By Norman Arthur Fischer
As commonly utilized as Marxist thought is this present day, there stay a bunch of key western thinkers whose texts are hardly ever scrutinized via a Marxist lens. during this philosophical research of Marx's never-before translated German notes on Machiavelli, Montesquieu, Rousseau, and Lewis Henry Morgan, Norman Fischer issues to a pressure of Marxist ethics which can basically be understood within the context of the nice works of Western political conception and philosophy—particularly those who emphasize the republican worth of public spiritedness, the communitarian price of cohesion, and the liberal values of liberty and equality.
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Extra info for Marxist Ethics Within Western Political Theory: A Dialogue with Republicanism, Communitarianism, and Liberalism
In the “Critique,” Marx used two types of argument against Hegel’s communitarian political ethics in order to construct his own communitarian ethics of democracy. First, part of Marx’s concept of democracy simply states positively his negative critique of political institutions. Sounding a note echoed by many later anarchists, Marx denigrates the institutional basis of democracy, which he sees as moving away from true community. This is Marx’s antipolitical and antirepublican argument. For Marx in 1843, however, these antiinstitutional arguments were echoes of Feuerbachian deep cultural ethics against Hegelian political ethics.
The history of republican Marxism begins with Marx’s early dialogue with communitarian and participatory forms of democracy, particularly with Rousseau and other modern Western European republicans who have explored the relation between community and democracy. 6 The republican revival has reminded a respectably large European and North American audience of the dangers in breaking the links between community and democracy. Left radical and Marxist forms of republicanism can be fit more easily into Western political ethics than when Berlin first articulated his critique, but republicans must show awareness that community can both enhance democracy and also threaten it by undermining negative liberty.
The answer is that Marx sided with the French Revolution of 1789, and, before it, with the American Revolution of 1776. ” Marx’s use of the experience of the French Revolution to stake out what is apparently a middle path between Rousseauian directness and Montesquieuian representation emerges in his solution to Hegel’s dilemma of what came first, constitution or legislature. Hegel used the fact that the legislature must itself be based on the constitution to put limits on natural law reforming of constitutions associated with the French Revolution.