Crisis and Change Today explains the basic principles of Marxist thought for students, shaped around key questions of history, economics, class structure, philosophy, and the social sciences. Even though the first edition was written during the wake of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union, Marxist sociology is still relevant as the failure of those regimes has not proven that capitalism can solve all social problems. The second edition has been thoroughly revised and updated to be relevant for students today.
Peter Knapp is professor of sociology at Villanova University. Alan Spector is professor of sociology at Purdue University Calumet.
List of Figures and Tables Preface to the Second Edition Introduction Chapter 1: Base and Superstructure: Marx's Theory of History Introduction: Sociology confronts History-Class as the Basis of Social Structure and the Backbone of History Section 1.1: Is There a Logic to History? If So, What Is It? Section 1.2: What Is the Basis of Social Structure? Section 1.3: Have States Always Existed? Section 1.4: Have Classes Always Existed? Section 1.5: What Is Feudalism? What Is Liberalism? Section 1.6: What Causes Social Movements and Social Change? Section 1.7: Are Events Inevitable? Was the French Revolution Inevitable? Section 1.8: What Are the Dynamics of the Modern World? Section 1.9: What Are the Fundamental Problems of the Modern World? Section 1.10: Are Classes in the United States Based on Exploitation? Summary and Conclusion: History, Historical Sociology, and Comparative History Chapter 2: Surplus Value: Marx's Economics Introduction: Marxist Economics and the Science of Social Change Section 2. 1: What Is a Commodity? What Is the Labor Theory of Value? Section 2.2: What Is Surplus Value? Section 2.3: What Is Overproduction? How Can There Be Too Much Food, Housing, or Health Care? Section 2.4: What Are the Dynamics of Production for Profit? Section 2.5: Why Is There Unemployment? Section 2.6: Who Benefits from Racism and Sexism? Section 2.7: How Much Misery Is There in the United States? Section 2.8: Is the United States a Land of Exceptional Mobility? Does It Matter? Section 2.9: Why Are There Economic Depressions? Section 2. 10: Why Has the U.S. Been "Number 1?" Summary and Conclusions: Economics and Political Economy Chapter 3: Class Struggle: Class, Party, and Political Theory Introduction: Economic Determinism Versus Political Processes and Ideas-A False Debate Section 3.1: What Is the Basis of a Truly Free Society? Section 3.2: What Are Capitalists' Political Resources Under Capitalism? Section 3.3: What Are the Crucial Political Changes in the World Today? Section 3.4: How Does Capitalist Politics Change? Section 3.5 What Is Fascism? Section. 3.6: What Determines Different Degrees of Destructiveness of Fascism? Section 3.7: What Is a "Dictatorship of the Proletariat"? Section 3.8: What Are the Main Varieties of Marxism? Section 3.9: Why Did Socialism Collapse in the USSR and China? Section 3. 10: What Does the Collapse of Socialist World Powers Mean for Change? Summary and Conclusion: Marxist Political Theory Chapter 4: Applying Dialectics: Some Issues in the Philosophy of Science Introduction: Dialectics-A Way of Looking at the World, or the Way the World Works? Section 4.1: Is a Science of Society Possible? Section 4.2: What Are the Main Sources of Error in Social Theory? Section 4.3: Are Attempts at Neutrality a Guarantee of Objectivity? Section 4.4: Crisis and Change Section 4.5: Can Social Science Be Value-Neutral? Should It Be? Section 4.6: Is Society Based on the Thoughts of Its Members? Section 4.7: What Are Ideologies? Section 4.8: What Contradictions Exist in Society? Section 4.9: Can One Find Laws of Change in History? Section 4.10: What Possibilities Are Open to Human Society? Summary and Conclusions: Contradictions, Dialects, and Science Index About the Authors