What do you think about the New Left moviment and Edward Thompson’s work? Do you think they use the concepts of Gramsci and Benjamin properly?

I don’t have a very intimate knowledge.  Currently in between everything else I’m working my way through* Perry Anderson’s ‘The Antimonies of Antonio Gramsci’ which was printed in the NLR back in the 70s.  It’s … interesting so far but I’m finding the staunch emphasis on the War of Position to be … trying.  It’ll take me further reading to really solidify a strong opinion but I get this nudging feeling that they swung a bit too far in avoidance of the connections to Sovietism and became a little ossified as a class of intellectual marxists dissociated from active engagement with creating the sort of change they were talking about.

P.S. For disclosure I haven’t read anything on Benjamin to really be able to comment regarding him.

* The joys of ADD and reading chunky texts is I pick up three or four books/journal articles, start reading them around the same time and then decide a shiny spoon is much more interesting.  So it’s a slow process …

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