Ethics and Realpolitik in the National Policy, 1847–1849

Erica Benner

in Really Existing Nationalisms

Published in print December 1995 | ISBN: 9780198279594
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598791 | DOI:
 Ethics and Realpolitik in the National Policy, 1847–1849

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The relationship between ethical principles and cold, strategic Realpolitik in Marx and Engels’ national policy has been much disputed. This chapter reconstructs the ethical thinking behind their policies during the 1848 revolutions and counter‐revolutions. It argues that a distinctive, consistent set of ethical concerns can be tracked in most of their writings in this period, although Engels’ infamous stance on the ‘historyless’ Slav peoples deviates from their usual anti‐determinist approach.

Keywords: 1848 Revolutions; anti‐determinism; Czechs; ethics; historyless nations; national policy; national self‐determination; Poland; realpolitik; viability

Chapter.  12261 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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