Mark Neufeld on Ralph Miliband

Anyway, I remember at one point challenging the marxist thesis about the centrality of capital in orienting politics by raising the Galbraithian counter that in advanced capitalist societies, ownership of capital is separated from control, etc. I remember that a number of people in the class jumped on me (and I’m sure I had it coming), urging [Ralph] Miliband to ignore me and get on with more important things. But he was very quick to quiet them, and responded that the Galbraithian view was an important one, and had to be met with reasoned arguments. He then proceeded to do that in considerable detail … I was very struck by the degree of respect he showed me. And that was the moment, I think, when I realized (and you have to understand, I was raised in an environment even more hostile to all things marxist than is normally the case in North America) that one didn’t have to sacrifice intellectual rigour or moral integrity to work within the marxist tradition.

—Mark Neufeld, from “Ralph Miliband, Socialist Intellectual, 1924–1994” by Leo Panitch, The Socialist Register (1995), 1–21

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