Why Marx was Right refutes ten criticisms levelled at Marx and Marxism over the years by drawing on material from Marx and Engel’s original writings and by looking at how Marxism has evolved over the last century and a half.
Just some of the ten criticisms of Marx Eagleton refutes – in ten chapters -include ..
- Marxism is no longer relevant in a changed, classes society
- Marxism is economically reductionist
- Marxism has all too often lead to oppression
- The notion that Marxism is about equality which is not possible
- The idea that other struggles are more important – Feminism, anti-colonialism and ecological for example.
To summarise the very short (one page) conclusion on why Marxism is still relevant!
- Marx had a passionate faith in the individual and a suspicion of abstract dogma
- He Marx was in fact wary of the notion of equality and did not dream of a future in which we all wear boiler suits. It was diversity, not uniformity that he hoped to see.
- He was even more hostile to the state that right-wing conservatives are, and say socialism as the deepening of democracy, not as the enemy of it.
- His model of the good like was based on the idea of artistic self expression.
- He believed that some revolutions might be peacefully accomplished and was in no sense opposed to social reform.
- He did not focus narrowly on the manual working class. Nor did he see society in terms of two starkly polarised classes, he was well aware of the growing power of the middle classes even in 1860.
- He did not make a fetish of material production – he thought this should be done away with as far as possible. His ideal was leisure.
- He lavished praise on the middle class and saw socialism as the inheritor of its great legacies of liberty, civil rights and material prosperity.
- His views on nature and the environment were for the most part startlingly in advance of his time. There has been no more staunch champion of women’s emancipation, world peace or the struggle for colonial freedom that Marxism more generally.