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Karl Marx

Karl Marx


Karl Marx, The Revolutionary as Educator

By Robin Small



Wednesday 29th January 5.30 – 7 Room 2.04

Convened by Tony Green and Alpesh Maisuria

In Springer series on Key Thinkers in Education

·         Presents new scholarship on Karl Marx’s educational ideas, drawing on original sources

·         Brings Marx’s educational ideas to life by setting them in their biographical and historical context

·         Demonstrates Marx’s relevance to the educational issues of the twenty-first century

This book is an introduction to Karl Marx as a radical educational thinker. Marx’s own schooling and education are examined to show his interest in educational issues was informed by his own experience. Educational themes in Marx’s thinking are identified, including the role of education in capitalist society, the contribution of education to human development and the character of education in a future society. These are placed in a historical setting by the author and related to public debates over educational policy.

Throughout his career, Marx identified education as key to the prospects of the working class. The story of this engagement adds a new dimension to the picture of his work as a philosopher, political economist and socialist revolutionary. The aspects of education that concerned Marx matched prominent features of his theoretical and political activity, and educational themes provided him with a critical application for many of his most important ideas.

The author explores Marx’ work on the British factory school system, his use of evidence from the reports of school inspectors, and the contemporary movement that led to the establishment of modern systems of public schooling. The final chapter relates Marx’s thinking to questions about the place of education in today’s society, showing how relevant it is for the twenty-first century.

ROBIN SMALL is Professor of Philosophy of Education at Auckland University and author of Marx and Education, as well as books on Nietzsche and phenomenology.

Karl Marx, The Revolutionary as Educator is published by Springer in softcover and as an eBook from

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Robin Small

Robin Small



Published: 21 NOVEMBER 2011
“A great thought-experiment…an astonishing call to arms (or to disarm)” – T. J. CLARK
Nietzsche, the philosopher seemingly opposed to everyone, has met with remarkably little opposition himself. He remains what he wanted to be-the limit-philosopher of a modernity that never ends. In this provocative, sometimes disturbing book, Bull argues that merely to reject Nietzsche is not to escape his lure. He seduces by appealing to our desire for victory, our creativity, our humanity. Only by ‘reading like a loser’ and failing to live up to his ideals can we move beyond Nietzsche to a still more radical revaluation of all values-a subhumanism that expands the boundaries of society until we are left with less than nothing in common.

ANTI-NIETZSCHE is a subtle and subversive engagement with Nietzsche and his twentieth-century interpreters-Heidegger, Vattimo, Nancy, and Agamben. Written with economy and clarity, it shows how a politics of failure might change what it means to be human.
Praise for MALCOLM BULL:

“Malcolm Bull is one of the English language’s foremost thinkers, philosophers and art historians” – LUC BOLTANSKI


“Magnificent…gripping…so well told” – SUNDAY TIMES

“A book that transforms our understanding of Renaissance art” – DAILY TELEGRAPH

“A treasure of scholarship that is most unlikely to be superseded.” – TIMES HIGHER EDUCATION:

“An extremely learned work… how he manages to cram in so much learning – from all the variant ancient literary sources, to an uncountable number of Renaissance interpretations – is quite astonishing” – GUARDIAN:


“A brilliantly idiosyncratic thinker with solidly progressive allegiances… SEEING THINGS HIDDEN makes a sustained argument in political philosophy and cultural theory, deeply pondered and finely wrought.” – JONATHAN REE, NEW LEFT REVIEW
MALCOLM BULL is a theorist and art historian who teaches at Oxford. His books include SEEING THINGS HIDDEN, THE MIRROR OF THE GODS, and ANTI-NIETZSCHE. He is on the editorial board of NEW LEFT REVIEW and writes for the LONDON REVIEW OF BOOKS.
ISBN: 978 1 85984 574 5 / $26.95/£16.99/$33.50CAN / Hardback / 224 pages
For more information about ANTI-NIETZSCHE, or to buy the book visit:
Academics can request an inspection copy. For further information please go to:




‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: (recording) and (live)


‘Maximum levels of boredom

Disguised as maximum fun’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Stagnant’ at: (recording) and (live, at the Belle View pub, Bangor, north Wales)  


‘Cheerful Sin’ – a new song by Victor Rikowski:


Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas:

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The Ockress:

Rikowski Point:


Online Publications at:

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Marx and Education


If nothing else, Jean Anyon’s new book, Marx and Education has put the question and significance of Karl Marx’s views on education on the landscape of Marxist thought and writings. It follows Robin Small’s Marx and Education (2005) in establishing this relatively new field of enquiry, with the pioneers in the field, Colin Waugh and Gary Taylor having made a glorious start in the 1990s with their articles in General Educator.

In my view, Curry Stephenson Malott’s review of Anyon’s book is the best we have so far. You can see his review, entitled ‘Pseudo-Marxism and the Reformist Retreat from Revolution: A Critical Essay Review of Marx and Education’ in the latest issue of the Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, at:


Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies:


Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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Marx's Grave

Marx's Grave



The third issue of 2009 is now available at

Volume 7 Number 3 2009 ISSN 1478-2103


Catherine Scott. The Culture of Teaching

Tim Vorley & Jen Nelles. Building Entrepreneurial Architectures: a conceptual interpretation of the Third Mission

Nils Lindahl Elliot. New Labour’s Skills Policy at the Intersection of Business and Politics

Charmaine Brooks. Teaching in Full View: GLA as a mechanism of power

Michael A. Peters & Ruyu Hung. Solar Ethics: a new paradigm for environmental ethics and education?

Vance S. Martin. Digital Systems Analysis

Robert Shaw. The Phenomenology of Democracy

OBAMA’S AMERICA: Michael A. Peters. Obama’s ‘Postmodernism’, Humanism and History

OCCASIONAL THOUGHTS: Henry A. Giroux. Ten Years after Columbine: the tragedy of youth deepens

Marx and Education (Robin Small), reviewed by Ergin Bulut

Access to the full texts of current articles is restricted to those who have a Personal subscription, or those whose institution has a Library subscription. However, all articles become free-to-view 18 months after publication:


Articles by Glenn and Ruth Rikowski at Policy Futures in Education:

Rikowski, R. (2003) Value – the Life Blood of Capitalism: knowledge is the current key, Policy Futures in Education, Vol.1 No.1, pp.160-178, online at:

Rikowski, G. (2004) Marx and the Education of the Future, Policy Futures in Education, Vol.2 Nos. 3 & 4, pp.565-577, online at:

Rikowski, R. (2006) A Marxist Analysis of the World Trade Organisation’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, Policy Futures in Education, Vol.4 No.4:


PERSONAL SUBSCRIPTION (single user access). Subscription to the 2009 issues (i.e. full access to the articles in Volume 7, Numbers 1-6) is available to individuals at a cost of US$52.00. Personal subscriptions also include automatic free access to ALL PAST ISSUES. If you wish to subscribe you may do so immediately at

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Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas:

Volumizer Resurrection Eleven



The Volumizer was Glenn Rikowski’s AOL blog. It was started up on 29th September 2005. On 30th September 2008, AOL announced that all of its Hometown products, including its blogs and newsletters, would be closed down on 31st October 2008. Glenn’s articles, many of which were written for his students at the Volumizer, will be preserved at The Flow of Ideas. The latest articles to be included in this project are listed below:






Rikowski, G. (2008) Marxism and Education Revisited, 25th April, London, online at:



Rikowski, G. (2008) Marx and Education Revisited, 21st April, London, online at:



Rikowski, G. (2008) Forms of Capital: Critique of Bourdieu on Social Capital, 15th April, London, online at:



Rikowski, G. (2008) Utopia and Education, 13th April, London, online at:



Rikowski, G. (2008) Globalisation and Education Revisited, 2nd March, London, online at:



Rikowski, G. (2008) Snowballs and Risk in Schools, 16th February, London, online:




The Rikowski web site, The Flow of Ideas is at: