The Essentialist Marx

  • Lawrence Wilde


Walking upright, this distinguishes men from animals, and it cannot yet be done. It exists only as a wish, the wish to live without exploitation and masters (Ernst Bloch).1


Political Economy Human Nature Radical Critic Human Freedom Ethical Community 
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  1. 1.
    Ernst Bloch, The Principle of Hope, Vol. 3 (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1986), p. 1367.Google Scholar
  2. 11.
    Marx Wartofsky, Feuerbach (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977), p. xx.Google Scholar
  3. 12.
    Ludwig Feeuerbach, The Essence of Christianity, trans. Marion Evans (George Eliot) (New York: Calvin Balnchard, 1855), p. 288.Google Scholar
  4. 14.
    Feuerbach, Principles of the Philosophy of the Future (Indianapolis: Hackett, 1986), p. 70.Google Scholar
  5. 20.
    Marx normally uses Entfremdung in a more explicitly evaluative manner in the Manuscripts — see Rodney Peffer, Marxism, Morality, and Social Justice (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990), p. 50; also the Glossary appended to Karl Marx, Early Writings (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1975), pp. 429–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 25.
    David McLellan, Karl Marx: His Life and Thought (London: Macmillan, 1973), p. 87.Google Scholar
  7. 28.
    Horst Mewes, ‘Karl Marx and the Influence of Greek Antiquity on Eighteenth-Century German Thought’ in Marx and Aristotle: Nineteenth Century German Social Theory and Classical Antiquity, ed. G. E. McCarthy (Savage, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield, 1992), p. 23.Google Scholar
  8. 30.
    Leslie Lipson, The Ethical Crisis of Civilization: Moral Meltdown or Advance? (Newbury Park, C. and London: Sage, 1993), pp. 43–5; see also Book Seven of Aristotle’s Politics, ed. E. Barker (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1969).Google Scholar
  9. 34.
    See Andrew Chitty, ‘The Early Marx on Needs’, in Radical Philosophy 64, 1993, p. 24.Google Scholar
  10. 40.
    CW 3, p. 326; for an analysis of Marx’s philosophy of money, see Lawrence Wilde, Marx and Contradiction (Aldershot: Avebury, 1989), ch. 4.Google Scholar
  11. 45.
    Charles Fourier, The Utopian Vision of Charles Fourier, ed. J. Beecher and R. Bienvenu (London: Cape, 1975), Section VI.Google Scholar
  12. 53.
    Norman Geras, Marx and Human Nature: Refutation of a Legend (London: Verso, 1983), ch. 2. He cites the writers who have used the thesis to argue that Marx had rejected the conception of human essence altogether on pp. 50–2.Google Scholar
  13. 54.
    Philip Kain, Marx and Ethics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991), pp. 85–9; this view is also supported by Ernest Mandel, The Formation of the Economic Thought of Karl Marx (London: New Left Books, 1975), p. 162. Mandel argues that the passages involving alienation from species being cannot be interpreted as referring to ‘socially determined alienation’, yet it is frankly puzzling to imagine that Marx has any other form of determination in mind.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 55.
    Peffer, Marxism, Morality, and Social Justice, p. 58; G. K. Browning, ‘The German Ideology: The Theory of History and the History of Theory’, in History of Political Thought XIV (3), 1993.Google Scholar
  15. 81.
    Aristotle, Politics, ed. Barker, E. (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1969), p. 6.Google Scholar
  16. 82.
    Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man under Socialism in Plays, Prose Writings and Poems (London: Everyman’s Library, 1991), p. 288.Google Scholar
  17. 84.
    The closeness of the philosophy of Marx and Hegel has often been noted, but the first major presentation of the relationship still merits attention — Herbert Marcuse, Reason and Revolution: Hegel and the Rise of Social Theory (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1973 and Boston, originally 1941); on Marx and Rousseau, see Lucio Colletti, From Rousseau to Lenin: Studies in Ideology and Society (London: New Left Books, 1972), pp. 143–94.Google Scholar
  18. 99.
    Louis Althusser, Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays (London: New Left Books, 1971), p. 81.Google Scholar
  19. 100.
    On Marx’s method in Capital see Terrell Carver, ‘Marx — and Hegel’s Logic ’ in Political Studies XXIV(1), 1976; Christopher J. Arthur, ‘Hegel’s Logic and Marx’s Capital’ in Fred Moseley (ed.), Marx’s Method in Capital: A Reexamination (Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities Press International, 1993)Google Scholar
  20. 101.
    CW 29, pp. 284–5; see also Lawrence Wilde, ‘Logic: Dialectic and Contradiction’, in Terrell Carver (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Marx (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1991).Google Scholar
  21. 108.
    Erich Fromm, ‘Humanist Psycho-Analysis and Marx’s Theory’ in Fromm (ed.), Socialist Humanism (London: Allen Lane Penguin, 1967), p. 221.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Lawrence Wilde 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lawrence Wilde
    • 1
  1. 1.The Nottingham Trent UniversityUK

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