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For Marx

A milestone in the development of post-war Marxist thought.

This is the work in which Louis Althusser formulated some of his most influential ideas. For Marx, first published in France in 1968, has come to be regarded as the founding text of the school of “structuralist Marxism” which was presided over by the fascinating and enigmatic figure of Louis Althusser. Structuralism constituted an intellectual revolution in the 1960s and 1970s and radically transformed the way philosophy, political and social theory, history, science, and aesthetics were discussed and thought about. For Marx was a key contribution to that process and it fundamentally recast the way in which many people understood Marx and Marxism.

This book contains the classic statements of Althusser's analysis of the young Marx and the importance of Feuerbach during this formative period, of his thesis of the “epistomological break” between the early and the late Marx, and of his conception of dialectics, contradiction and “overdetermination.” Also included is a study of the materialist theater of Bertolazzi and Brecht and the critique of humanist readings of Marxism. Since his death in 1990, Althusser's legacy has come under renewed examination and it is increasingly recognized that the influence of his ideas has been wider and deeper than previously thought: reading For Marx, in its audacity, originality and rigor, will explain why this impact was so significant.

Reviews

  • “One reads him with excitement. There is no mystery about his capacity to inspire the intelligent young.”
  • “Louis Althusser traversed so many lives… so many personal, historical, philosophical and political adventures; marked, inflected, influenced so many discourses, actions and existences by the radiant and provocative force of his thought… that the most diverse and contradictory accounts could never exhaust their source.”

Blog

  • Happy Birthday Karl! A Marx Reading List to celebrate the day of his birth.



    Although born in the early 19th century, the relevance of Karl Marx's ideas for analysing 20th and 21st century capitalism, as well as for understanding the political and economic struggles and changes of his own day, remain vital and essential.

    Here, Verso present a Marx Reading List for that world-changing historical thinker, born 196 years ago today.

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  • Žižek and Badiou, Id and Ego of the Left Academia

    Žižek and Badiou. The inseparable duo of leftist philosophers has been sharply characterized by John Eperjesi in an article published yesterday in the Huffington Post:

    If we were to apply Freud's model of the psyche to left academia, Zizek would be the id, twitching, telling dirty jokes, uttering obscenities, promiscuously combining comments on sex, politics, art, science and popular culture. Badiou would be the ego, offering a calm, steady defense of communism, universality and truth. Which means that the superego would have to be Noam Chomsky, struggling to repress the id with his prohibitions on theory and abstraction.

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Other books by Louis Althusser Translated by Ben Brewster