Chapter

Marxism and Despotism

Joseph V Femia

in Marxism and Democracy

Published in print June 1993 | ISBN: 9780198279211
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191713842 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198279213.003.0004
 Marxism and Despotism

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The central thesis of this chapter is that Communist despotism was a logical consequence of Marxist theory. This ‘genetic’ explanation is contrasted with the ‘environmental’ explanation, which views the totalitarian degeneration of communism as the contingent result of unfavourable circumstances. The genetic explanation can take several different forms. Some commentators argue that Marxism's inherent flaw is its consequentialism; others focus on its ‘messianism’ or its contempt for private property. This chapter lays the blame on Marxism's holistic conception of human nature.

Keywords: communism; consequentialism; despotism; holistic; human nature; Marxism; Marxist; messianism; private property; totalitarian

Chapter.  12639 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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