Marx and Engels on the Scottish highlands

Neil Davidson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    4 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Marx's and Engels' writings on the Scottish Highlands are of interest both in their own right and as an index of their changing positions on progress in societies faced with capitalist development. Marx and Engels tend to be either blamed for an economic determinism which retrospectively makes them complicit in the Clearances, or praised for adopting a political voluntarism in which Highland clan society could have been the basis for the transition to socialism. Neither interpretation accurately reflects their actual position and both draw a false distinction between Marx and Engels. In fact, discrepancies between the two men only occur because they were dealing with different epochs in Highland history, between which class relations had fundamentally changed. Although their writings on the Highlands are marred by empirical errors concerning the nature of clan society and (initially) by use of the flawed category of ?non-historic peoples,? overall they display powerful understanding of the contradictory impact of bourgeois society on the last precapitalist region of Britain.
    LanguageEnglish
    Pages286-326
    Number of pages40
    JournalScience and Society
    Volume65
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2001

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    bourgeois society
    voluntarism
    determinism
    socialism
    interpretation
    history
    society
    economics
    Society

    Keywords

    • marx
    • engels
    • scottish highlands
    • capitalism
    • marxism
    • politics

    Cite this

    Davidson, Neil. / Marx and Engels on the Scottish highlands. In: Science and Society. 2001 ; Vol. 65, No. 3. pp. 286-326.
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    Marx and Engels on the Scottish highlands. / Davidson, Neil.

    In: Science and Society, Vol. 65, No. 3, 2001, p. 286-326.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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