'Isms' are still fighting fit 2

October 9, 2008

Bruce Charlton, a reader in evolutionary psychiatry, who for some reason is quick to point out that he has an MA in English literature, informs us that in the past "at some point, the humanities became ... extremely politicised".

There are three responses that a Marxist might make to this. Firstly, the implication that it is only Left theories that are political and that anti-Left theories are not is clearly absurd. Secondly, Charlton seems blissfully unaware of the multitude of Marxist critiques of Stalinism that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union. Thirdly, Marxists have never claimed to interpret everything.

In the current climate of "credit crunch", a euphemism for the inherent and permanent contradictions within capitalism, it could be argued that Marx's ideas are more pertinent than ever.

Mike Cole, Research professor in education and equality Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln.

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