ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Renuka ViswanathanSubscribe to Renuka Viswanathan

Planning and Politics

him 'charisma-mongering'. Once you take a mechanical view of the relationship between social being and social consciousness, any conclusion would follow. Unfortunately there is enough in Marx and Engels discussing such views, but Gouldner would have nothing to do with it! The book represents the coming crisis of western sociology very vividly. That crisis consists in the fact that Marx is being contended with in terms he rarely used in a way in which modern sociology seems to. The result is that almost every major term in the Marxist jargon, namely, class, alienation, bourgeoisie, social being and social consciousness and so on, has been distorted in this book. A third world scholar doing that would never have been forgiven. Gouldner's understanding of 'class' or 'alienation' would be the most glaring examples. Marx's conceptions were radically different. That does not stop Gouldner from saying what he has said. What is not clear is why intellectuals like Gouldner of late-capitalist societies, with no proletarian or other revolution likely to knock at their doors for the foreseeable future, are wasting so much of their energies against an enemy who, by their own understanding, is clearly on the retreat.

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