Tag Archives: Étienne Balibar

G. A. Cohen

[A]nalytical Marxists do no think that Marxism possesses a distinctive and valuable method. Others believe that is has such a method, which they call ‘dialectical’. But we believe that, although the word ‘dialectical’ has not always been used without clear meaning, it has never been used with clear meaning to denote a method rival to the analytical one[.] […] I do not think that the following, to take a recent example, describes such a method: “This is precisely the first meaning we can give to the idea of dialectic: a logic or form of explanation specifically adapted to the determinant intervention of class struggle in the very fabric of history.” (Étienne Balibar, The Philosophy of Marx, p. 97.) If you read a sentence like that quickly, it can sound pretty good. The remedy is to read it more slowly.

G. A. Cohen, Karl Marx’s Theory of History: A Defence, exp. ed., Oxford, 2000, p. xxiii