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This is the first of Lucio Colletti's books to be translated into English, in which he considers the scientific character of Marxism. In contrast to the pre-occupation with Hegel and his contribution to the formation of Marx's thought, Colletti goes back on the one hand to the founders of political economy and on the other to Rousseau. In Rousseau's critique of 'civil society' Colletti isolates a crucial watershed in the development of a counter-theory to modern bourgeois society.
The second of Colletti's central concerns is with the unity of Marxism. For him it is an integral science of history and of society which denies the pretensions of bourgeois sociology to any scientific status. His attack is concentrated on Max Weber and his epigone Karl Mannheim, but has wider implications for sociology in general. This is followed by a devastating critique of Bernstein's evolutionist 'revision' of Marx.
From Rousseau to Lenin also contains a polemical study of Marcuse's 'neo-romantic utopianism', and the masterly statements of the contemporary relevance of Lenin's State and Revolution and Marx's Capital to the struggle for the overthrow of capitalism.