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By Alasdair MacIntyre

Even if Alasdair MacIntyre is healthier identified this day because the writer of "After advantage" (1981), he used to be, within the Fifties and Sixties, the most erudite individuals of Britain's Marxist Left: being a militant inside of, first, the Communist get together, after which the recent Left

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Personal communication, Birchall to Davidson, 24 August 2000. It should be added, of course, that MacIntyre was scarcely alone in producing professional work which did not reflect his Marxist beliefs. Indeed, even such cadres as the SLL’s Cliff Slaughter produced fairly anodyne sociology during their day jobs. See, for example, Slaughter 1956. 2 In the end, we did not include essays of this type because they would have diluted the main focus of the book. Our consideration of whether to include ‘Ought’ did however lead on to the more general question of our attitude to the minority of essays which are still in print.

Goldmann 1964, p. 301. Goldmann 1964, pp. 41–6. Goldmann 1964, p. 301. indd xxxvi 1/22/2008 5:23:52 PM Introduction: the Unknown Alasdair MacIntyre • xxxvii a wager on the revolutionary potential of the proletariat. MacIntyre accepted this argument, and indeed deepened it when he wrote that ‘one cannot first understand the world and only then act on it. How one understands the world will depend in part on the decision implicit in ones already taken actions. 71 To label MacIntyre’s wager dogmatic is thus to miss the point: one way or another, we all make the wager, and those who do not bet on the proletariat are compelled to retreat back to the tragic vision: if we reject Marx, then we are doomed, therefore, to fall back into one form or another of the incommensurable ethical perspectives dominant within bourgeois society.

268–9. indd xliv 1/22/2008 5:23:53 PM Introduction: the Unknown Alasdair MacIntyre • xlv remained baseless. MacIntyre’s socialist morality, in this context, could boast no more compelling foundation than any competing moral claim. ’ to a packed room in the Examinations Schools. My image is of a short, jowelled figure in a corduroy suit, the latest in radical chic. The style was at once magisterial and provocative, deadpan but destructive. . Like Nietzsche and Sartre, MacIntyre saw ‘the death of God’ as a cataclysmic event in the history of moral systems which had, since the Enlightenment, become a series of failed attempts to attain the objectivity of theism without the embarrassment of theistic doctrines, an objective moral code without God as the author.

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