By Alasdair MacIntyre
Even though Alasdair MacIntyre is healthier identified this day because the writer of "After advantage" (1981), he was once, within the Nineteen Fifties and Sixties, some of the most erudite contributors of Britain's Marxist Left: being a militant inside of, first, the Communist occasion, after which the recent Left
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Extra resources for Alasdair MacIntyre's engagement with Marxism : selected writings 1953-1974
With regard to MacIntyre’s relationship to IS, Ian Birchall has written that ‘I don’t think I ever saw MacIntyre again after [the Cardan debate]. 86 This, therefore, appears to be the moment of break with IS; almost three years before MacIntyre posted his resignation letter to the editors in 1968. Disengagement, 1964–8 MacIntyre’s rejection of Marx’s crisis theory, alongside his argument that the modern capitalist division of labour increased the fragmentation of the working class, implied that the workers’ cries for freedom would remain atomised and therefore that the tasks facing socialists were much more daunting, indeed overwhelming, than more orthodox Marxists allowed.
Read in this context, MacIntyre’s shift from the SLL to the IS is best conceptualised as a moment in the process through which he deepened his understanding of the concrete implications of his radicalism: first, after his break with the CPGB he moved to the New Left, then towards a form of Trotskyism, and then towards a more vibrant interpretation of Marxism. 66 MacIntyre made explicit his heterodox interpretation of Trotskyism in a review, first published in 1963, of the third volume of Isaac Deutscher’s biography of Trotsky.
Inseparable’. With regard to his membership of the SLL, MacIntyre, in a response to critics of his defence of the SLL on the pages of The Listener, wrote that ‘whether the SLL is or is not democratic or Marxist will be very clearly manifested as time goes on. 53 In a letter to Healy, MacIntyre observed that it was clearly impossible for a minority to exist within the organisation because of Healy’s personal dominance – reinforced by the fact that he effectively owned the party as private property, since the assets were in his name.