Post-Marxism is a trend in philosophy and social theory based on Karl Marx's writings and Marxism proper, and bypassing orthodox Marxism. Philosophically, post-Marxism counters derivationism and essentialism (for example, it does not see the State as an instrument that "functions" unambiguously and autonomously on behalf of the interests of a given class). Recent overviews of post-Marxism are provided by Ernesto Screpanti, Göran Therborn, and Gregory Meyerson.
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Post-Marxism dates from the late 1960s; several trends and events of that period influenced its development. The weakness of the Russian Communist Soviet paradigm became evident beyond Russia. This happened concurrently with the occurrence internationally of the student riots of 1968, the rise of Maoist theory, and the proliferation of commercial television, which covered in its broadcasts the Vietnam War.
When Roland Barthes began his sustained critique of mass culture via semiology—the science of signs—and the book Mythologies, some Marxist philosophers based their social criticism upon linguistics, semiotics, and discourse. Basing his approach on Barthes' work, Baudrillard wrote For a Critique of the Political Economy of the Sign (1972), criticizing contemporary Marxism for ignoring the sign value of its philosophic discourse.