File spoon-archives/marxism2.archive/marxism2_1996/96-04-30.191, message 107


Date: Wed, 24 Apr 1996 15:50:25 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Ancient Greece, Ste de Croix, Finley



I wasn't andorsing in toto the theories of any of the people, including de
Stee. Croix, whom I mentioned as important. His theory has lots of
problems, and in fact I have criticized him in print. But he's great anyway.

Finley was red-baited out of the US during the McCarthy period. He may
have been a Marxist once. He was certainly deeply influenced by Marxism.
Certainly he is not simply a "bourgeoius historian," plaina nd simple. You
want to see what bourgeois history looks like, look at the main line of
reserach in Greece and Rome. Jaeger's three volume Paedeia never so much
as mentions slavery. Kennedy's recent big book on the Pelopponnesian War
is pure apologetics for imperialism. ANd so forth.

--Justin

On Wed, 24 Apr 1996, Adam Rose wrote:

> 
> Justin writes:
> 
> > Since Jorn mentions ancient Greece, I should probably add GEM de Ste.
> > Croix, whose Class Struggle in the Ancient World is a little after the
> > 1930-60 period, but is a masterwork. 
> 
> Indeed, although it raises as many questions as it answers.
> He analyses the class structure of ancient greece as basically
> depending on the exploitation of slave labour. But then he
> analyses the class struggle in ancient greece as basically
> between poor citizens and rich citizens.
> 
> Also, while he rightly disproves the idea the trade, politics
> and war were linked in the modern sense, he doesn't explain
> the phenomenon of Athens, which clearly did rely on trade
> more than other states.
> 
> > There is also M.I. Finley and in a
> > narrower vein the work of Farrell and Struik, mentioned above.
> 
> Surely M.I. Finley wasn't a marxist ?
> 
> I always had him down as a basically bourgeois historian who
> had a brain, and who therefore laid the framework for a 
> Marxist like Ste de Croix, similar to those bourgeois historians
> who accepted a basically marxist explanation of the bourgeois
> revolutions in England and France, on the reasonable grounds
> that it appeared to fit the facts.
> 
> Adam.
> 
> Adam Rose
> SWP
> Manchester
> UK
> 
> 
> ---------------------------------------------------------------
> 
> 
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