June 26, 2012

Book Review: István Mészáros, “The Challenge and Burden of Historical Time”

Posted in Book Review, Communism, Economics, Theory tagged , , , at 17:56 by Matthijs Krul

If Hungarian Marxist philosopher Istvan Meszaros is indeed Hugo Chavez’s favorite theorist, as implied by the book cover, the President of Venezuela must be a patient man indeed. The Challenge and Burden of Historical Time appears to present Meszaros’ philosophy of history, and because of the high regard he is held in by many (as shown also by the enthusiastic introduction from John Bellamy Foster), this seems promising enough. But in reality, the book is a mere collection of essays, articles, and occasional pieces, by and large on the same topic. As a result, the argument, the content and even the quotations are extremely repetitive, an effect which is worsened by Meszaros’ ineptly abstract, obscurantist writing style. When all is said and done, The Challenge and Burden of Historical Time introduces few new ideas to the body of socialist theorizing about the historical course of capitalism and the transition to socialism. Read the rest of this entry »


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