The Decline of Community

  • Evan Luard


Among the most deeply held beliefs of the early socialist writers was the contention that a socialist organisation of society would create among those who worked in it a new sense of community. In one of his early manuscripts Marx wrote:

When communist workmen associate with one another … they acquire a new need, the need for society — and what appears as a means becomes an end … The brotherhood of man is no mere phrase with them, but a fact of life, and the nobility of man shines upon us from work-hardened bodies.1

The social ownership of the means of production, therefore, though important in itself, was mainly a means to a more important end: an expression of the desire, held by many political writers from Plato and Aristotle onwards, for a form of political organisation in which the essentially social nature of the human being could be most fully expressed.


Common Purpose Socialist Society Socialist Organisation Total Stranger Genuine Sense 
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  1. 1.
    K. Marx, Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844 (Moscow, 1959) p.124.Google Scholar

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© Evan Luard 1979

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  • Evan Luard

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