Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Messiah of the Proleteriat



By Peter Singer

Part of the ‘Past Masters’ series, this short account of Karl Marx’s life and thinking is a useful introduction to the philosopher, but with enough expository points to interest readers more familiar with his work.

Singer, who has also written about the ethical treatment of animals and is known as a liberal utilitarian, prefers to focus on the normative and conceptual strands in Marx’s writing rather than the technical details or practical politics of Marxist governance.

An introductory biographical chapter is followed by a discussion of Marx’s intellectual evolution as a Hegelian and his building on the theory of dialectical materialism. The principal ideas of Marx’s historical determinism - of economics as the chief form of alienation, and the working class as the liberating force of humanity - are discussed with clarity and critical insight.

This is paralleled with vivid descriptions of the life and impact of one of the most influential people ever, and how Nineteenth Century industrial Europe shaped his theoretical output and radical political struggles. Singer notes (at the time of writing) that four out of every ten citizens on earth were living under governments that claimed to be run along Marxist principles. But his impact was far greater than this, as the author duly observes:

“Can anyone now think about society without reference to Marx's insights into the links between economic and intellectual life? Marx’s ideas brought about modern sociology, transformed the study of history, and profoundly affected philosophy, literature and the arts. In this sense of the term – admittedly a very loose sense – we are all Marxists now.”

1 comment:

  1. Weekends to peopleig2tmean that they can have a two-day wowgold4europe good rest. For example, people gameusdcan go out to enjoy themselves or get meinwowgoldtogether with relatives and friends to talk with each storeingameother or watch interesting video tapes with the speebiewhole family.
    Everyone spends agamegoldweekends in his ownmmoflyway. Within two days,some people can relax themselves by listening to music, reading novels,or watchingogeworld films. Others perhaps are more active by playing basketball,wimming ormmorpgvipdancing. Different people have different gamesavorrelaxations.
    I often spend weekends withoggsalemy family or my friends. Sometimes my parents take me on a visit to their old friends. Sometimesgamersell I go to the library to study or borrow some books tommovirtexgain much knowledge. I also go to see various exhibition to broadenrpg tradermy vision. An excursion to seashore or mountain resorts is my favorite way of spending weekends. Weekends are always enjoyable for me.
    igxe swagvaultoforu wowgold-usaignmax wowgoldlivebrogame thsaleGoldRockU