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By Conner Hutchings

Main Points

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Post-Marxism builds upon the initial cultural theories laid down by Marx and Engels and pushes out to focus on more than the struggles between different classes Post-Marxism builds upon the initial cultural theories laid down by Marx and Engels and pushes out to focus on more than the struggles between different classes and the constant circle of revolution that it represents.

Roland Barthes was notable in this field as he criticized mass culture and coined the idea of semiology, a science which Baudrillard would analyze further. In essence Post-Marxism counters the idea that Marxism presents about a State being in place to benefit the classes that are in charge. Jean Baudrillard built upon this theory by criticizing how Marxism neglected the importance of signification and how objects within a society serve as a source of prestige. Symbolism and the prestige of owning certain objects and the values which are placed upon those objects feature heavily in the theories posted by Baudrillard in Post-Marxist theories.One of Baudrillard’s more significant arguments comes from his difference with Marxist ideals. Marxism taught that the ideals of capitalism were entirely based on the production and use of objects, whereas Baudrillard believed that production did not mean nearly as much as the act of consumption, and that consumed objects did not need to have any true or perceivable use beyond its value to the person or people consuming said object. Unlike which focuses entirely on class struggles,

Post-Marxism focuses on the culture of all groups who are repressed based upon their race, sex, as well as class. Post-Marxism also makes effort to point out how the theory posted by Marx about revolutions eventually leading to a communistic utopia were no longer viable, and was replaced with the theory that revolution was both inevitable cyclical and had no real end or utopia for it to reach.

Key Figures

Jean Baudrillard (b.1926 d. 2007)

Key Texts

Goldstein, Philip. Post-Marxist Theory: An Introduction. Albany: State U of New York, 2005. Print.