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The State, Social Movements, Party: Interview with Nicos Poulantzas (1979)

The State, Social Movements, Party: Interview with Nicos Poulantzas (1979)

To modify the balance of power within the state, and furthermore, radically modify the materiality of the state, is only one aspect of a democratic transition to socialism. The other aspect of the process depends on, at the same time, grassroots social movements propelling the spread of spaces of direct democracy: in short for movements to ground themselves in popular struggles that always spill over beyond, and keep a distance from, the state.

The Crisis of Marxism (1977)

The Crisis of Marxism (1977)

It is in this profoundly political sense that we are forced today, it seems to me, to speak of a theoretical crisis within Marxism, in order to clarify the ways in which it affects what is called Marxist theory itself: and in particular the fact that a number of apparently infallible principles inherited from the Second and Third Internationals have now been placed in doubt.

Power and Opposition in Post-revolutionary Societies (1977)

Power and Opposition in Post-revolutionary Societies (1977)

The crisis, moreover, goes beyond the purely political domain and invests the realm of theory itself. It is a crisis of Marxism, which is experienced by immense masses as an unacknowledged reality. Marxism – not as a body of theoretical or philosophical thought, but as the great idealistic force that was changing the world – is now groaning under the weight of this this history.

Marxism as a Finite Theory (1978)

Marxism as a Finite Theory (1978)

I believe that Marxist theory is “finite,” limited: that it is limited to the analysis of the capitalist mode of production, and of its contradictory tendency, which opens up the possibility of the transition to the abolition of capitalism and its replacement by “something else” which already appears implicitly in capitalist society.

Crisis Theory

Crisis Theory

In 1977 Louis Althusser gave a famous speech in Venice on “the crisis of Marxism,” a thesis almost as scandalous as that of an epistemological break in Marx’s thought.