I’ve personally always found more interesting than Lukacs and Gramsci, despite Tony Judt’s claim claim here that they are only of antiquarian interest. Several people I knew in graduate school were avid readers of The Spirit of Utopia, though I think I might have been the only person I knew to be interested in Goldmann’s transformational concepts.
I once suggested that Lem was more–or at least as–deserving of general acclamations and prizes than Kolakowski, and Judt’s essay has not exactly changed my mind. Here’s another questionable bit:
The second fantasy is the belief that Marxism has an intellectual and political future: not merely in spite of communism’s collapse but because of it. Hitherto found only at the international “periphery” and in the margins of academia, this renewed faith in Marxism—at least as an analytical tool if not a political prognostication—is now once again, largely for want of competition, the common currency of international protest movements.
The desideratum of world protest is the totaliter aliter, and any analytic tools employed thereby will have some family resemblance. But these latter versions–think Empire–embrace contingency far more readily than Judt allows.