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“…It is often thought that during this period Thompson (1985) became less interested in Marxism as a tradition of critique, given that he spent much of his time criticising the politics of the Cold War, which he did not think were centrally about capitalism and class (Hamilton, 2004). However, within the conference address Thompson (1994a) confirms his distance from Marxism as a stand-alone theory and reaffirms his interest in a moral critique of capitalism that comes from the Romantic period. Thompson then had little time for ‘abstract’ arguments about base and superstructure, ideology and questions of agency, although, as we shall see, they were all questions he sought to address within specific historical contexts.…”
Section: E P Thompson Cultural Marxism and Poeticsmentioning
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“…It is often thought that during this period Thompson (1985) became less interested in Marxism as a tradition of critique, given that he spent much of his time criticising the politics of the Cold War, which he did not think were centrally about capitalism and class (Hamilton, 2004). However, within the conference address Thompson (1994a) confirms his distance from Marxism as a stand-alone theory and reaffirms his interest in a moral critique of capitalism that comes from the Romantic period. Thompson then had little time for ‘abstract’ arguments about base and superstructure, ideology and questions of agency, although, as we shall see, they were all questions he sought to address within specific historical contexts.…”
Section: E P Thompson Cultural Marxism and Poeticsmentioning
“…More to the point was his intense dislike of structuralism and positivism, which he felt were susceptible to authoritarian thinking that took little account of human needs and experience. Marxism in Thompson’s hands was less a system of thinking and more a general commitment to historical materialism, which meant less a concern with historical ‘progress’ towards a preconceived end-point, and more ‘the sense that ideas and values are situated in a material context, and material needs are situated in the context of norms and expectations’ (1994a: 361). What mattered in this respect was how the historical actors themselves understood questions of human need.…”
Section: E P Thompson Cultural Marxism and Poeticsmentioning
“… It may surprise some that, given that he has already been cited, E. P. Thompson's contributions are not discussed in what follows (for example, see Thompson 1991a, 1994 and 1995). Certainly, his work is of considerable importance—see for example his discussions of experience, the dialogue between social being and social consciousness, and ‘determinism’ as the exerting of pressures on human activity rather than anything stronger (see Thompson 1995, 12, 24–26, 63–64, 137–138, 148, 213–214, 220–224, 229–232, 235–237, 300–302 for particularly clear expositions).…”
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“…However, his writings have a tendency to be conceptually imprecise. For instance, he argues that ‘ideas and values are situated in a material context, and material needs are situated in a context of norms and expectations ... From one aspect it is a mode of production, from another a way of life’ (Thompson 1994, 361). In contrast, Gramsci's antennae were more conceptually attuned to the particular and directed nature of lived realities of power in capitalist conditions of existence.…”
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