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human nature

The Ethics of Marxism pt.3 Human Nature and Morality

After Marx died there grew up a legend that his theory of social causation was too narrowly mechanistic to provide accommodation for any sort of ethics. No doubt Marx, in combating the sentimental "moralising" of certain utopian contemporaries who called themselves "the True Socialists," had leaned so far backward as to give semblance if not substance for fathering on him views whose alleged paternity he would have disclaimed.

Socialism as a Humanism

A Professor Defends Capitalism

A Capitalism versus Socialism debate

Professor David Marsland, West London Institute

Serious consideration of alternatives to capitalism needs to address: the nature of capitalism; its validity as an instrument of progress; the threat from existing alternatives; and the plausibility and cost/benefit ratio of socialist alternatives.

The nature of capitalism

The real nature of capitalism is widely misunderstood, especially by intellectuals. Over and above ignorance, there is widespread prejudice. This serves to confuse description with evaluation, and fosters naive wish-fulfilment.

Capitalism is not inherently or by definition exploitative, cruel and arbitrary, or unjust. These are empirical issues, to be judged as part of the objective evaluation of capitalism in terms of relevant evidence and reasoned argument.

Objections Overruled

One of the most frequent objections to socialism is "That's all very well in theory, but you can't change human nature".

Karl Marx: Anthropologist

Text of a talk given by guest speaker Brian Morris at a Socialist Party meeting in London on 21 April this year

The Polish philosopher Leszek Kolakowski began his well-known history of Marxism with the words ‘Karl Marx was a German philosopher’. True: Marx studied philosophy at the University of Berlin in his early twenties, and had a passion for German philosophy, particularly that of Hegel, but it hardly needs saying that Marx cannot be understood simply as a philosophical thinker. Better known, perhaps, as a political journalist, an erudite economist, and a revolutionary socialist, Marx was also, in an important sense, an anthropologist, for he always repudiated scholastic metaphysics. He can indeed be described as one of the founding ancestors of anthropology.

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