allenp's Profile

Social structures impose numerous constraints on the range of possible actions while also actively conditioning our thoughts and behaviour in all sorts of ways. This may hardly seem a radical claim but it contrasts with the rather strong indeterminism that has become highly fashionable within academia, with post-modernist or post-Marxist accounts suggesting, amongst other things, that social structures are of little relevance in formulating strategies of resistance. The autonomy of the subject and the re-emphasis on the vitality of discourse has some rather obvious attractions compared with a rigid determinism. However, it is unlikely to be of much use in formulating appropriate pro-worker strategies. If we suggest that the prehistoric troglodyte is as likely to be a socialist as a contemporary worker, provided only that he comes within hailing distance of the appropriate discourse. The nuances of industrial restructuring are unlikely to be of much interest.