The Thompson-Kolakowski Exchange

Since Leszek Kolakowski and E. P. Thompson (and Althusser) have been part of the current zeitgeist, I went back and read Thompson’s “An Open Letter to Leszek Kolakowski” and Kolakowski’s response, “My Correct Views on Everything“. (Althusser, I never really got and thus got into. Althuserrianism struck me as the death throes of Marxist theory, with Analytical Marxism as the pallbearer in the wings.) Apart from enjoying the pieces for their style (both were remarkable stylists as well as admirable thinkers), they brought back in a sudden blast a different world in which one conflict–costing millions of lives–defined its parameters for a century.