EP ends this section ridiculing the entire conceptual vocabulary carefully built by LA, visually depicted in the machines levels, instances, relative autonomy, structure in domination, determination.
- John Ruskin and Switzerland.
- Argentina since Independence!
- E P Thompson: class struggle and historical materialism.
- Addicted to War: Why the U.S. Cant Kick Militarism!
- The New Gods!
- Marxism, Structuralism and Humanism!
Building on the previous arguments, the final sections of the essay are mainly dedicated to positing that Althusserian Marxism amounts to the theoretical structure that underpins and produces Stalinism posthumously and other forms of authoritarian, anti-humanist socialisms. PA reviews the arguments EP makes about capitalism and Capital discussed above. But this makes me all the more thankful to PA for providing a corrective antidote for the extent of my initial reaction. Of course, all this depends on the concrete problem one is trying to address. Or do we? If not, what conceptual tools are we left with?
Consciousness of class arises in the same way in different times and places, but never in just the same way. By re-defining class as a relationship that changed over time, Thompson proceeded to demonstrate how class was worthy of historical investigation. He opened the gates for a generation of labour historians, such as David Montgomery and Herbert Gutman , who made similar studies of the American working classes. A major work of research and synthesis, the book was also important in historiographical terms: with it, Thompson demonstrated the power of a historical Marxism rooted in the experience of real flesh-and-blood workers.
Thompson wrote the book while living in Siddal, Halifax, West Yorkshire and based some of the work on his experiences with the local Halifax population.
In later essays, Thompson has emphasized that crime and disorder were characteristic responses of the working and lower classes to the oppressions imposed upon them. He argues that crime was defined and punished primarily as an activity that threatened the status, property and interests of the elites. England's lower classes were kept undertake controlled by large-scale execution, transportation to the colonies, and imprisonment in horrible hulks of old warships. Time discipline, as it pertains to sociology and anthropology , is the general name given to social and economic rules, conventions, customs, and expectations governing the measurement of time, the social currency and awareness of time measurements, and people's expectations concerning the observance of these customs by others.
Thompson authored Time, Work-Discipline, and Industrial Capitalism , published in , which posits that reliance on clock-time is a result of the European Industrial Revolution and that neither industrial capitalism nor the creation of the modern state would have been possible without the imposition of synchronic forms of time and work discipline. The new clock-time imposed by government and capitalist interests replaced earlier, collective perceptions of time—such as natural rhythms of time like sunrise, sunset, and seasonal changes—that Thompson believed flowed from the collective wisdom of human societies.
However, it is likely that earlier views of time were imposed by religious and other social authorities prior to the industrial revolution, Thompson's work identified time discipline as an important concept for study within the social sciences. Thompson addresses the development of time as a measurement that has value and that can be controlled by social structures.
As labor became more mechanized during the industrial revolution, time became more precise and standardized. Factory work changed the relationship that the capitalist and laborers had with time and the clock ; clock time, became a tool for social control. Capitalist interests demanded that the work of laborers be monitored accurately to ensure that cost of labor was to the maximum benefit of the capitalist.
Thompson left the University of Warwick in protest at the commercialisation of the academy, documented in the book Warwick University Limited He continued to teach and lecture as a visiting professor, particularly in the United States. However, he increasingly worked as a freelance writer, contributing many essays to New Society , Socialist Register and historical journals. During the late s, Thompson acquired a large public audience as a critic of the then Labour government's disregard of civil liberties; his writings from this time are collected in Writing By Candlelight From onward, Thompson was a frequent contributor to the American magazine The Nation.
From , Thompson was the most prominent intellectual of the revived movement for nuclear disarmament , revered by activists throughout the world. In Britain, his pamphlet Protest and Survive , a parody on the government leaflet Protect and Survive , played a major role in the revived strength of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.
M. Scrivener, The Poverty of Theory and Other Essays - PhilPapers
Thompson played a key role in both END and CND throughout the s, speaking at many public meetings, corresponding with hundreds of fellow activists and sympathetic intellectuals, and doing more than his fair share of committee work. He had a particularly important part in opening a dialogue between the west European peace movement and dissidents in Soviet-dominated eastern Europe, particularly in Hungary and Czechoslovakia , for which he was denounced as a tool of American imperialism by the Soviet authorities.
He wrote dozens of polemical articles and essays during this period, which are collected in the books Zero Option and The Heavy Dancers He also wrote an extended essay attacking the ideologists on both sides of the cold war, Double Exposure and edited a collection of essays opposing Ronald Reagan 's Strategic Defense Initiative , Star Wars An excerpt from a speech given by Thompson featured in the computer game Deus Ex Machina The product of years of research and published shortly after his death, it shows how far Blake was inspired by dissident religious ideas rooted in the thinking of the most radical opponents of the monarchy during the English civil war.
In Thompson married Dorothy Towers , whom he met at Cambridge. Thompson died at the age of 69 in Worcester. A gifted linguist, Frank Thompson parachuted into fascist-occupied Bulgaria as part of a "Phantom Brigade" during Operation Mulligatawny.
His body was buried in the War Cemetery of Sofia. After the war, the Bulgarians erected a statue in his honour. Frank Thompson was also a friend and confidant of Iris Murdoch , the philosopher and novelist. Thompson wrote another book about his brother, published in Thompson seriously again". Kolakowski's portrait of Thompson elicited some protests from readers and other left-wing journals came to Thompson's defence.
Thompson as one of the pre-eminent historians of his day. A blue plaque was to the Thompsons was erected by the Halifax Civic Trust. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Not to be confused with Edward Arthur Thompson. Oxford , United Kingdom. Worcester , United Kingdom. Dorothy Towers m. Main article: William Frank Thompson. Times Higher Education.
Retrieved 16 May Thompson, British Marxist Historians, and the making of dissident political mobilization". It is therefore obvious that their backwardness cannot be explained by colonial domination or international social stratifications" p. Another obvious point-obvious that is, once Bauer has brought it to our attention-supports his attack on the exploitation theory of poverty.
A New Practice of Politics: Althusser and Marxist Philosophy
The countries most often accused of exploitation, such as Britain and the United States, themselves started as poor nations. Since they were the first developed economies, their earlier poverty cannot have resulted from economic exploitations by more advanced economies. What then does explain the poverty of nations? The most popular answer appeals to the "vicious circle of poverty. On this account, suppose that a nation, whether through exploitation or otherwise, is now poor.
Once in this state of affairs, it is claimed, it will be unable to extricate itself. The model pivots on the notion that the low level of income itself prevents the investment required to raise it, hence a zero or negligible rate of economic growth" p. As one would by now expect, Bauer's refutation consists of citing an obvious fact. If it were, millions of people could not have advanced from poverty to prosperity within a few years. The theory just mentioned falls into a materialist fallacy: it equates material resources with economic assets.
In doing so, it ignores the ability and enterprise of the people alleged to be inevitably sunk in poverty.
They can save modest amounts even from small incomes to make possible direct investment in agriculture, small-scale trading. The importance of the internal market runs as a constant theme in the book, and Bauer assaults with vigor those who dismiss middlemen as unproductive. On only one point of the carefully structured argument of this book would I venture a criticism, and it is one that arises from the author's virtues. He deems it obvious that the more productive and talented deserve to profit from the increases in consumer welfare their activities generate. Thus, once he can show that wealth arises from superior talent rather than from exploitation, he thinks he has refuted the egalitarian case.
He does not imagine, owing to an excess of common sense, that some egalitarian theorists could acknowledge and then dismiss his point.
They claim that superior talent does not merit reward. Bauer would no doubt dismiss this view as obviously absurd; unfortunately, this absurdity dominates contemporary political theory. Gordon, David. The Mises Review 6, No. View the discussion thread. Skip to main content.