Ethical Marxism: The Categorical Imperative of Liberation (Creative Marxism)

Ethical Marxism: The Categorical Imperative of Liberation (Creative Marxism)

Bill Martin

Language: English

Pages: 494


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

This book aims to reinvigorate the Marxist project and the role it might play in illuminating the way beyond capitalism. Though political economy and scientific investigation are needed for pure Marxism, Martin’s argument is that the extent to which these elements are needed cannot be determined within the conversations of political economy and other investigations into causal mechanisms. What has not been done, and what this book does, is to argue for the possibility of a rethought Marxism that takes ethics as its core, displacing political economy and "scientific" investigation.

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talk about changes that we are inviting catastrophe to make. (What Are People For? 201) It would be the easiest thing in the world, and a kind of bad utopianism of the sort Marx rightly criticized, to avoid dealing with this sham by invoking a “universal” solution, especially one that presumes that the standard of living enjoyed by relatively well-off people in the first world can be made global. At the same time we have to address the terms of the question, what “standard of living” really

position (that in fact I do not hold), it would seem to me that there is much to be said for this orientation as a methodology of philosophy; there is a prima facie case for it. For one thing, it would seem clear that, in a very general way, such an orientation opens philosophy to what might be called the ordinarily observed richness of human life, experience, and practice. It could also be argued that the ideal of “thought thinking itself,” as indeed with some monastic and/or theological

but before the revolutionary seizure of power; the period of socialism, when the proletariat held power (with various contradictions and difficulties, of course—these being a substantial topic in Marxism and the Call of the Future); and the loss of proletarian power and the restoration of capitalism. Significantly, we have to speak of an additional phase in the Chinese Revolution, namely the Cultural Revolution. From the first page of our conversations it is clear Avakian and I share the view

have tried to argue that the material basis for change includes the felt need for change and the commitment to work for change, and that these elements affect our understanding of historical materialism. One of the disagreements that Avakian and I have is over “religion” (I place the term in scare quotes because it is often unclear what people mean by the term, and often people discuss “religion” as if they are talking about the same thing, when they are not). Avakian says that we should stop

imperialist system—this is the case even if, in some circumstances, this rot also can be a problem for the system itself. We might also pause for reflection over the question of what it meant, when Mao and the Communist Party of China came to power in 1949, that the conversation in the United States within elite political and diplomatic circles—but broadcast without compunction, without a moment’s worth of moral hesitation, to the rest of America and the world, that the essential question was

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