trueyet "holdup"undersustained attempts at refutation. Accordingto Popper,Marx's originaltheory of the collapseof capitalism wasjust sucha bold and thus scientific,but it was proven conjecture false and shouldthereforebe rejected."Yet instead of acceptingthe refutations the followers of Marx reinterpreted both the theory and the evidence in orderto make them agree. In this way they rescuedthe theoryfromrefutation; but a devicewhich theydidso atthepriceof adopting made them irrefutable. They thus gave a 'conventionalist twist' to the theory;andby this stratagem they destroyedits much advertisedclaim to scientificstatus" (Popper1963,p. 37; see also Popper 1945, Chapters 15-21). According to Popper,Marxistspursuedconfirmations of their theoriesrather criteriafor their thanestablishing likepsychoanalysis, falsification.Marxism, could notbe provenwrongandtherefore couldnotbe a truescience. PersonalKnowledge As an accountof the historyof science,Popper's "falsificationism" was as flawedas the "verificationism" it was supposed to replace. Great have often come when scientists breakthroughs haverefused to acceptrefutations, whentheyhave falsificationinto a brilliant turnedan apparent corroboration of the original theory. From his of science, Polanyi (1958, Chapter examination wereneverso crucialin 1) concludedthat"data" or greatscientificadvancesas "verificationism" "falsificationism" claimed.Inhis view, datahave often been wrong,ignored,or deceptive,and so sciencecannotbe reducedto an "objective" process linkingtheoryto data,to a "logic"or "algoor "falsification." For rithm" suchas "induction" all its empiricalcontrols,science still has an irreducible "subjective" core based on personal ratherthan impersonalknowledge. Science involves tacit skills which cannot be articulated but have to be learnedthroughapprenticeship (Chapter 4). It calls for passionsto select whatis andto persuade vital,to makeleapsof imagination othersto see the world in a new way (pp. 132-

MARXISMAS SCIENCE 74). Polanyi arguedthat sustainingthese skills, passions,andcommitments is a delicateprocess. It requires a self-regulating communityof scienof politics(Chapter tistswhichis independent 7). For Polanyi,Marxismwas the enemy of true science(pp.227-45). Marxism preached the subordination of science to society, destroyingthe the skills,passions, communitywhichnourished andcommitments of personal knowledge.Basing his view on Soviet Marxismas the prototypeof all Marxism,PolanyiclaimedthatMarxismwas immorality parading in the guise of science. Marxism's universalisticclaims to science establisheda following amongscientistsandat the same time concealedits trueintentions- to establisha totalitarian society that would destroy science. Marxismwas the most interesting case of the "moral force of immorality" (p. 227). Normaland Revolutionary Science Like Polanyi, Kuhn (1962) tied the growth of knowledge to the communityof scientists.He claimedthatthereis no one "scientificmethod." - whether The "scientific method" induction or falsification- is a label for the way we reconthehistoryof scienceto give theimpression struct thatourpresentknowledgeis the natural culminationof an objective,rational processemerging of thehistorical independently andsocialcontext. Real science develops very differently.Here Kuhnwent beyondPolanyi'stheoryof personal knowledgeto establisha more sociologicalconWherePolanyi ceptionof scientificdevelopment. focused on the great advancesin science, what we mightcall exceptionalmomentsof scientific Kuhn distinguishedsuch revolubreakthrough, tionaryscience from whathe called normalsciwork within paraence. Scientists "normally" - thatestablish digmsthataretakenfor granted sharedassumptions, questions,andanomaliesas well as exemplarsor models for solving them. of science is puzzle Whatis most characteristic counterinsolving, absorbingor "normalizing" stancesto a paradigm's theories.In Kuhn'sconof unsolved ceptionof science,the accumulation from emergentcompeting puzzles, andpressure paradigmsleads to a period of crisis in which scientistsbegin to lose confidence in the paradigm. The paradigmbreaksdown and a period of revolutionary science begins in which comvie forthe support of scientists. petingparadigms A period of normalcyis restoredwhen a new is established. consensualparadigm For Kuhn, paradigmsrepresenteddifferent

777 worldviews andas such wereincommensurable andincompatible. werebased Differentparadigms posed differentqueson differentassumptions, presentedscientistswith diftions andtherefore ferentpuzzles.The samedatacouldbe interpreted in differentways, so thatfacts themselvesare Outsidethejudgmentof relativeto theparadigm. the scientific communityitself - its personal knowledge or tacit skills - there could be no forprogress thatwouldestabsinglesetof criteria overanother. of one paradigm lish the superiority is a social,oreven Thechoicebetweenparadigms thana logical process. psychological,rather Kuhn's work was not motivatedby Polanyi's anticommunist zeal and was not concerneddirectly with the scientific status of Marxism. However,he took the existenceof a pluralityof withinthe social scienccompetingframeworks es as evidencethattheyarenottruesciences,that stage.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, pp. viii, 20-1, 160). Kuhn agreed with Popperthat Marxismis not a science, not because it could were notbe falsified,butbecauseits practitioners not primarilyconcerned with normalizing its anomalies(Kuhn1970, pp. 7-8). of ScientificResearchPrograms Methodology Kuhn systematizedand expandedon Polanyi's ideas but failed to clarifyeitherthe internaldynamics of paradigms,the so-called normalscifromone paradigm ence, orthelogic of transition Lakatos(1978) attempted to supply to another.; or such a theoryof the dynamicsof -paradigms, whathe calledscientificresearchprograms,and of the transition fromone program to another. Lakatos's point of departurewas Popper's falsificationtheoryof scientificgrowththrough ism, but he took it to its logical conclusion.According to Lakatos science grows not through the refutation of conjectures but throughthe refutation of refutationsof core theories. While agreeingwithPopperon the defectsof induction, he showed that if theories were rejectedevery time they were confrontedwith a counter-instance, then science would never get off the ground. It woulddrownin anoceanof anomalies. So Lakatosproposedthat scientists,instead of forrejecting their anomalies as grounds regarding theories,refuteanomaliesin orderto defendtheir theories. is what Kuhnhad Refutingcounter-instances



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



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

Table 1. Marx's Seven Postulatesof HistoricalMaterialism



For thereto be history, men and women must transformnatureinto means of their survival,that is they must produce the means of their existence. "In the social productionof their life, men enter into definite relations that are indispensableand independentof their will, relations of productionwhich correspondto a definite stage of the developmentof the productiveforces"(p.4). The "economicbase"or mode of productiondefines the limits of variationof the superstructure. "Thesumtotal of these relationsof productionconstitutes the economic structureof society, the real foundation,on which rises a legal and political superstructure and to which corresponddefinite forms of social consciousness. The mode of productionof materiallife conditionsthe social, politicalandintellectuallife processin general"(p. 4). 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). "At a certain stage of their development,the materialproductiveforces of society come in conflict with the existing relations of production....From forms of development of the productiveforces these relations turn into theirfetters.Then begins an epoch of social revolution"(pp. 4-5).




Class struggle is the motor of transitionfrom one mode of productionto another."With the change of the economic foundationthe entire immense superstructure is more or less rapidly transformed.In considering a distinctionshouldalways be madebetweenthe materialtransformation such transformations of the economic conditions of production, which can be determined with the precision of natural science, and the legal, political, religious, aestheticor philosophic- in short,ideological forms in which men become conscious of this conflict and fight it out" (p. 5). A successful transitioncan only take place when the materialconditions are present. "No social orderever perishesbeforeall the productiveforces for which thereis room in it have developed;andnew, higherrelations of productionnever appearbefore the materialconditionsof theirexistence have maturedin the womb of the old society itself' (p. 5). History is progressive insofar as it follows the expansion of the forces of production."In broad outlines Asiatic, ancient,feudal andmodem bourgeoismodes of productioncan be designatedas progressiveepochs in the economic formationof society" (p. 5). Communismspells the end of social antagonismsandthe beginningof the emancipationof individuals.We no longermakehistorybehindourbacksbut consciously andcollectively. "Thebourgeoisrelationsof production are the last antagonisticform of the social process of production- antagonisticnot in the sense of individual antagonism,but of one arising from the social conditions of life of the individuals; at the same time the productiveforces developing in the womb of bourgeois society create the materialconditionsfor the solution of thatantagonism.This social formationsbrings,therefore,the prehistoryof humansociety to a close" (p. 5).




Source:KarlMarx,[1859] 1978, Prefaceto "A Contribution to the Critiqueof PoliticalEconomy,"pp. 4-5 in TheMarxEngels Readery,edited by RobertTucker,New York:Norton.

While insights into the character of communism, of class struggle,of primitiveaccumulation, and of ideology abound,the majorcontributionof Marx's Capital was his theoryof the withthe indynamicsof capitalism, culminating evitabilityof its demise.It exemplifiedP3 (Table 1):thewayin whichrelations of production would first promoteand then fetter the forces of production. If relationsof productionrefer to the relationsthroughwhich surplusis appropriated, referto the apcapitalistrelationsof production propriation of more labor value from workers

thanthey receivein the formof wages. This surplus value is the originof profit,whereaswages correspondto the costs of goods and services necessaryto reproduce laborpower, thatis, the capacityto work. This was a staticpictureof theisolatedcapitalcomist. Marxmade it dynamicby introducing surviveas petitionamongcapitalists. Capitalists such only insofar as they make a profit. In a situation of perfect competition an individual capitalist canincreaseprofitsby reducingwages, by deskilling, by extending the length of the workingday, by intensifyingwork,butthereare as fromcriticaltheorywhichfinds therealMarxin his definite limits (biologicalandalso legal) to each In my view, the later youthful,Hegelianmanuscripts. of these methods.Technology,however,can adworksrelateto the earlierones as positive heuristicto themost negativeheuristic.The earlycriticaltheoryrepresents vancewithintheselimitsandis therefore the core of the researchprogram which is assumedin distinctivemode of increasingprofit.However, new technologyto once one capitalist introduces the laterspecific analysesof capitalism.

MARXISMAS SCIENCE reducethe cost of production, all the othersmust also introduce thattechnologyor riskbeingdriven out of business.Thisleads to a dualcrisis:On the one handthe rateof profitfalls as the source of profit- surplusvalue - becomes a steadily diminishingproportion of the capitaldeployed; and on the otherhand,crises of overproduction resultas moregoods areproducedthancan find consumers becausewages areso low. Thesetwo crisistendenciesintensifyeach otheras overproductionleads small capitaliststo go out of business, furtherconcentrating capitaland bringing down the rate of profit as well as displacing workers intothereservearmyof theunemployed. The intensificationof crises of overproduction of capital and the corresponding concentration leads on the one handto the destruction of capital, and on the other hand to the formationof cartels,trustsand monopoliesthat stifle further economicdevelopment. If this is how Marxunderstood the way capitalist relationsof productionwere transformed from forms of developmentof the productive forces into theirfetters,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.The same process of accumulation bepolarizesthe class structure tweencapitalandlabor,creatinga workingclass thatis homogenized, anddeskilled. The degraded, workingclass becomes a "class for itself,"first throughskirmishesat the level of the factory, intotrade thenby combination unions,andfinally by forminga workingclass partythatseizes state power.This, at any rate,is the pictureMarxand Engelsdrawin TheCommunist Manifesto ([1848] 1978) which grew out of the Englishexperience in thefirsthalfof thenineteenth Followcentury. theformsof class ing P4 (Table1), theyregarded from one mode of prostrugglein the transition ductionto another as contingenton politicaland ideologicalforms.Whereasin Englandthe process was relativelysimple by virtueof the more in advancedpolarizationof the class structure, Franceit was much morecomplicated. InTheClassStruggles inFrance([1850] 1964) andTheEighteenth Brumaire ([1852] 1963)Marx examinedthe dynamicsof the politicalregime, not the dynamicsof the economy.In Franceecoin the politnomic classes gainedrepresentation ical arenathroughpartiesthatplayed out a system of alliancesgiven by the logic of the formof state.Universalsuffrage,Marxargued,unchains

781 class struggleby throwingclasses into the political arena where they are compelled to parade their true interests.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. A dictatorall classes to itself butruling ship, subordinating on behalfof the bourgeoisie,was to be the final beforecapitalism's politicalsolution denouement. Marxthought it wouldnotlastbecauseit couldn't extend materialconcessions to the subordinate classes, because it would puncturethe illusions of the supporting class of peasantry, andbecause the state daily recreateda political threatto its own existence in the form of the bourgeoisie. Writingtwentyyearslaterwhen the ParisCommune arose on the heels of the collapse of Marx still contendedthat it was Bonapartism, "theonly possiblestateformin whichthe appropriatingclass can continueto sway it over the producingclass,"but at the same time it is "the most prostitute and ultimateform of statepower"([1871]1968, p. 56). ReformversusRevolution By the time of Marx'sdeathin 1883,historywas already casting doubt on his predictions.The concentration and centralization of capital, the emergenceof joint stock companies,cartelsand trustsdid not spell the end of capitalism butonly of competitive capitalism.Nor was the working classdemonstrating therevolutionary fervorMarx expected. In England,the most advancedcapitalist country,the workingclass largely surrenderedits radicalgoals after 1850. In Francethe earlyupsurgeof the workingclass in 1848 was a forerunner of the Paris Communeof 1871, but with its collapse the centerof the workingclass movementshiftedto Germany. 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. Engels had hardlybeen buriedwhen Eduard Bernstein,his disciple and the executor of his will, beganto revisethe hardcore of Marxismto suit the new historical circumstances([1899] 1961; see also Gay, 1952, Tudor and Tudor, 1988). In violation of P3 and P4, Bernsteinargued thatthe expansionof the forces of production was not beingfetteredby capitalist relations of production. On the contrary trusts,credit,and

782 were thepersistence of smallscale entrepreneurs reducingthe severityof crisesandallowingcapitalismto slowly evolve into socialism.Farfrom liberatinghumanbeings throughthe collective directionof society, his vision of socialismviolated P7 by going no furtherthan a modified labor capitalismbased on collective bargaining, legislation and the redistribution of wealth. He viewed socialismas the fulfillmentof the ideals of the bourgeoisrevolution.In proposinga law of increasing democratization thatwould spread of its own accord from political to economic P2. realms,Bernsteinwas also contradicting Revisionism,by definition,is revision of the core to absorb anomalies. It follows Popper's principle of rejecting a theorywhenit is falsified. a new Lakatos, however, wouldadvocate building belt of theorywhichwouldturnan anomalyinto a corroboration of the core. Froma methodologhe would have to endorseLuxical standpoint thatsocialismrequiresthe emburg'sreassertion of capitalism(P7), thatcapitalistresuppression lationsof production sow the seeds of theirown destruction by fetteringthe forces of production (P3), and that class struggle will determine whethercapitalismis followed by socialism or barbarism (P4). InReformor Revolution (Waters[1899] 1970, pp.33-91) Luxemburg refutedBernstein'srefutation of the Marxisttheory of the collapse of capitalism.Bernstein'smechanismsof economic adaptation of werein factmodesof adaptation individualcapitalists.Credit,trusts,and smallsize entrepreneurs reflectedin differentways increasedsecurityfor the individualcapitalistbut of the expansionof capitalism and arelubricants thereby accelerated its demise. In taking the of theindividual Bernstein's standpoint capitalist, to the systemicfeatures theorypaid no attention of capitalism. Later in The Accumulation of Capital ([1913] 1951) Luxemburgdeveloped a of crisesof overproduction theoryof theextension for outletsfor their to the worldlevel. Searching commodities capitalists would seek out new markets through forcible incorporation(colocapinialism) of countriesinto an international talistorder.Whenthe whole worldis dividedup, capitalistcountrieswould be forcedinto warsto redivide it, therebyintensifyingclass struggle. Luxemburgwas the first to recognize the close link between the expansion of capitalism and militarism. Luxemburg accused Bernstein of utopian thinkinginsofaras he thoughtthatthe effects of capitalism could be suppressed without sup-

AMERICANSOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW of wealth itself.Equalization pressingcapitalism of cooperativescould not and the introduction come about throughthe reform of capitalism. She regardedBernstein as equally utopian in a law of increasingdemocracysince postulating she consideredeven bourgeoisdemocracyto be a very fragile form of state, continuallythreatened by the bourgeoisie and defended by the workingclass as a conditionof its emancipation. to this question,The Junius PamIn returning phlet (Waters [1915] 1970, pp. 257-331) addressedthe crisis of Germansocial democracy for the war and anticibroughton by its support patedthe rise of fascism. Equallypropheticwas her analysis of the RussianRevolutionin 1918 the (Waters1970, pp. 365-95) which applauded Bolshevikseizureof power in the most difficult of circumstances,but warned that a necessity seiinto a virtue.Premature shouldnot be turned zuresof powerwere necessaryat times,butthey shouldnot be turnedinto models for all revoluthe trajectory She anticipated tionarytransitions. Without parliamentary of theRussian Revolution: assemblies,withoutfreedomof press and association,"life [woulddie] out in every public inincludingthe Soviets,anddictatorship stitution," of of the proletariat would become dictatorship the bureaucracy (Waters[1918] 1970, p. 391). mustcombineparliamentaSocialistdemocracy ry representationand basic civic rights with foin extraparliamentary popularparticipation rums. While Luxemburgwas able to refute Bernstein's theoryof the evolutionof capitalisminto socialism, she still was faced with the "anomatendenciesof the Germanworklous"reformist ing class. 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. (Waters1970,p. 74). But saidaboutdemocracy" the realizationof democracy'spotentiallay in union classorganization outsidethetrade working and parliamentary terrains.Basing her analysis on the events of the RussianRevolutionof 1905 idealizedthe mass strikeas the uniLuxemburg class struggle. versal weapon of revolutionary The interminglingof political and economic strikes would take the place of street fighting. While recognizing the peculiar conditions in Russia, Luxemburgarguedagainstthose in the the mass Social DemocraticPartywho regarded strikeas a weapon specific to the workingclass in absolutist andeconomicallybackward regimes

MARXISM AS SCIENCE 2). She nevermanaged (Schorske1955, Chapter to reconcileherselfor hertheoryto the reformist tendencieswithinthe workingclass. Whereas radical fromthe departure Bernstein's program,4 coreoriginated a new research Marxist defense of the hardcore led to the Luxemburg's developmentof a new and progressivebelt of new theory- progressivein thatit anticipated phenomena,some of which actually occurred. of both should be contrasted The contributions with Kautsky'sdefense of Marxismwhich reby denyinganomalies. content ducedits empirical to look Kautsky([1891] 1971; 1909) preferred for confirmations of Marxismthanto tackle its by appealing anomalies.He held ontoorthodoxy to P5, arguingthat there was still room for the expansion of the forces of productionwithin capitalismand thatits workingclass was correwas revolution immature. Therefore, spondingly He dealtwiththedivergencebetween premature. theirconvergence theoryandrealityby projecting into an unspecified future. He neither reconstructed the core nor creatednew theory.As the situationin Germanypolarizedduringand after into the widening WWI, Kautskydisappeared revisionism socialdemocratic and gulf separating Marxism. 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, There site situation confronted RussianMarxism. absolutismbasedon a semifeudaleconomy was thegrowthof capitalism andatthe same fettering time creating a powerful and radical working saw the 1905 class.As we haveseen,Luxemburg of a new series of revolutionas the forerunner revolutionsin the West. "The most proletarian backward countryof all,just becauseit has been late with its bourgeoisrevoluso unpardonably tion, shows ways and methods of furtherclass of Germanyand the struggleto the proletariat with canbeidentified 4This newresearch program theworkof Sidney Hook,DanielBell,andSeymour associalist themselves whoallregarded Martin Lipset democratic the progressive becausethey defended Wecan alsoseeEduard Bernstein's ofcapitalism. trends account of the theoryat workin T. H. Marshall's Britishwelfarestate, WalterKorpi'sanalysisof andBowlesandGintis's socialdemocracy Swedish of American fordemocratization society. proposals

783 mostadvanced capitalist countries" (Waters 1970, p.203). Developmentsin Russiaappeared to refute the Marxian idea thatrevolutionwould first breakout in the most advancedratherthan the most backward capitalistcountries.While Luxemburgintuitedthe solutionto this anomaly,it was Trotskywho, as earlyas 1906 in Resultsand Prospects([1906], 1969),developedhis theories of the combined and uneven development of andof permanent revolution to explain capitalism and anticipatethe OctoberRevolution and its aftermath. 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. in Russia by OrthodoxMarxism,represented the towering figure of Plekhanov,arguedthat Russia had to undergo a bourgeois revolution before it could advance to socialism. It was therefore at a loss to exploitthe growingmilitanof the workingclass. By concy andradicalism thattheonlyclass thatcould trast, Trotskyargued carryout a bourgeoisrevolutionin Russia was the workingclass, and by virtueof thatfact the hadto proceeduninterruptbourgeoisrevolution whichcouldonly be edly to a socialistrevolution successfulif it also triggereda revolutionin the West. This was Trotsky'stheory of permanent revolution. 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. Being weak anddependent, the Russian bourgeoisiewas continuallyplundered by a Czaristregime that was threatened militarily by statesbuilton muchmoreadvanced (capitalist)economic foundations.At the same time that absolutismstifled the growth of the forces of production,the establishmentof the most (technically) advanced capitalism in the majorRussiancities createda new and militant workingclass. The majorityof Russianworkers fromtheirland.It did hadbeenrecentlyuprooted not embrace the conservative traditions of Western proletariatswhich had evolved with capitalism.So, when broughttogetherin huge factoriesthe Russianworkingclass displayedall class. the featuresof a revolutionary The novelty of Trotsky'stheoryof combined of and uneven developmentlay in its treatment of capitalistdevelopthe international character mentandits politicalimplications. Accordingto Trotsky,capitalismdid not develop unilinearly

784 in parallelfashion withineach countryas Marx had assumed,butrather jumpedfromone country to another.Uneven developmentled to the of the most advancedandthe most combination backward formsof production, creatingin countries of the "secondrank"a weak bourgeoisie andan explosive workingclass. While the peasantrywas crucialin destabilizingabsolutism,it couldnot leada revolution. Thatrole wouldhave to be adopted by the workingclass, whichwould not be able to stop at the overthrowof absolutism. Precisely because it was a working class andits interestswere therefore at odds with capitalism,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. While creatinga new belt of theory,Trotsky was also true to the Marxistcore. He defended P2 whenhe wroteaboutthe limits of absolutism posed by its economic foundations, P3 when he wroteaboutthe fetteringof forcesof production by absolutism,P4 when he said this would lead to revolution,whose strugglescould not be read off fromeconomicrelations butwouldbe shaped by politicaland ideologicalfactors.In anticipating a socialistrevolutionin Russia,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. Thathe was wrongin his diagnosisof the situation in the West does not detractfrom the fecundityof his theory of combinedand uneven developmentof capitalism.Indeed, 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,such as Braziland SouthAfrica(Seidman1990). Even Trotskydid not precludethe possibility of the defeatof the workingclass in the West.In Resultsand Prospects(1969) he wrotethatfailing a revolutionin the West the Russianrevolution wouldbe aborted andwouldturninwardon itself. He anticipated the broadoutlinesof what actually happenedafter 1917. The tragedy of Trotsky'slife was thathe was destinedto be the agentandthe victim of his own accurate predictions - the involutionof a RussianRevolution thatwas not followed by revolutionin the West,

AMERICANSOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW the process he analyzed with great acuity in Revolution Betrayed([1936] 1972). Stateand Revolution WhenLeninsteppedoff the sealedtrainat Petrogradon April3, 1917he surprised all his Bolshevik followers by announcingthat the time was now ripe to seize power and move forwardto socialism.He was in effect declaring his support for Trotsky's theory of permanentrevolution. Furthermore, like Trotsky, he assumed that a Russianrevolutionwould be certainof support from the socialistrevolutionsit would ignite in the advancedWest. But therewas no theoryof thetransition to socialism.German Marxism had studied the collapse of capitalismmore intensively thanthe transition to socialism.Stateand Revolution ([1917] 1967, VolumeTwo, pp. 283376), writtenby Lenin two months before the OctoberRevolution,while he was in hiding,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. Workingwith the positive heuristicthey had establishedin their political writingshe constructedan entirelynew belt of theory. Indeed, it is difficult to appreciatethe stateof MarxisttheorybeforeLeninbecauseinevitablywe readit, whetherpositively or negatively, through the prism of Lenin's theories (Polan 1984, Chapter one). 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," which would then evolve into communism. He assumedthatthe objectiveconditions would be present(P3) and so reducedthe problem of transitionto a question of state power and (P4). The capitaliststatehadto be destroyed, a new state- the dictatorship of the proletariat - had to be set up in its place. This dictatorship wouldwitheraway,leavingcommunism behind. For all the referencesto events of his time, this was an abstract modelof "objective possibility." It did not consider the concrete circumstances tranwhich mightthwartor fosterany particular sition. Leninarguedagainsttwo othermodels:orthodox Marxism, andanarrepresented by Kautsky, chism. Both models reduced the transitionto communismto a single stage. Kautskysaw the

MARXISMAS SCIENCE in termsof the reformof the capitalist transition stateby a workingclass partyvoted into office. Lenin counteredKautskyby arguingthat capitalist democracywas capitalistin content and provided democraticin form. While parliament the political resources(freedomof speech and organization, a public platform,etc.) to forge a solidaryworkingclass, it also protectedthe inclass by obscuring thereal terestsof thecapitalist mechanisms of power. Parliamentsgave the people an illusionof power,while the real business went on behind the scenes through the thousandsof threadsthat connected the bourandthebureaucracy. Were geoisie to themilitary a socialistpartyto prevailin parliament it would not be able to breakthose ties. The anarchists, on the otherhand,demanded of the capitaliststatebut considthe destruction eredthis sufficientto move straight intocommunism. Lenin defendedthe necessity of a transitional state- the dictatorship of the proletariat -that would lay the economic and the political foundationsfor communism.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. Lenin wrote that the dictatorship bourgeoisie would have to defend bourgeois rights and formal equalityand it would in that sense be a bourgeoisstate.This was a necessary featureof thetransitional stage.At the sametime thepolitical taskof the dictatorship of the proletariatwould be to establisha radicaldemocracy which would guaranteethe witheringaway of formof state.This required this democratic first, thatstateofficials be elected, be subjectedto inworker's stant recallandbe paidanaverage wage, second,thatthe milireplacingthe bureaucracy; tary,understood by Leninas the standingarmy, be abolishedand armedworkersset in its place; third, that parliamentbe transformedfrom a "talkingshop"into real workingbodies, thatis into Soviets. We have here an instanceof fruitfuldialogue between rival traditionsin which MarxisminWhilerethe challengeof anarchism. corporates as utopiansfor thinkingit gardingthe anarchists was possibleto skipthe stageof socialism,Lenin tooktheirfearof the emergenceof a new formof statevery seriously.It was not enoughto eliminate one class - the bourgeoisie- we must thata new class would not emerge,in guarantee a class of officials and experts.Lenin particular thoughtthatadvancesin technologywould per-

785 mit the reductionof statefunctionsto "accounting andcontrol," therebylimitingthe possibility of the rise of a new class basedon its monopoly of knowledge. The very radicalismof his proposed democracytestifies to his recognitionof thedangers of bureaucratization andofficialdom. 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,therearosea new guarantee class of statebureaucrats who monopolizedcontrol over the means of production, undermining both the principleof rewardaccordingto labor and the possibility of effective planning.Why did events turnout this way? The Russianrevolution took place in a semi-feudal agrarian country,alreadyexhaustedand defeatedin war. Far from aiding the RussianRevolution,Western statesblockadedthe Soviet Union and promoteda civil waragainst thefledglingstate.These were not the best conditionsfor establishinga radicaldemocracy. to Still it may be the case that this transition socialismis inherently infeasible.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, over the bourgeoibeginningwith a dictatorship sie and the creationof the economic conditions of communism,whatwe mightcall state socialism. Only much latercan radicaldemocracybe introduced. 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,andin theendfight for, democratization. to Dependency FromImperialism Whatled Leninto changehis mindandpropose the overthrowof the ProvisionalGovernment when he arrivedin Russiain April 1917? It was notsimplyopportunism. Likeso muchof Lenin's political strategy,his decision was rooted in a of the decline of capitheoretical understanding talismon a world scale, as workedout in Imperialism:TheHighestStageof Capitalism ([1916] 1967, Volume One, pp. 667-768; see also Harding 1983, Volume Two, Chapters 2 and 3).

786 WhereasTrotskyanalyzedthe political consequences of the expansion of capitalism into backward countries, Lenin projected Marx's economic theory of capitalismonto the world level. 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.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). Influencedby Hilferding's classic, Finance Capital ([1910] 1981), Lenin argued that the concentration of capitaltook place not only in butalso in finance.He postulated industry a new stageof capitalism, defined monopolycapitalism, by the rise of a financialoligarchywhich bound togetherinternational financeandindustrial cartels. Whereasthe earlierstage of capitalismwas characterized by the overproduction of consumer goods, this new stage saw the overproduction of capital,which sought "superprofits" through exportto backwardcountries.When the whole world had been divided up among cartels and there was no furtheroutlet for excess capital, thenonly throughimperialist warscouldterritoriesbe redistributed The amongcapitalist nations. instability broughtaboutby the unevendevelopment of capitalismon a world scale would lead inevitablyto imperialistwars among the most countries. National warswould powerful capitalist precipitatecivil wars between classes as the working class realized the costs of supporting theirown bourgeoisie. had formulated Luxemburg an earlierversion of this argument, butLenin'swas the most comprehensive reconstruction of theoriginal Marxian of capitalism. It addressed theoryof thedynamics a numberof anomaliesand made a numberof some of which indeedcame to pass. predictions, Thus,Lenin,neverone to ignorethe importance of nationalism, thata majorchallenge anticipated to capitalismwould come from warsof national liberationin the colonized ThirdWorld. In the core countries,on the otherhand,Lenin argued thatthe spoilsof imperialism wouldtrickledown to the workingclass to create an aristocracy of labor.Therefore, certainsectionsof the working class had a definitematerial interestin imperialism, and this was the materialbasis of the "reformism" of socialdemocratic andof their parties supportfor nationalwars. Lenin also saw how the expansion of capitalism into backward

AMERICANSOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW countrieswould uprootthe populationand provide a pool of cheap labor,furtherbalkanizing the labormovementin advancedcapitalist countries.In characterizing the worldsystemin terms of core,colonizedandsemi-independent nations Lenin had already anticipated contemporary worldsystemsanalysis. Perhapsthe most contentiouspartof Lenin's argument was the inevitability of imperialwars. This was a directchallengeto Kautskywho argued thatimperialism was a policy preferred by financecapital rather thananinevitable outgrowth of capitalism.The weak link in Lenin's argumentwas the one tyingthe divisionof the world amongcartelsto the divisionof the worldamong nations. He assumed that nation states are the of cartels.But if the latterbecome instruments trulyinternational they have no nationalaffiliation and stateswouldbe less andless compelled to enterwarson theirbehalf. Indeed,one can reconstruct Lenin's argument as follows. The more international capital becomes (i.e., the more it does not recognize nationalboundaries), the more stateswill compete witheachother forcapital. Theautonomy of states refersto their"freedom" to inducecapitalto invest within particular nationalboundaries.The changingstatusof the statein relationto capital is akinto the transition fromserfto wage laborer, from bondage to formallyfree labor. In short, formalautonomy, increasing farfromindicating an increasing strengthof the state, reflects a transformation in the character of its subordinationto capital.Thistransformation of worldcapitalismis reflectedin recenttheorizingaboutthe of the state.Sucha vision of the world autonomy economy sheds light on currentinterestin "dependent development"and "bringingthe state back in" (Evans, Rueschemeyerand Skocpol 1985). But if my analysisis correct,to recognize the formalautonomyof the stateis also to recognize its actualweaknessin the presentconfiguration of worldcapitalism. What,then,is the significanceof imperialism? is the vehicle thoughwhichcapitalImperialism ismbecomestrulyinternational, it plants whereby itself in economicallyunderdeveloped countries and from thererepatriates profitsto core counhas established tries.Butonce capitalism itself at a world level, directpoliticalcontrolof less developedcountriesis no longernecessaryandcolonialism loses its raison d'etre. The external constraintsof capitalism become internalized withincountries in theformof class alliancesand class formation(Cardosoand Faletto 1979). As



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

788 an elaboramost generalcritiqueof domination, tion of PI. In their hands adherenceto P7 became less a commitmentto the inevitabilityof communismand more a critiqueof the irratioexistinghistory. nalityof all hitherto Habermas(1984, 1987) has undertakJUrgen en the heroictask of saving criticaltheoryfrom degeneratinginto nihilism by reunitingit with On the one materialism. sociology andhistorical handhe extendedthe Marxiananalysisof reificationfromthe economicsystemto the political system, while on the other hand he drew on Durkheimand Mead to constitute potentially action,that realmsof communicative autonomous institutions publicandprivate is self-detenrining where dominationis limited. The strugglebetween system and lifeworld rather than the betweenclasses suppliesthe dynamicof struggle rescueof modemsociety.However,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. andfecundcriticaltheHoweverilluminating ory was, its systematiccritiqueof "positivism" of sufficiently specific thedevelopment restricted theoriesthatwouldstandup to Lakatos'scriteria of scientific growth. Habermas'sbrilliantsynthesisremains,like thatof TalcottParsons,at the framework, of an orienting level of meta-theory, ratherthan scientifictheory.Only Gramsciwas the Marxistframework able to both reconstruct and also deliver the rudimentsof a scientific theoryof superstructures. Gramsci'sTurnto the Superstructures The failureof revolutionandthe rise of fascism in the West led criticaltheoryaway fromMarxism, but it had the oppositeeffect on the Italian his youthful socialistAntonioGramsci.It turned in a Marxist direction. Thus,in 1918 voluntarism to the RussianRevolutionas a Gramscireferred "revolutionagainst Capital," againstiron laws which state that the most advanced forms of capitalismundergosocialist revolutionfirst. 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. In this later analysis,the subjectivemomentin history became the vehicle for consolidating capitalismas well as the only meansfor mountchallenge. ing a revolutionary

AMERICANSOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW Gramsci drew on Marx's Theses on Feuerbach ([1845] 1978, pp.143-5) to make explicit the indeterminism in the seven postulatesof hisGramsciagreesthathuman toricalmaterialism. whichareindispensbeingsentersocialrelations of theirwill (PI), butthese able andindependent relationsare not entirelyexternal,since knowledge of them can change them (1971, pp. 244, as 352-3). Thus,Gramscisaw the superstructure arisingout of the economicbase (P2), butit was ("human will")to possiblefor the superstructure react back on the base ("economic structure") (1971, pp. 366,403). The hallmark of Gramsci'swritingslies in the he gives to the realmof degreeof independence But whatdid he say aboutthe "superstructures." to a commitment economy?Heretoo he retained Whilehe maintained that historicalmaterialism. wouldfetterthe forcthe relationsof production es of productionand thus generate economic crises(P3), he did not believe thatby themselves these economic crises would lead to the breakdown of capitalism (1971, p.178). Without a collapse,politicsandideolotheoryof automatic Gramsci, gy assumedmuch greaterimportance. therefore,made much of the distinctionof P4 between the relationof social forces ("closely of objective,independent linkedto the structure, with the humanwill andwhichcan be measured systems of the exact or physical sciences")and the realm of subjective will formation- the political and ideological forms in which men becomeconsciousof the conflictbetweenforces andfightit out (1971, andrelations of production pp. 138, 162, 180-1, 365, 371-2). Gramsci'soriginalitydevelopedwithintheconfines on P5 of Marxist He alwaysinsisted orthodoxy. has been an ordercannotperishuntilits potential exhausted andtheseedsof a new societyhavebeen created(1971,p. 177),andhetookforgrantedthatthe of theforcesof production wouldleadto expansion development ofhistory (P6).Hesaw theprogressive communism as a societyin whichthe economyis turned froma structure of domination into an inof emancipation strument (p. 367). Not only is the relationshipbetweenbaseandsuperstructurereversed, into thesuperstructure thestate isabsorbed butwithin civilsociety(1971,pp.253,263).ThiswasGramsof theendof prehistory ci's interpretation (P7). On the basisof thisreconstituted core,Gramsci expandedthe positive heuristicof Marxism giving greaterautonomyto the realmof the suRatherthanperiodizingthe histoperstructures. ry of capitalismon the basis of its economy competitive versus monopoly, national versus



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

790 FAREWELLTO MARXISM? In coming to termswith the absenceof revolumay have successfully tion in the West,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.Surely,this latesttriumph italism spells the deathof Marxism?Not at all. hasthreatened Thisis notthefirsttimethathistory analIndeed,ourhistorical to dissolveMarxism. ysis has shown thatthe growthof Marxismhas set backs,turndependedupon suchdevastating theoretical ing theminto challengesthatspurred growth.GermanMarxismwas a responseto reformismin the GermanSocial DemocraticParty, Russian Marxism to the radicalismof the Russianworkingclass, ThirdWorldMarxismto engenderedby international underdevelopment capitalism,while Western Marxismwas a responseto the failureof revolutionandto the rise of fascism. (See also Lichteim 1961; Anderson 1976;Jacoby 1981.) The expansion of Marxism's progressive the integrity branchesdependedon maintaining of Marxism'sdistinctiveheuristicswhile being responsiveto the worldit soughtto change.The degeneratingcharacterof Soviet Marxism,on the otherhand,can be explainedpreciselyin the denialof autonomyto the Marxistresearchprogram.The emergenceof a new belt of theoryor to meetthe of Marxism morelikelya new branch challengeof the East - the break-upof "com- mustreston continuing the recipromunism" history. cal balancebetweeninternal andexternal In this concludingsectionI brieflydeal withtwo tendenciesthat threatenthis balcontemporary ance - analyticalMarxismand post-Marxism between theconnection beforetryingto restore historicalchallengeandtheoretical growth. As WesternMarxismturnedfrom a dialogue with the workingclass to a dialoguewith bourgeois theoriesof philosophy,sociology,andeconomics,it has becomemoreconcernedwith acathanthe challengesof histodemicrespectability ry. Typicalin this respectis analyticalMarxism, whichseeksto bringMarxism intothelastquarter neoclasof the twentiethcenturyby assimilating sical economics, analytical philosophy, game theory (Cohen 1978; theory, and stratification Elster 1985; Roemer 1986, 1988; Wright1985, Przeworski1985). The goal is to establisha true Marxistscience by marryingthe techniquesof

REVIEW AMERICANSOCIOLOGICAL modem social scienceto all thatis valid anduseful in Marxism.But in attemptingto consummate the truthof all previousMarxisms,analytical Marxism takes Marxism out of history, challengesthathavebeen eclipsingthe historical growth.Insulating of its theoretical the "motor" itself from its own historicitywhile makingfetishes of clarity and rigor, analyticalMarxism as science. atrophies of proliferation In the face of contemporary fromhisretreats Marxism anomalies,analytical modemtrend tory,whereasan equallyimportant is to become absorbedby history. From this perspective, the weakness of working-class to somovementsand a dwindlingcommitment to indisbeyondMarxism cialismleadsMarxists criminately embrace new social movements which have a nonclass or multiclasscharacter, and suchas feminism,civil rights,environmental peace movements (Laclau and Mouffe, 1985; replacesthe Boggs, 1986).Such"post-Marxism" with multifarprimacyof economicexploitation andinsteadof a classious formsof domination, less socialism, its goal is radical democracy (Bowles and Gintis 1986). Post-Marxismgets lost in the web of history where everythingis and explanationis thereforeimpossiimportant which a negativeheuristic ble.Itpossessesneither protects hard-coreassumptionsnor a positive andproblem-solving withits exemplars heuristic Indeedit makesa fetishof opposition machinery. a means hasneither andtherefore to all heuristics, of selectinganomaliesfromhistorynora mechapostheuristics them.Without nismforabsorbing It has no internal history Marxismis rudderless. fails to grow as a science. andtherefore Internal historyandexternalhistoryaremutu- the collapse of the one leads ally constitutive to the collapse of the other. While analytical Marxism insulates itself from historical chalabandonsMarxism'sdislenges, post-Marxism tinctive theoreticalautonomy.The result is the same in both cases - a limitedcapacityto first have Neither recognizeandthendigestanomalies. had much to say aboutthe most profoundchallenge to Marxism,namely the collapse of state socialism. The momentousevents of 1989 and 1990 call for a new branchof Marxismthatupof historical holds the mutual interdependence challenge and theoreticalgrowth, one that reflects back on earlierbranchesas well as on the Marxistcore. to those"dissiWe could do worsethanreturn dent" traditionswithin Marxism that have focusedon the unstableanddynamicaspectsof the

MARXISM AS SCIENCE Soviet Union.Trotskyandhis followers,for exthe SovietUnionas a transitionample,regarded al form between capitalismand socialism and therefore inherentlyunstable. Concluding his analysis of the degenerationof Soviet society Trotskywrote:"Thefall of the presentbureauif it were not replacedby a cratic dictatorship, new socialistpower,wouldthusmeana return to declineof capitalistrelationswith a catastrophic industryand culture"(Trotsky [1936]1972, p. 251).


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

792 however,lives on becausenew generMarxism, ations are continuallydrawnto its compelling heuristics,both its hardcore andits belts of theory (see, for example,Gouldner1985, PartIII). In the short run, the demise of state socialism the viabilityof the Marxistproject, may threaten butin the long runI believe Marxism'svitalityis assured.First,the demise of statesocialismwill liberateMarxismfrom the corrosiveeffects of branch.In Soviet Marxism,its most degenerate the debateover the possible meaning particular, of state of socialismas well as the shortcomings socialism will no longer be bound by MarxistLeninistorthodoxy andits disdainfor alternative Second, since capitalismshows no blue-prints. to its own irrationalities, signsof findingsolutions therewill be a continualstimulusto searchfor socialistsolutions.Third,Marxismstill provides a fecundunderstanding of capitalism'sinherent contradictions and dynamics. With the ascendancy of capitalismon a world scale, Marxism will therefore, once more, come into its own. In guarantees theseways,thelongevityof capitalism the longevityof Marxism.They arelike siamese twins - the demise of the one dependson the demiseof the other.
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