Chapter 4: Institutionalism versus Marxism: A Debate with Alex Callinicos
Second Peasant: ‘Oh there you go, bringing in class to it again’. First Peasant: ‘That’s what it’s all about! If only people would realize’. Monty Python and the Holy Grail 4.1 INTRODUCTION On 30 April 2001 a public debate was held at the University of Hertfordshire between Alex Callinicos from the University of York and Geoffrey M. Hodgson on the theme of ‘Institutionalism versus Marxism’. An edited transcript of the two opening speeches is reproduced below.1 Both speakers acknowledged a degree of doctrinal agreement. However, the debate also illuminated some fundamental differences of analysis and outlook between institutionalism and Marxism, in contrast to attempts to reconcile these doctrines (Dugger and Sherman, 2000; O’Hara, 2000). 4.2 IN DEFENCE OF INSTITUTIONALISM GEOFFREY M. HODGSON 4.2.1 This is not primarily a debate about political ideology When I say that this is not a debate about political ideology, my Marxist opponents will immediately quote from Marx’s eleventh Theses on Feuerbach of 1845 ‘the philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it’ (Marx and Engels, 1976, p. 5). Let us accept the importance of this statement: we are all dissatisfied with some aspects of the world and most of us want to change it in some way. But if we are going to change the world then it is important to understand it too. It is the role of social theory and the social sciences to obtain a scientific understanding of social structures and forces, before any attempt...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.