Scared of the proletariat

Bourgeois or capitalist?

Marc Mulholland Bourgeois liberty and the politics of fear Oxford University Press, pp400, £37 (£9.25 direct)

Class is back: economic inequality has been rising up the political agenda in the last 10 years, as it has become more and more obtrusive in the imperialist centres (aka ‘advanced capitalist countries’). Witness (among many other examples) the media buzz round Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the twenty-first century.

Bourgeois liberty and the politics of fear is a book about class. It is not a Marxist book - its class categories are like, but distinct from, Marxist categories, and are underlain by a marginalist theory of the wage as modified by Gary Becker’s ‘human capital’ theory and/or Pierre Bordieu’s ‘social capital’.1 But it is a book Marxists should definitely read. It is about the political dynamics of class in Europe between the 17th and the early 21st century. It thus addresses questions which have been central to the political projects of Marx and Marxists since 1848, and which are also addressed in a very different way in Neil Davidson’s How revolutionary were the bourgeois revolutions?, also published in 20122: the nature of ‘bourgeois revolution’ and its relationship to the question of a proletarian class movement. The differences in the underlying analytical approach therefore do not mean we cannot learn from the book. On the contrary, we need to engage with them - critically - if our own understanding is to advance.

The gist of comrade Mulholland’s argument is that the bourgeoisie as a class (we will have to return to his definition of this class later) has a coherent common interest in flexible markets in employment and in freedom from state regulation and excessive taxation; and that this common interest underlies liberal or constitutionalist revolutions. The bourgeoisie does not, however, seek (or obtain) state power, but only a controlled and limited state. On the other hand, the proletariat has a strong interest in security of employment, which inclines it towards collectivist politics (though these can just as well be nationalist as leftwing). As a result, the political liberties created by bourgeois revolutions (especially representative assemblies, and freedom of speech and of association) threaten to result in excessive proletarian power and demands, which lead the bourgeoisie to react away from liberalism: this is the ‘politics of fear’.

In Mulholland’s view the rapid development of capitalism in the 19th century within the carapace of part-modernised absolutist regimes (Bonapartist France, German kaiser regime, Austria-Hungary, etc) reflects the combination of the actual strength of states - still basically absolutist, based on peasant conscripts and persisting aristocracies and clerisies - together with this ‘politics of fear’. It is not - contrary to Engels, Kautsky and Davidson - about the ability of the bourgeoisie as a class to rule through authoritarian as much as constitutional regimes, the bourgeoisie’s “robust digestive system” (Kautsky).3 Nor is it (as the Marxist left has repeatedly argued since the time of Marx) an effect of capitalist decline.

Mulholland argues that, with the decisive defeats of both social democracy and official ‘communism’ in the 1970s-90s, the threat of proletarian power has been at least temporarily taken away, so that since then the bourgeoisie has returned to the revolutionary liberalism which characterised it in the early 19th century; though the practical experience of the return to classical liberalism, and hence to polarisation of wealth and poverty, periodic crashes and increasing insecurity (albeit with extensive welfarism) in the 1990s-2000s will perhaps reopen the question.

Mulholland’s case is made by a grand-sweep narrative history of the issue, beginning with ‘Absolutism and transformation in England’ in the 17th-18th centuries and progressing through a series of chapters dealing with individual periods (French Revolution and restoration, Holy Alliance period, 1848, and so on down to the present), through sub-sections which are studies of developments in individual countries. An enormously wide range of academic literature is used, and the book is from this point of view immensely ambitious and a terrific achievement.

It also brings together in a single narrative the larger part of the range of political events round which the ‘bourgeois revolution’ idea - and in addition Marxism and the workers’ movement - has developed. It does so, if anything, more fully than Davidson’s How revolutionary ... and without Davidson’s Cliffite tics (undue separation of Lenin from the Marxist wing of the Social Democratic Party of Germany, overstatement of the originality of Trotsky’s views, ‘state capitalism’ and ‘deflected permanent revolution’ theory, and so on). Even if the theoretical framework is wrong - and I think it is seriously problematic - comrades who do not already have extensive knowledge of this history would benefit from reading it as an introduction to the history which contextualises both ‘classic’ Marxist writings and political events which are commonly used by Marxists to illustrate arguments. Those who are already familiar with the history would benefit, as I said before, from seeing it in a different perspective.

That said, I have two criticisms of the book as history­; and I am not persuaded by the analytical argument for comrade Mulholland’s account of classes, in particular the ‘bourgeoisie’.


My two criticisms of the book as history concern, first, method - and in particular the intersections between national politics, on the one hand, and geopolitics, international economic dynamics and European and Atlantic-wide political and intellectual developments, on the other; and, second, the initial characterisation of the English/British revolution. I will begin by admitting that both criticisms are in a sense ‘counsels of perfection’: that is, it is hard to see how a book attempting what comrade Mulholland attempts could be written in only six years, while taking them effectively into account. Nonetheless, they do, I think, weaken the book’s argument.

The first point is that a grand-sweep narrative and interpretation of the sort Mulholland offers is inevitably dependent on the secondary literature (academic books and articles on the subjects covered). The problem is with the nature of this literature. The modern form of academic historical work - since the times of Leopold von Ranke (1795-1886) in Germany and Frederic William Maitland (1850-1906) in Britain - focuses on careful critical use of primary historical sources. This approach produces real increases in our knowledge of the past.4 But it is also prone to demanding excessive standards of proof, in the name of what is sometimes called ‘physics envy’, but also in the interests of large-C Conservative readings of the evidence.

And, since Ranke’s time, academic history of this sort has been methodologically committed to nationalism and the nation-state as the essential frame of analysis. This is true even of the ‘diplomatic historians’, who analyse the interaction of states on a European or global level. Hence, the literature on which comrade Mulholland relies is prima facie likely to be biased in favour of explanations of major events (revolutions and so on) at a purely national level.

This problem is exacerbated by two forms of connection between academic history and states. First, the practical usefulness of the source-critical method means that history faculties are important recruiting grounds for foreign/diplomatic services and intelligence analysts. They are therefore interlocked with this aspect of the state core. Secondly, there is some partial truth in the slogan George Orwell attributed to the rulers of 1984: “Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past.” This image was drawn from the grotesqueries of the Stalin school of falsification. But the use of nationalist histories to legitimate the nation-state - and, in particular, Conservative/‘party of order’ views of the place of the state - goes back to Rankean history and before, to 18th-19th century Whig histories and even to earlier ‘God is an Englishman’ ideas.5

In the cold war period between 1948 and 1991, a particular aspect of these connections between university history faculties and states was the production of anti-Marxist historical narratives of a particular sort: that is, those destined to support the Fabianism/right social democracy which was sponsored by US policy in Europe in this period. Among the features of these narratives which went beyond the falsification of the history of the workers’ movement6 were the adoption of the ‘shallow’ perspective of the development of capitalism (seeing it, essentially, as emerging in the 19th century rather than earlier); and a considerable overstatement of the inherent strength of modern or modernised states and the ‘impossibility’ of their overthrow. The turn of mainstream global politics since the late 20th century towards ‘neoliberalism’ and liberal revolutionism, which comrade Mulholland correctly identifies, has produced in the academy the beginnings of a process of rethinking of these elements.

None of this precludes relying on the academic historical literature; but it does mean that there are dangers in doing so. Comrade Mulholland’s book largely, though not completely, assumes the correctness of ‘strong state’ narratives - a point which is particularly marked in the discussion of the immediate European aftermath of World War I and the Russian Revolution (pp164-71). Analogously, the accounts of the Second International socialist parties in chapters 7-8 on 1870-1914 largely, though not completely, rely on literature produced in the cold war period.

The structure of the book does attempt to overcome the problem of methodological nationalism by devoting each chapter, after the first, to relatively short periods broadly on a European scale, with occasional glances outwards beyond Europe: 1789-1830s, 1815-48, 1848-52, 1848-70, 1861-71, 1870-1914 (two chapters), 1914-21, 1918-37, 1936-45, 1948-67, 1968-80, 1953-91 in the ‘Soviet bloc’ and China, 1991-2010. However, the chapters are divided into subsections which are, like the literature on which they inevitably rely, national in character. The result is that the overall chronology is not completely clear and, in the result, later actions and decisions episodically appear before earlier actions and decisions which seem very likely to have influenced them.

To give three examples of the issues (examples only, not a complete list). First, in chapter 2, ‘Revolution, restoration and reform’, the French Revolution is treated first and in depth, the American Revolution only briefly and at the end of the chapter. Since the costs of French intervention in the war of American independence triggered the financial difficulties which forced Louis XVI to call the Estates General, and the French revolutionaries were certainly partly influenced by American revolutionary ideas, this is plainly upside-down.

Second, for the 19th and 20th centuries Mulholland necessarily engages with Marx’s and Marxists’ explanations of political events. Yet one of these - that crises, the ‘panic’ phases of business cycles, have a destabilising political effect - is close to being absent in the structure of the narrative. Yet the chronology itself gives at the very least reasons to see this claim as plausible: the panic of 1825 was followed within a few years by the revolutions of 1830; that of 1847 was followed, more rapidly, by the revolutions of 1848; that of 1857 was followed by Louis Napoleon’s turn to an aggressive foreign policy and the war of Italian unification (which, in turn, may by its geopolitical effects have driven Bismarck’s policy and German unification), and in the US by a radical reorganisation of politics, as northern capitals and labour demanded protectionism, leading to Republican victory in 1860 and thus to the American civil war.

Marx wrote:

The crisis may first break out in England, the country which advances most of the credit and takes the least, because the balance of payments, the balance of payments due, which must be settled immediately, is unfavourable, even though the general balance of trade is favourable. This is explained partly as a result of the credit which it has granted, and partly as a result of the huge quantity of capital loaned to foreign countries, so that a large quantity of returns flow back to it in commodities, in addition to the actual trade returns ... The crash in England, initiated and accompanied by a gold drain, settles England’s balance of payments, partly by a bankruptcy of its importers ..., partly by disposing of a portion of its commodity-capital at low prices abroad, and partly by the sale of foreign securities, the purchase of English securities, etc. Now comes the turn of some other country. The balance of payments was momentarily in its favour; but now the time lapse normally existing between the balance of payments and balance of trade has been eliminated or at least reduced by the crisis: all payments are now suddenly supposed to be made at once. The same thing is now repeated here.7

As Ramaa Vasudevan has pointed out, this discussion of ‘world money’ and contagion in financial crises does not include the issue of power asymmetries between states - most significantly between centre and periphery (‘less developed countries’).8 But in the 19th century other European countries and the US, as well as Latin America, were ‘less developed countries’ vis-à-vis Britain. When credit facilities which would, outside crisis, have been rolled over, are not rolled over as a result of financial crisis at the centre - London - the result in the affected country lower down the geopolitical food chain is both general distress more serious than in the ‘centre’ country (between 1815 and 1940, Britain)9 and fiscal fragility of the state, which is then apt to lead to the appearance of a constitutional crisis about taxation, or a political crisis openly about the economic order. It is not, of course, necessary to adhere to Marxist economic theory to recognise this as a likely result: it is only necessary to have some sort of economic theory which includes money and finance as real operating factors in the economy (unlike marginalism and its beliefs in ‘money illusion’). I do not insist that the argument is certainly right; but it does need in a book which attempts what Mulholland attempts to be engaged.

The third example is simpler. The account of the Russian Revolution, the inter-war period, World War II and the onset of the cold war in chapters 9-12 pretty much completely misses out the geopolitical operations of the ‘western’ powers; and, in particular, the cordon sanitaire of authoritarian nationalist-traditionalist polities around the borders of the Soviet regime. In chapter 12 Marshall Aid is detached from its geopolitical context, the effort to restore the cordon sanitaire, and Stalin’s turn to ‘Sovietise’ eastern Europe is treated before the US-led political and economic operations to which this turn was quite clearly a response.10 It should already have been apparent that constitutionalism was ‘not for export’ as far as Britain was concerned, not merely from the non-white formal colonies, but from British policy in Latin America and - at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries - Iran and Turkey; and, though France and the US flirted with constitutionalist opposition groupings as a means of detaching countries from the British orbit, where countries were in their own orbit they, like Britain, allied with old elites and authoritarians.

The significance of these points for the argument of the book relates to two points in the conclusion, which can be conveniently quoted from subheads at p304: first, “the will to power was never a bourgeois characteristic”; and second, “bourgeois support for authoritarianism was not always in reaction to challenges from the left”. The first point is problematic partly because of Mulholland’s concept of the bourgeoisie as a class actor (below), but also certainly omits the will to power overseas,11 through the book’s narrative focus on domestic politics. The second is true, but looks at bourgeois authoritarianism as a response to “popular movements of traditionalism” (pp304-05) rather than at overseas authoritarianism and alliance with traditional elites as a means of geopolitical control of subordinate states, whether or not there was a present challenge from the proletariat.


Comrade Mulholland argues in chapter 1:

The construction of ‘bourgeois’ Britain, therefore, was circuitous and largely unintended, a side effect of collision and compromise between the state and the aristocracy, and essentially a political process. It did not result in middle class control of the government, nor did even the richest merchant wish to sideline the politically dominant nobility. Rather, there was a dialectic between bourgeois society and the (mostly) aristocratic state, a complicated choreography, by which one came to rely upon the other. The Great Britain of Adam Smith was dominated by state and nobility, but rested upon a commercial civil society (p24).

I have to say that I find this argument deeply unconvincing. An issue immediately implicated is, of course, the definitions of ‘bourgeoisie’ and ‘aristocracy’. I teach the history of English law both in the 13th-14th century and over a longer timespan down to the 19th, and (currently) research in the later 17th and early 18th century, which means that I am more familiar with the historical sources and literature for this period than for other periods and countries comrade Mulholland covers. It seems to me that there was by the 17th century substantial embourgeoisement of the values of at least the southern English ‘aristocracy’ and much less fixed status barriers in England than elsewhere (eg, no distinction between noblesse d’épée and noblesse de robe, and even early modern ‘ancient families’ like the Howards or the Seymours may turn out to originate with 13th-15th century lawyers and administrators who did well enough for their descendants to obtain peerages, and so on). Further, if it was the ‘aristocracy’ that defeated the crown in the 1640s, it is surprising that the instrument of this defeat was a regular army created in 1645 to replace local gentry levies, largely officered by ‘middling sort’ radicals, and funded - as Mulholland admits in passing - by merchant lending (p20). Meanwhile, at p21 comrade Mulholland characterises William of Orange in 1688 as “the sovereign of the Dutch United Provinces” - a claim which would have surprised both the Stadhouder himself and the regents whose agreement he had to get in order to be able to launch the invasion.

The role of the Dutch in 1688 poses a much larger issue. Like Robert Brenner,12 albeit dating the development a good deal later, comrade Mulholland sees the emergence of ‘bourgeois society’ as an English peculiarity and accidental development. Though he cites Steve Pincus’s 1688,13 he does not appear to engage with Pincus’s argument that the politics of the event involved a choice between ‘French’ and ‘Dutch’ models of modernity.14

The problem is perhaps again the time implications (the ‘counsels of perfection’ issue I referred to earlier). If the Netherlands is to be recognised, as de Vries and van der Woude persuasively argued in 1997, as the ‘first modern economy’,15 the question is in turn posed where this ‘modernity’ came from. The same issue is posed, in reality, by looking more carefully at early modern society and economy in England to understand the conditions for the victory of ‘constitutionalism’ in England (put another way, the differences between - at least partially - successful English parliamentarians and failed French Huguenots and later frondeurs). The regress is not infinite,16 but it does call for consideration of later medieval developments (including the Italian city-states) as partial models and incubators of commercial practices (commercial paper, agency and partnerships, banking, insurance, etc) and of state practices (constitutions, funded debt, etc), which in adapted forms became ‘modernity’. The idea of an accidental emergence of ‘bourgeois society’ in English politics serves to cut off the problem artificially. If it is wrong, it probably weakens the argument that “the will to power was never a bourgeois characteristic”.


The class analysis which frames comrade Mulholland’s narrative is given in the introduction at pp3-11. The general framework, omitted in the book, is arguments comrade Mulholland has made previously about proletarian class-consciousness.17 In this framework, common socio-economic position produces common experiences entailing a common class imaginaire (‘imaginary’), which is about securing to the individual/family the means to make a living. The proletariat in particular is treated in depth elsewhere and a lot more briefly in the book. The point is that wage-workers cannot obtain security of incomes without some form of collectivism, whether this is to be state intervention, labour market regulation, or trade unions, cooperatives and so on.

The peasantry is not very clearly defined, but I take comrade Mulholland to use the category to describe small farmers who work their own land mainly with family labour. This class could be violently revolutionary against landlord (and state) exactions, and the rural poor could be won to socialism; but “the default position of peasants was to resent the exactions of all the urban classes ... Suspicious conservatism was perhaps the typical posture of small farmers. Defence of family-scale property was a constant, but the means varied” (p10).

The urban trading petty bourgeoisie is discussed very briefly, but taken to have similar commitments to family-scale property (p10). The clerisy, certainly a distinct group of political actors,18 is not discussed.

The aristocracy is defined as “a pre-eminently military, administrative, and political class. Large landowners were vital as administrators in the localities ... They swarmed at court ... but equally providing the personnel and contacts that made executive sovereign power able to function at all. They officered armies and navies ...” (p11). This characterisation preserves the link between the old medieval ideology of classes or ‘estates’ as “those who work, those who fight (aristocrats) and those who pray’ and the early modern nobility/gentry; but it almost loses the landlord class’s character as large landowners, and in doing so misses the practical differences created by different modes of exploitation of the land.

The executive state (also undefined) “had to operate by rules defined by the realities of interstate competition. The continuity, stability and flexibility of government were ends in themselves ... The executive state could never passively ‘reflect’ the social interests of those they governed. It had, and has, an identity and interest ... distinct and imperative” (p11). The proposition is true, contrary to Marx’s “committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie” (Communist Manifesto).19 But the absence of a clear definition of what ‘the executive state’ is renders the point problematic. The discussions of the social position of bourgeois, proletarians and peasants apply comrade Mulholland’s methodology of seeking the class circumstances as they bear on individual class members or families to produce a class imaginaire, but this approach is not really developed in relation to the state, which is treated as a collectivity which needs no explanation.

I have run through the other classes in order to frame comrade Mulholland’s definition of the ‘bourgeoisie’, which is considerably more elaborated (pp3-8). The normal usage of ‘bourgeoisie’ in Marxist writing is as a synonym of ‘capitalist class’: that is, the class of people who live by investing money in enterprises of one sort or another, in which labour is employed in combination with capital, thereby producing a social surplus product, (part of) which accrues to the capitalist as profit. A member of a class defined in this way need not be urban, so that ‘bourgeoisie’ is a problematic French export in Marx’s and subsequent Marxist usage. Mulholland’s definition, however, is different and a lot wider.

He adopts a definition offered during the French Revolution: “... men who live on wealth acquired from the profits of a skill or productive trade which they have accumulated themselves or inherited from their parents; ... those ... who have an income which is not dependent upon the work of their own hands” (p3). Negatively, this is not “juridical and legal status to extract rents, tithes, or taxes as of right. Nor are the bourgeoisie a class of direct producers” (pp3-4). “They are entrepreneurs, landowners, professionals, military officers” (p4). He asserts a common interest of this whole heterogeneous grouping in “the free market in employment” (p5). The capitalist class clearly has such an interest, but he argues that this interest extends to the professional and managerial groups because their “skills, prestige and talent multiply productivity or substantially increase market share for their employers” (p6). The argument is, as I said at the outset, based on the marginalist theory of the wage, as modified by theories of ‘human capital’ or ‘social capital’.

This is a concept of the ‘bourgeoisie’ which is given plausibility by the late 20th-early 21st century world, in which tax regimes lead to a very large part of corporate profits being distributed as ‘executive compensation’. Its marginalist foundations are nonetheless violently unsound,20 and have been demonstrated to be so by the utter failure of marginalists to predict the crisis of 2008 (or to be able to predict the recurrence of crisis generally).

Why has comrade Mulholland adopted it? There are two reasons. The first is that it is disreputable in the historical profession not to accept that Marx’s economics was superseded by marginalism. Comrade Mulholland makes the point more explicitly in his review of Jonathan Sperber’s biography of Marx in the Dublin Review of Books.21 But the mere fact that marginalism superseded classical labour-value economics does not make it true: any more than the novelty of the anti-catastrophism of geology and paleontology in the later 19th and earlier 20th centuries made this innovative theory true. But addressing this question critically, rather than simply repeating the orthodoxy, would again require a much wider reading than could be done for this book.

The second reason is a point which resurfaces repeatedly in the book: that the direct leading actors in the ‘bourgeois revolutions’ were mostly lawyers and politicos of one sort and another. This is a very traditional history-department criticism of Marxism. The problem with it is simple. Suppose you are negotiating a contract with a big capitalist (assume for simplicity an individual rather than a firm) or in dispute with such a person. You are not going to meet the man himself, but his briefs or other agents. The same (largely) goes for politics. Comrade Mulholland correctly recognises that the old aristocracy rested its claims to rents, etc on its role as a personal governing class. The capitalist class rests its claims to social authority simply on its ability to make money - the ‘wealth creators’. Hence it usually acts through agents, and agents are paid for loyalty over and above the work they do, creating the appearance which supports the ‘talent’ ideology.

In discussing the ‘US model’, comrade Mulholland notes that “the observation that American democracy spontaneously defers to the wealthy elites was to have validity for a long time to come” (p47). But this plutocratic character of ‘constitutionalism’ is in no sense unique to the US. Through ‘constitutionalism’ the capitalist class, narrowly defined, does obtain political power - via the authority of money expressed through its agents of one sort or another.

I began with Piketty and I end with him. Comrade Mulholland has a much greater knowledge of Marx than Piketty does. But his book is like Piketty’s book, in that what it does is to attempt to argue for the salience of class in political history, while conceding most of the standard academic criticisms of Marxism. The result actually weakens, rather than strengthening, the historical account l

Mike Macnair



1. GS Becker Human capital Chicago 1993; P Bordieu, ‘The forms of capital’: www.marxists.org/reference/subject/philosophy/works/fr/bourdieu-forms-capital.htm.

2. Reviewed by comrade Mulholland in Weekly Worker October 10 2013.

3. K Kautsky, ‘Republic and social democracy in France’, part 1 Weekly Worker April 28 2011.

4. I have made this point in criticising Platypus’s approach: see ‘The study of history and the left’s decline’ Weekly Worker June 2 2011.

5. Cf, for example, JW McKenna, ‘How god became an Englishman’ in DJ Guth and JW McKenna (eds) Tudor rule and revolution Cambridge 1982, pp25-44.

6. Cf also my article, ‘The study of history and the left’s decline’ Weekly Worker June 2 2011.

7. K Marx Capital Vol 3, chapter 30: www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1894-c3/ch30.htm.

8. ‘From the gold standard to the floating dollar standard: an appraisal in the light of Marx’s theory of money’ Review of Radical Political Economics 41, 2009, pp473-91.

9. Cf, for example, P Pilbeam, ‘The economic crisis of 1827-32 and the 1830 revolution in provincial France’ Historical Journal 32, 1989, pp319-38.

10. There is a convenient, if journalistic, summary in A Alexander America and the imperialism of ignorance London 2011, chapters 11-14.

11. For a rather early example in Britain’s global career see PJ Stern The company-state: corporate sovereignty and the early modern foundations of the British empire in India Oxford 2011.

12. See TH Aston (ed) The Brenner debate: agrarian class structure and economic development in pre-industrial Europe Cambridge 1987; and an extensive other literature since - notably RC Allen Enclosure and the yeoman Oxford 1992; J Whittle The development of agrarian capitalism Oxford 2000; PCM Hoppenbrouwers and JL van Zanden Peasants into farmers?: the transformation of rural economy and society in the Low Countries (Middle Ages-19th century) in light of the Brenner debate Turnhout 2001.

13. S Pincus 1688 New Haven 2009.

14. Nor, it should be said, does his account engage with the arguments made in T Harris Revolution London 2006, for the importance of politics ‘out of doors’ in England in 1688-89, which do imply a role of the English ‘middling sort’ as more than mere extras in a drama played out by aristos and the state core.

15. J de Vries and A van der Woude The first modern economy: success, failure and perseverance of the Dutch economy, 1500-1815 Cambridge 1997.

16. That is, the problem of ‘English priority’ in the development of capitalism in Europe does not involve the sort of spurious genetic, etc, deep-historical claims found in relation to the larger problem of ‘European priority’ - on which see, for example, I Morris Why the west rules - for now London 2010.

17. ‘Marx, the proletariat, and the “Will to socialism”’ Critique 37, 2009, pp319-43; ‘“Its patrimony, its unique wealth!” labour-power, working class consciousness and crises: an outline consideration’ Critique 38, 2010, pp398-400.

18. Eg, DI Kertzer Unholy war: the Vatican’s role in the rise of modern anti-Semitism London 2003.

19. Cf also M Macnair, ‘Law and state as holes in Marxist theory’ Critique 34, 2006, pp211-36.

20. See, for example, J Weeks The irreconcilable inconsistencies of neoclassical macroeconomics London 2012.

21. www.drb.ie/essays/inventing-the-working-class.