Marx as Sociologist

Marx as Sociologist

KARL MARX, SELECTED WRITINGS IN SOCIOLOGY AND SOCIAL PHILOSOPHY, edited with an introduction and notes by T. B. Bottomore and Maximilien Rubel. Watts & Co. London, 1956. 268 pp. 21 s.

This book is required reading for all DISSENT readers. Radicals needn’t be Marxists, but they should know Marx.

American students of Marx have long been hampered by the fact that some of his most important writings, especially the earlier ones, are not available in English. This accounts in part for the seriously deficient interpretations of his work which one encounters not only among his adversaries, but also among the professed defenders of Marx. The complex and many-faceted structure of Marx’s thought can be fully understood only if the manuscripts prior to the Communist Manifesto are taken into consideration, and it is these, precisely, which in their majority have not yet been translated.

The present volume contains enough selections from earlier and later works to permit at least an overview of the whole of Marxist thought, from the early Introduction to the Critique of the Hegelian Philosophy of Law (1844) to the late proposal for an empirical study of working class conditions (1880).

The editors have organized the material in topical rather than chronological order, devoting special sections to such topics as: the materialist conception of history; the theory of existence and consciousness; the ideology of capitalism; capitalism and alienation; social classes and class conflict; the dynamics of revolution; the future society. While this arrangement does not permit an appreciation of the gradual development of Marx’s thought, it facilitates reference to specific subject matters


Socialist thought provides us with an imaginative and moral horizon.

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