This intervention discusses Perry Anderson’s treatment of the European Union in The New Old World, tracing its origins in his intellectual and political history, and the ambivalences it reveals in his relationship to Marxism and to left politics. It identifies some of the key themes in a specifically Marxist analysis of the EU and explores the political possibilities implied by the present crisis.
Agency, Structure, and Change in Social Theory
The article addresses the divergent responses of the radical Left in Britain and France to the emergence of Muslims as a political subject in the advanced capitalist countries. It takes the case of a recent book by Daniel Bensaïd to illustrate the influence of a secular republican ideology that acts as an obstacle to French Marxists' recognition that assertions of Muslim identity should not simply be dismissed as reactionary but understood as potentially a rejection of the oppression suffered by Muslims in Western societies. The article calls for a recognition of the positive aspects of postcolonial theory and concludes that the Marxist interpretation of religion as a search for an other-worldly solution to real suffering and injustice should be applied consistently to all expressions of faith.