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Hegemony and Socialist Strategy: Towards a Radical Democratic Politics Paperback – May 17, 2001
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They begin by positing that there are countless groups within a society, each with a series of perspectives and views. Because of this plurality of groups, it is not possible to know which groups will coalesce into a bloc and be able, through their agreed upon ideas also coming together, to exercise hegemony. Different groups have many possible bloc allies. In the United States, there have been times when Jews and African-Americans have united and worked together, for example, with the Civil Rights Act of 1964; there have been other times when these groups have not been able to work together politically in an harmonious fashion, as with the anti-Jewish slogans of some members of the Nation of Islam (Louis Farrakhan, for instance).
What blocs form and produce a new hegemony depends upon a number of factors: the particular issues which become most salient and lead to groups "choosing up sides" on which position to take with respect to the emergent agenda, pre-existing interests and views characteristic of the group, and the extent to which segments of different groups' views can be articulated together in alliance with other groups to become a bloc.
To use the language of post-structuralism, each potential antagonism of one group with another is a "floating signifier,". . .a 'wild' antagonism which does not predetermine the form in which it can be articulated [linked up] to other elements in a social system." Furthermore, rapid change is possible in a current hegemony.Read more ›
The first two chapters reconstruct the emergence of the concept of hegemony going back all the way to the Second and Third Internationals. They look at the work of Rosa Luxemburg, Kautsky, among other to demonstrate how the social fragmentation was continually repressed by the classist paradigm of the orthodox Marxism. For the authors, the problem was the belief that economic relations are somehow more `real' than other political conditions. They aim at essentialist reasoning behind such belief, and how subjective identities are overdetermined by various relations that partly overlap one another.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have to say the book caught me by surprize with the developing story. It builds quite concrete bases for the new neocapitalism we have everpresent these days. Read morePublished on April 4, 2014 by Kasia
I am not a Marxist. That aside, I found this text to be a fascinating introduction to many Marxist writers, concepts, and historical perspectives. Read morePublished on March 2, 2014 by P. Cornett
If you like philosophy, public sphere theory, and Marxism, then you should read this text. It is a challenging yet insightful read.Published on March 13, 2013 by Julie Perino
For those struggling with the book, or thinking about reading it:
The authors assume a great deal of knowledge on the part of the reader. Read more
This book is a great example of the problem with the contemporary left: a paralysis by analysis by academics too comfortable in their lofty ivory tower to actually take any... Read morePublished on November 7, 2006 by Curtis P. White