By Alasdair MacIntyre
Even supposing Alasdair MacIntyre is healthier identified this present day because the writer of "After advantage" (1981), he was once, within the Nineteen Fifties and Sixties, probably the most erudite individuals of Britain's Marxist Left: being a militant inside of, first, the Communist get together, after which the recent Left
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Extra info for Alasdair MacIntyre's engagement with Marxism : selected writings 1953-1974
Sedgwick 1982, pp. 264–5. MacIntyre 1968, p. 714. MacIntyre 1970, pp. 61 & 89. indd xlvii 1/22/2008 5:23:53 PM xlviii • Paul Blackledge and Neil Davidson in something of a performative contradiction, in so far as he rejected the argument that an ideal, pure Marxism can be deployed as an alternative to the reality of Marxism’s history, while accepting an implicitly idealised vision of the struggle for liberation against which the student movement was found wanting. This was a far cry from the criticism he had made a decade earlier of the SLL’s sectarian attitude towards the New Left.
He joined another, less dogmatic one’. 58 Contra Knight, MacIntyre’s shift in political allegiance in 1960 was significant. For, like MacIntyre, the Marxists around International Socialism were at this juncture involved in a project of rethinking the nature of revolutionary leadership. Moreover, like him, their goal was to build upon the ideas of Lenin, Trotsky and Luxemburg without collapsing into the caricatured ultraBolshevism of the SLL. 59 This perspective was, as Shaw suggests, informed by the break made with orthodox Trotskyism by IS’s main theoretician, Tony Cliff.
An essay like ‘Trotsky in Exile’, for example, which first appeared in Encounter, can be seen as part of a far more consistently revolutionary argument alongside similar pieces from International Socialism than it does when read in comparative isolation in the pages of Against the Self-Images of the Age. Annotation One of the characteristics of MacIntyre’s prose, at least in the material included here, is his employment of a classical essay style unencumbered by footnotes and references. In many cases this is because the pieces concerned originated as book reviews, where they are generally disallowed.