Marxism and the Good Society

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Early in his life, Marx had perceived the prevailing social system as being so deeply flawed as to be irreparable. He was as impatient with utopian fantasies as he was with mere tinkering, and so he was driven to develop not only the intellectual forecast of bourgeois capitalism's necessary demise but also the plan of human action that would at once hasten that demise and school the revolutionary actors for the post-revolutionary task of constructing a good society. The essays in this 1981 book examine the problems that have arisen from attempts to implement Marx's critical theory. The centrality of the good society is hardly to be doubted in the context of that theory. As long as socialist regimes continue to invoke Marx's name, they necessarily render themselves subject to the norms contained within or implied by Marx's understanding and endorsement of freedom, equality, justice and human self-realization in a community.