Actualizing the Legacy—New Social Movements in the West and Civil Society against the State in the East

  • Dick Howard
Part of the Political Philosophy and Public Purpose book series (POPHPUPU)


The reader of this volume may wonder why some thinkers were included while others are absent. The answer lies in the concept of a legacy and in the politics of its inheritance. The wordplay is important. Designating the legacy as Marxian suggests that Marx and those Marxists who claim to be his heirs have no monopoly on the theoretical definition or practical realization of radical politics. By refusing to accord Marx the sole paternity of the political search for what classical philosophers called ‘the Good Life in the City’, it becomes possible to rethink political theory and the light that it casts on contemporary political choices. My principles of inclusion and exclusion can be explained by this broader goal. As for Marx himself, to whose work I have returned several times during the years since the first edition of The Marxian Legacy, he is also best understood within the context constituted by his legacy, which has practical as well as theoretical, as the title of this chapter suggests.

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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dick Howard
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyStony Brook UniversityNew YorkUSA

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