Capitalism, managerialism and the market : the problem of politics in the culture of bureaucratic individualism
This thesis addresses a core problem of the human sciences: the relationship between communal and individual forms of life. In so doing it seeks to raise questions about the acceptance of liberal individualism. This is achieved by the development of certain themes in the work of the philosopher Alasdair Maclntyre, especially those present within his major work After Virtue. This thesis is not a critical study of Maclntyre, but instead attempts to extract, from the work of this major anti-liberal philosopher, elements that can be profitably developed by the human sciences and contribute to a renewal of a socialist politics which is more than one more version of liberal progressivism. The introductory chapter outlines the nature of the problems posed for any kind of communal ism in a liberal polity, the major themes from Maclntyre's work in the last three decades are outlined, in relationship to the question of liberal modernity. This is followed in Chapter One by an outline of some cultural themes concerning concepts of self and community briefly touched on in Maclntyre's work. Chapter Two looks at the impact of liberal culture on its major ideological competitor, Marxism, stressing Maclntyre's complex relationship with the Marxian tradition. Chapters Three and Four examine some of the historical assumptions embodied within Maclntyre's After Virtue. Chapter Three looks at the impact of the capitalist market on our social and moral attitudes. The account of this process is shown to be closely related to the work of the historian Karl Polanyi. Chapter Four looks at the historical relationship between liberalism and bureaucratic practices. In conclusion, Chapter Five examines Maclntyre's alternative to liberal individualism, and connects his narrative account of a human life with other recent developments, in thought and experience.