In this book R. G. Peffer tackles the challenges of finding in Marx's work an implicit moral theory, of answering claims that Marxism is incompatible with morality, and of developing the outlines of an adequate Marxist moral and social ...
Originally delivered at a conference of Marxist philosophers in China, this article examines some links, and some tensions, between business ethics and the traditional concerns of Marxism. After discussing the emergence of business ethics as an academic discipline, it explores and attempts to answer two Marxist objections that might be brought against the enterprise of business ethics. The first is that business ethics is impossible because capitalism itself tends to produce greedy, overreaching, and unethical business behavior. The second is (...) that business ethics is irrelevant because focusing on the moral or immoral conduct of individual firms or businesspeople distracts one’s attention from the systemic vices of capitalism. I argue, to the contrary, that, far from being impossible, business requires and indeed presupposes ethics and that for those who share Marx’s hope for a better society, nothing could be more relevant than engaging the debate over corporate social responsibility. In line with this, the article concludes by sketching some considerations favoring corporations’ adopting a broader view of their social and moral responsibilities, one that encompasses more than the pursuit of profit. (shrink)
It is reported that the moment anyone talked to Marx about morality, he would roar with laughter. Yet, plainly, he was fired by outrage and a burning desire for a better world. This paradox is the starting point for Marxism and Morality. Discussing the positions taken by Marx, Engels, and their descendants in relation to certain moral issues, Steven Lukes addresses the questions on which Marxist thinkers and actors have taken a number of characteristic stands as well as other (...) questions--personal relations and the moral virtues of the individual, for example--on which Marxism falls silent. A provocative exploration of the gray area where Marxism and morality meet, this book argues that Marxism makes a number of major moral claims and that its appeal has always been, in large part, a moral one. (shrink)
This book undertakes a systematic comparative analysis of the political philosophies of Sartre and mealeau-Ponty between 1929 and 1960. It critically explores their pre-war discovery of Husserl, Hegel and Heidegger; It records the impact of the second world war and the subsequent founding of Les Temps Modernes. It also reviews their post-war writing, both journalistic and philosophical. Their eventual divergence of views is hows as developing, against the background of world events, from their initial philosophical outlooks. The book sheds new (...) light on the work of both writers, and sets the question of Marxism's relation to existentialism in historical context. (shrink)
Examines the relevance of Foucault's work for developing an understanding of those issues which lie beyond the limits of Marxist theory and analysis - issues such as 'individualising' forms of power, power-knowledge relations, the rise of ...
Originally published in 1961. Russian Marxist philosophy of science originated among men and women who gave their whole lives to rebellion against established authority. The original tension within Marxist philosophy between positivism and metaphysics was repressed but not resolved in this first phase of Soviet Marxism. In this volume the author correlates the development of ideas with trends in the Cultural Revolution and against this background it is possible to understand why debates over general philosophy gave way to conflicts (...) over specific sciences in the aftermath of the first Five Year Plan and why there was a genuine crisis in Soviet biology. (shrink)
I argue that Aristotelians who are sympathetic to the critique of liberal moral categories put forward by Alasdair MacIntyre ought to avail themselves of Marx's analysis of capitalism in Capital, Volume 1. Broadly speaking, there are two reasons for such a recommendation. First, Marx's account shows capitalism to be the sociological substrate for the evisceration of particularity that so concerns MacIntyre and other Aristotelians. I offer an explanation for why MacIntyre seems not to appreciate this. Second, Marx's own thinking is (...) markedly Aristotelian, in ways that I specify. (shrink)
In Replacing Truth, Scharp takes the concept of truth to be fundamentally incoherent. As such, Scharp reckons it to be unsuited for systematic philosophical theorising and in need of replacement – at least for regions of thought and talk which permit liar sentences and their ilk to be formulated. This replacement methodology is radical because it not only recommends that the concept of truth be replaced, but that the word ‘true’ be replaced too. Only Tarski has attempted anything like it (...) before. I dub such a view Conceptual Marxism. In assessing this view, my goals are fourfold: to summarise the many components of Scharp’s theory of truth; to highlight what I take to be some of the excess baggage carried by the view; to assess whether, and to what extent, the extreme methodology on offer is at all called for; finally, to briefly propose a less radical replacement strategy for resolving the liar paradox. (shrink)
Although Marxism and deconstruction of differences, but can be associated with. To associate Marxism and deconstruction, not only back to Marx's radical critique of capitalist ideology, the basic theory of Marxism screening of metaphysical factors, but also avoids Marx's logocentric misappropriation. Despite the divergent attitudes between Marxism and deconstruction, there exists a possible link between the two of them. A critical articulation of them can not only restore the radical edge to Marxism devoted to the (...) critique of bourgeois ideology, which is tainted with metaphysical presuppositions, but also be able to avoid the influence of the implicit logocentrism in Marxism. (shrink)
Today more than ever Marxism is profoundly in need of a full and precise modern reappraisal. In his belief that this may only be accomplished along with an examination of the "humanistic" young Marx, Adam Schaff presents in this volume an illumination of the thinker's early work and its relationship to the world-shaking economic philosophy that stemmed from it.
Marxism has often been associated with two different legacies. The first rests on a strong exposition and critique of the logic of capitalism, grounded in a systematic analysis of the laws of motion of capitalism as a system. The second legacy refers to a strong historicist perspective grounded in a conception of social relations that emphasises the centrality of power and social conflict to the analysis of history. This article challenges the prominence of structural accounts of capitalism by showing (...) how the tension between these legacies has played out within Political Marxism, both orientations already having co-existed, somewhat uneasily, within Robert Brenner’s original contributions to the Transition Debate. Through this internal critique and re-formulation of Political Marxism, we wish to open a broader debate within Marxism on the need for a more agency-based account of capitalism, which builds more explicitly on the concept of social relations, to recover the historicist legacy of Marxism. (shrink)
In the 1980s, leading philosophers at Oxford, Chicago and UCLA undertook a controversial reassessment of Marxism using the techniques of analytical philosophy. The aim of these so-called "Non-Bullshit" Marxists was no less than the complete reconstruction of Marxist theory, recasting it on a logical and rigorous basis, free from all metaphysical jargon and sentimentality. Marcus Roberts's study serves as a lucid survey of the Analytical Marxists' contributions to the understanding of historical materialism, exploitation, class structure, method, politics and ethics—a (...) panoramic tour de force which he brings up to date with considerations on John Roemer's recent work on models of socialism. Roberts charts the sinuous progress of the growth, development and ultimate dilution or disintegration of the bold theses originally put forward by such figures as Gerry Cohen, Jon Elster and John Roemer. For Roberts, the Analytical Marxist project, for all its elegance and richness, failed on its own terms, and in terms of Marxism more generally. However, as this book so persuasively demonstrates, along its winding route, the project raised questions of fundamental importance for social and political theory—questions that anyone interested in emancipation cannot avoid taking seriously. (shrink)
As John Roemer says in his introduction to this volume, 'During the past decade, what now appears as a new species in social theory has been forming: analytically sophisticated Marxism. Its practitioners are largely inspired by Marxian questions which they pursue with contemporary tools of logic, mathematics, and model building … These writers are, self-consciously, products of both the Marxian and non-Marxian traditions.' This volume assembles substantial and original essays, both published and unpublished, by some of the leading practitioners (...) of 'analytical Marxism'. The essays discuss a number of the fundamental issues of Marxian thought as well as questions that conventional Marxists see no need to raise. They exemplify the ways in which analytical Marxists are beginning to reinvigorate the Marxian tradition and, in doing so, to break down the barriers that have divided it from other forms of social theory. The volume will make an excellent textbook and an ideal introduction to this new approach. (shrink)
Written nearly fifty years ago, at a time when the world was still wrestling with the concepts of Marx and Lenin, 'The Illusion of the Epoch' is the perfect resource for understanding the roots of Marxism-Leninism and its implications for philosophy, modern political thought, economics, and history. As Professor Tim Fuller has written, this "is not an intemperate book, but rather an effort at a sustained, scholarly argument against Marxian views." Far from demonising his subject, Acton scrupulously notes where (...) Marx's account of historical and economic events and processes is essentially accurate. However, Acton also points out that Marx is generally right about things that were already widely known and accepted in his own time and indeed had been long understood in the nineteenth century. On the other hand, Acton shows that in many cases Marx either is simply wrong or has stated his views so as to render his theories immune to disproof. Acton also explains why the embodiment of Marxist-Leninist theory in an actual social order would require coercive support if it were not, sooner or later, to collapse of its own contradictions. (shrink)
This article examines why Günther Anders, one of the 20th century’s most formidable critics of technology, deemed a critique of technology necessary at all. I argue that the radical philosophy of industrialism in Die Antiquiertheit des Menschen and related texts is a response to what Anders’s work presents as inadequacies of traditional Marxism, with its focus on class struggle and property relations. In effect, his critique of technology, which is more attentive to forms of domination emergent with mechanization, would (...) come to supplant classical Marxist thought. The piece concludes with some thoughts about how Anders’s ‘post-Marxist’ perspective provides insights for contemporary Marxism and, in turn, how the latter can throw light on problems in Anders’s philosophy of the machine. (shrink)
This book provides a guide to fundamental issues in 20th-century Marxist thought. Outlining the two distinct and incompatible critiques of "vulgar Marxism"--Marxist-Leninist and humanistic Marxism--that gained prominence in the aftermath of World War I, this book presents both an historical overview of these two dominant traditions and a critical analysis of their philosophical roots. With a careful critique of these prevailing views the author presents his own view which while receptive to the social scientific work of current analytical (...)Marxism deemphasizes the importance of philosophy in the study of Marxism. (shrink)
Buddhism and Marxism may seem unlikely bedfellows, since they come from such different times and places, and appear to address such different concerns. But the two have at least this much in common: both say that life, as we find it, is unsatisfactory; both have a diagnosis of why this is; and both offer the hope of making it better. In this paper, I argue that aspects of each complement aspects of the other. In particular, Buddhism provides a stable (...) ethical base that Marxism always lacked; and Marxism provides a sophisticated political philosophy, which Buddhism never had. I will explain those aspects of each of the two on which I wish to draw, and then explain how they are complementary. (shrink)
The first of the new Theory and History series, Matt Perry's punchy andaccessible volume examines Marxism's enormous impact on the way historians approach their subject. Perry offers both a concise introduction to the Marxist view of history and Marxism historical writing, and a guide to its relevance to students' own work.
Modern socialist economic reforms which center on the establishment of a commodity based economic system, demand a reconsideration of human nature. Marxism and human sociobiology give different answers to questions about human nature, but neither is complete in itself. It seems timely, therefore, to suggest that a combination of biological understanding with a Marxist-based social understanding would produce a more adequate notion of human nature, thereby helping us to resolve a number of problems posed by reforms currently taking place (...) in socialist countries. We might also hope to face new challenges posed in the future. (shrink)
Just as the two sides in the Cold War agreed that Western Capitalism and Soviet Communism were "the" two alternatives, so the two sides in the intellectual Great Debate agreed on a common framing of questions with the defenders of capitalism taking one side and Marxists taking the other side of the questions. From the viewpoint of economic democracy (e.g., a labor-managed market economy), this late Great Debate between capitalism and socialism was as misframed as would be an antebellum 'Great (...) Debate' between the private or public ownership of slaves. Even though the Great Debate between capitalism and socialism is now in the dustbin of intellectual history, Marxism still plays an important role in sustaining the misframing of the questions so that the defenders of the present employment system do not have to face the real questions that separate that system from a system of economic democracy. In that sense, Marxism has become the ultimate capitalist tool. (shrink)
Alain Badiou’s theoretical work maintains an ambiguous relation to Marx’s critique of political economy. In seemingly refusing the Marxian analytical strategy of displacement and referral across the fields of politics and economy, Badiou is frequently seen to be lacking a rigorous theoretical grasp of capitalism itself. In turn, this is often seen as a consequence of his understanding of political subjectivity. But the origins of this ‘lack’ of analysis of the social relation called ‘capital’ in his work can also be (...) investigated by means of a detour into the economic writings of theUnion des communistes de France marxiste-léniniste, the political organisation in which Badiou played a leading rôle throughout the 1970s in particular. By excavating this theoretical work of the 1970s, we can identify more precisely the historical and political reasons behind Badiou’s ambiguous relation to Marx and specifically to Marx’s systematic grasp of the logic of capital. This excavation will consequently lead us to a reflection on the limits and openings in Badiou’s thought for the Marxian critique of political economy. (shrink)
Marxism began with the repudiation of philosophy, yet Marxists have often resorted to distinctively philosophical modes of reasoning. In recent years, Western Marxism has been more concerned with philosophy than with research or political activity, and in this book Callinicos explores the ambivalent relationship between Marxism and philosophy. Beginning with Marx and the legacy of Hegelianism, he surveys the schools of Marxist philosophy from Engels and the Second International through the revolutionary Hegelianism, of the 1920s, the Frankfurt (...) School, and the anti-Hegelian Marxism of Adorno and Althusser. (shrink)
The relationship of Marxist thought to the phenomena of everyday life and utopia, both separately and in terms of their intersection, is a complex and often ambiguous one. In this article, I seek to trace some of the theoretical filiations of a critical Marxist approach to their convergence (as stemming mainly from a Central European tradition), in order to tease out some of the more significant ambivalences and semantic shifts involved in its theorization. This lineage originates in the work of (...) Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, then stretches to Georg Lukács and the so-called ‘Gnostic Marxism’ of Walter Benjamin (as mediated by the important figure of Georg Simmel), and culminating most recently in the work of Agnes Heller. Such a Marxist theory is inseparable from a political project that seeks to unveil and critique what it takes to be the debased, routinized and ideological qualities of daily existence under the auspices of modern capitalist society, but also attempts to locate certain emancipatory tendencies within this selfsame terrain, an orientation that can be summed up in the phrase ‘everyday utopianism’. Although there are occasional lapses into dualistic modes of thinking in the work of these writers, the key insight they present to us is the need to overcome the pervasive dichotomy between the everyday/immanent and the utopian/transcendental, of a sort that has bedevilled the work of many other theorists and intellectual traditions. (shrink)
This book represents the culmination of the life's work of one of Italy's foremost Marxist theorists. In it, Ferruccio Rossi-Landi illuminates the complex issues raised by the concept of "ideology." Through his penetrating analysis of the intimate relationship between language, consciousness, and power, his treatise not only offers a valuable review of the history of the notion of ideology and the debate surrounding it, but represents an original and comprehensive revision of the classic Marxist theory of ideology. While retaining the (...) conceptual framework of historical materialism, the author addresses three major developments in post-war human sciences: the recognition of Marxism's shortcomings as a predictive and strictly empirical system of thought, the relativism which has invaded every academic discipline, and the emergence of semiology and linguistics as major fields of enquiry. (shrink)
The paper analyzes the concept of work in Slovak Marxist–Leninist philosophy and ethics in the second half of the twentieth century by referencing, in particular, Furnham’s critical assessment of the relationship between left-wing ideology and the values of work ethic. The author comes to the conclusion that, on the one hand, Marxist–Leninist ideology and the practice of building socialism made the notion and phenomenon of work into an ideological fetish; on the other hand, however, the real value of work and (...) its contribution to the development of society was depreciated. Instead of bringing about the liberation of work all that it engendered was a new form of its alienation. (shrink)
Examining developments in two of the central traditions of social and political theory - Marxism and pluralism, this work investigates whether the relation between them is one of progressive convergence.
The article studies the implications for historical materialism of the failure of the socialist project in the Soviet Union. The author demonstrates that the said failure broadly confirms central historical materialist theses, which would have been difficult to sustain if the Russian revolution had succeeded in its goal of superseding capitalism and establishing a socialist society.
This article appraises the political writings of three Polish Marxists from the early 20th century, Kazimierz Kelles-Krauz, Stanisław Brzozowski and Rosa Luxemburg. In the specific peripheral conditions and because of the entanglement of different struggles in the Polish Kingdom under Tsarist rule around the 1905 Revolution, it was no longer possible for Marxists and political theorists to refer to any firm political ground: whether the organic unity of the nation, class antagonisms, or laws of history. The construction of revolutionary subjects (...) in Luxemburg, the political rethinking of national community and the realistic ‘agonistic’ conception of democracy in Kelles-Krauz, and Brzozowski’s anti-essentialist Marxism, with its mobilizing power and politically constructed subjects of social change, are peculiar, peripheral forms of political Marxism, today worth looking at one more time. (shrink)
Marxism has defined its key values in opposition to animals other than human in order to promote the interests of the most downtrodden human beings. Although it has characterized itself as a scientific historical and economic theory, sympathy for human suffering has provided its most powerful motivation as a political force. This capacity for sympathy, causing in modern times an extension of Marxist concerns beyond "class" in the original sense, is beginning to accommodate animals as are the theoretical concepts (...) of alienation, surplus value, and historical materialism. Marxism's inconsistencies are being resolved in favor of the side that, for human as well as animal benefit, favors individual sentience and other pro-animal values. So, in a truly dialectical progression, the same quality of sympathy that at first caused Marxism to denigrate animals is now coming out in their support. (shrink)
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