book cover

Joe McCarney 1980

The Real World of Ideology

First published: in Great Britain in 1980 by The Harvester Press Limited, Publishers: John Spiers and Margaret A. Boden, © Joe McCarney, 1980;
Creative Commons: Reproduced with the permission of Harry McCarney;
Proofed: and corrected by David Tate 2009.

In this radical new study, Joe McCarney breaks away from contemporary Marxist critical attitudes to reinstate the coherence and continuity of classical Marxism.

This work boldly argues that the character of traditional Marxist thought on ideology is now generally misconceived. This misconception stems from a failure to apprehend the nature of Marx’s own position and that of such major figures of classical Marxism as Engels, Lenin and the young Lukács.

Drawing on the work of Gramsci, Althusser and Poulantzas as well as representative contributions to the most recent debates, the author traces the roots of this fundamental – though unnoticed – dislocation in modern Marxist treatment of ideology.

This decisive new book goes back to the origins of Marxist thought and gives, with astonishing clarity and simplicity, the real conception of Marxist ideology – that ideology is thought which serves class interest. – Editors.



1. Marx’s Conception

2. The Burden of Social Theory

3. The Burden of Epistemology

4. Traditions in Marxism

PDF of original book (125 Mb)