By Alasdair MacIntyre
Even if Alasdair MacIntyre is better identified this day because the writer of "After advantage" (1981), he was once, within the Nineteen Fifties and Sixties, essentially the most erudite individuals of Britain's Marxist Left: being a militant inside, first, the Communist get together, after which the hot Left
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76–86. MacIntyre appeared as a member of the editorial board in Issue 2 and as co-editor alongside Mike Kidron from Issues 3–8 (1960–2). His name remained on the list of editors down to issue 32 in 1968. ’ 65 International Socialism, 6, Autumn 1961, p. 20. MacIntyre’s membership of IS coincided with his break with Christianity (Chapter 18 below). 66 On Sartre see Chapter 21, on the Common Market Chapter 26, and on Ireland Chapter 16. On Ireland see also MacIntyre, 1959, p. 239; 1962, pp. 2–3. For a discussion of MacIntyre as an intellectual in the 1960s, see Sedgwick 1982.
41–6. Goldmann 1964, p. 301. indd xxxvi 1/22/2008 5:23:52 PM Introduction: the Unknown Alasdair MacIntyre • xxxvii a wager on the revolutionary potential of the proletariat. MacIntyre accepted this argument, and indeed deepened it when he wrote that ‘one cannot first understand the world and only then act on it. How one understands the world will depend in part on the decision implicit in ones already taken actions. 71 To label MacIntyre’s wager dogmatic is thus to miss the point: one way or another, we all make the wager, and those who do not bet on the proletariat are compelled to retreat back to the tragic vision: if we reject Marx, then we are doomed, therefore, to fall back into one form or another of the incommensurable ethical perspectives dominant within bourgeois society.
72 With the collapse of the first New Left, New Left Review fell into the hands of a small grouping around Perry Anderson who reorganised it as a journal of Marxist theory with little contact to socialist 71 72 Chapter 34; ‘Pascal and Marx’. Thompson 1960a, pp. 68–70. 74 In his ‘Labour Policy and Capitalist Planning’, MacIntyre strongly criticised those socialists who were moving to support Wilson for mistaking his neo-capitalist technocratic strategy as a progressive or even socialistic project.