Ideology and ideological state apparatuses book
Althusser: Ideological State Apparatuses
Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses
Verso, London, The focus of this essay was the attempt to develop a theory of ideology, and its role in the reproduction of capitalist social formations, as part of a broader contribution to a Marxist theory of the state. Much of the response to this article has been in terms of its reduction of subjectivity to nothing more than an ideological effect with the apparent consequence that revolutionary political action is precluded by a lack of any revolutionary subject. To some extent such debates were hampered by the knowledge that the available text was little more than an assemblage of elements taken from a larger, more complete, work. This relation between the fragmentary article and the complete work may, for many, spark the initial interest in the appearance of On the Reproduction of Capitalism. Nevertheless, the inclusion in this volume of additional material written by Althusser to clarify his argument in response to criticism of his article, particularly the charge of functionalism against his view of the state, as well as the original article itself, certainly throws new light on certain of its claims.
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First published in , it advances Althusser's theory of ideology. Where Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels posited a thinly-sketched theory of ideology as false consciousness , Althusser draws upon the works of later theorists such as Antonio Gramsci , Sigmund Freud and Jacques Lacan to proffer a more elaborate redefinition of the theory. Althusser's theory of ideology has remained influential since it was written. Althusser begins the essay by reiterating the Marxist theory that in order to exist, a social formation is required to essentially, continuously and perpetually reproduce the productive forces Labour power , the conditions of production and the relations of production. The reproduction of production relations is ensured by the wage system which pays a minimum amount to the workers so that they appear to work day after day, thereby limiting their vertical mobility.
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