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The Power of Ideology 9780814754580

The Power of Ideology

ISBN-10: 0814754589
ISBN-13: 9780814754580
PUBLISHER: New York University Press
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Note: Not guaranteed to come with supplemental materials (access codes, CDs, DVDs)
Product Description: Istvan Meszaros is a pre-eminent figure in political philosophy. He provides here a lucid and polemical examination of the power of contemporary ideology. He undertakes a systematic analysis of ideology on a scale not attempted since Lukacs' History and Class Consciousness. The book is the result of many years of research and surveys and integrates a vast amount of material from the fields of Philosophy, Sociology, Political Theory and Political Economy. Firmly based on the classical literature (reaching back to the eighteenth century), the discussions are brought fully up-to-date with the assessment of contemporary preoccupations of the subject. Part One shows the connection between the postwar decades of undisturbed economic expansion and the ideology of 'post-ideology', criticising the premature theorisation of the 'end of scarcity' and the fallacy of envisaging purely technological solutions to deep-seated social problems. The principal twentieth-century theories of ideology-from Max Weber to the Frankfurt School, from Raymond Aron to Merleau-Ponty and to the theories of 'post-modernity' are discussed in detail in conjunction with the unfolding sociohistorical developments. Part Two explores the complex relationship between science, ideology and methodology, with particular reference to the practical determinations of each. After a critical assessment of the claims to 'methodological neutrality', attention is focused on the conditions of production and reproduction of representative theoretical systems, considering them both as substantive conceptions and as competing methods. Part Three takes a closer look at the important connection between ideology and emancipation, reasserting the validity of a critical and self-critical socialist theory as the necessary strategic framework of emancipation. It undertakes a critical assessment of the socialist movement as a global enterprise, from its origins through to the recent social democratisation of some Western Communist parties and to the emergence of 'perestroika' in the East, situating ideology within its proper historical context and underlining its vital transformative functions. Book jacket.

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PAGES: 856
CATEGORY: Philosophy, Social Science

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