Politics in Minutes (2016)

Neo-Marxism

The term ‘neo-Marxism’ is used to describe a number of different movements that arose in the middle of the 20th century, which re-examined Marxism in the light of modern developments and introduced ideas from other disciplines. Disillusion with the way that communism had turned out in practice in the Soviet Union had prompted a reappraisal of Marxist ideas as early as the 1930s, notably by the group known as the Frankfurt School in Germany. Based originally in the Institute for Social Research, this group incorporated elements of sociology and psychology into traditional Marxist theory, while playing down the emphasis on class struggle. In Italy, Antonio Gramsci suggested that economic and class issues, although important, are not the sole motivators of social revolution and that capitalism maintained its power through cultural hegemony, making change seem unthinkable. These neo-Marxist ideas were taken up after the Second World War by theorists such as Michel Foucault in France and the so-called New Left in the USA and Britain.

image