1st Edition

From Neo-Marxism to Democratic Theory Essays on the Critical Theory of Soviet-type Societies

By Andrew Arato Copyright 1993

    The essays in this volume trace an intellectual odyssey, a search for a genuinely critical theory. The book begins with the question of why the Frankfurt School as well as other neo-Marxist and post-Marxist analysts, both in the West and in dissident circles in the East, failed to produce a critical theory of Soviet socialism or to establish a dynamic relationship with contemporary social movements. As the political struggle in Eastern Europe intensified, the author of this book disengaged from his own efforts to reconstruct a critical Marxism. Instead, he attempts a reconstruction of democratic theory based on civil society rather than class categories, and with a critical relevance not only to the transition from state socialism but more generally to the universal goal of emancipation.

    Part I Western Marxism and Soviet-Type Societies; Chapter 1 Authoritarian Socialism and the Frankfurt School; Chapter 2 Between Apology and Critique: Marcuse's Soviet Marxism; Chapter 3 Critical Sociology and Authoritarian State Socialism; Chapter 4 From Western to Eastern Marxism: Rudolf Bahro; Chapter 5 Immanent Critique and Authoritarian Socialism: On Konrád and Szelényi's Intellectuals; Chapter 6 The Budapest School and Actually Existing Socialism; Chapter 7 Facing Russia: Castoriadis and the Problem of Soviet-Type Societies; Part II The Rise of Civil Society and Democratic Theory; Chapter 8 Civil Society vs. the State: Poland 1980-81; Chapter 9 Empire vs. Civil Society: Poland 1981-82; Chapter 10 The Democratic Theory of the Polish Opposition: Normative Intentions and Strategic Ambiguities; Chapter 11 Some Perspectives of Democratization in East Central Europe; Chapter 12 Social Theory, Civil Society, and the Transformation of Authoritarian Socialism; Chapter 13 Revolution, Civil Society, and Democracy; Chapter 14 Social Movements and Civil Society in the Soviet Union;


    Andrew Arato