'Autonomous functions of all countries, unite! You have nothing to lose but your economic anomie!' Emile Durkheim’s libertarian socialist critique

Dawson, M. (2013) 'Autonomous functions of all countries, unite! You have nothing to lose but your economic anomie!' Emile Durkheim’s libertarian socialist critique. Critical Sociology, 39(5), pp. 689-704. (doi:10.1177/0896920512440109)

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Abstract

Scholars analysing Durkheim’s relation to socialism have generally focused on whether Durkheim was personally a socialist and/or his discussion of socialism as a ‘social fact’. This paper focuses on whether Durkheim had a socialist theory. I will highlight how Durkheim’s normative and socialist political sociology aimed its critique at: the dominance of the market economy; economic polarisation; class conflict; the ‘capitalist state’; and the impossibility of universal individual realisation without radical economic change. From here Durkheim’s framework for an alternative political society will be outlined. This alternative, with its advocacy of political organisation in ‘corporations’, can be located within a tradition of ‘libertarian’ socialism found most prominently in the work of the early 20th Century English social theorist, G.D.H. Cole. It will be argued Durkheim offers a powerful explanation for the continued dominance of neoliberal ideas ‘after the crash’ and the resulting ‘Occupy’ protests.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Dawson, Dr Matt
Authors: Dawson, M.
Subjects:H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HX Socialism. Communism. Anarchism
J Political Science > JC Political theory
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Journal Name:Critical Sociology
ISSN:0896-9205
ISSN (Online):1569-1632
Published Online:27 April 2012

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