Spectre Haunts Groves of Academe

Alex Callinicos wrestles with the question of whether Marxism is on its last legs over at Comment is Free.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The evidence?

When David Harvey visited London in April to launch his new book, he spoke to half a dozen meetings packed with audiences in their hundreds. One of them was at my own university, King’s College London, hardly a traditional centre of revolution. The meeting was co-sponsored by the thriving King’s group reading Marx’s Capital, which also helped to organise last November a debate on the future of capitalism between Martin Wolf of the Financial Times and myself.

The journal Historical Materialism, set up by a group of young scholars in the mid-1990s, has been one of the main drivers of the academic revival of Marxism. Its annual conference in London every November now attracts more than 500 participants and has spun off North American counterparts in Toronto and New York.

So, there’s the answer then. The son of the Hon. Ædgyth Bertha Milburg Mary Antonia Frances Lyon-Dalberg-Acton has noticed that some students at a Russell Group university are attending extra-curricular lectures.

I have to admit to some doubt over whether that’s exactly what Karl Marx had in mind when he predicted the self-emancipation of the proletariat though.