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Marx, Foucault, Genealogy

Bradley J. Macdonald
Polity
Vol. 34, No. 3 (Spring, 2002), pp. 259-284
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3235392
Page Count: 26
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Marx, Foucault, Genealogy
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Abstract

In contemporary political theory, there has been the continual attempt to paint an opposition between Foucault's work and Marx's theory. Foucault, it has been argued, was continuously critical of Marxism's humanist and totalizing positions; and, for Marxists, Foucault's theory avoided an analysis of political economy and elided a notion of the revolutionary subject. In this essay, I argue that Marx is more central to Foucault's position than previously assumed. Foucault never intended to articulate a position free from Marx (at least as he conceived of this thinker), but rather one that was free from a particular tradition of Marxism. Indeed, Foucault's Marx is one that has been articulated in the theoretical work of Antonio Negri, and it is in this fertile theoretical position that we get a sense of what a "genealogical Marxism" (that is, a Marx congenial to Foucault) might look like.

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