Our usual policy is not to reprint articles from American magazines, but we feel that the one below is important enough to warrant a departure from that policy. It first appeared in the Monthly Review, June 1969, and is here reprinted with permission of that journal and the author. Our readers will note similarities of argument with both Erazim Kohak’s “Requiem for Utopia,” which appeared in our January-February 1969 issue, and Benjamin Schwartz’s “The Reign of Virtue: Thoughts on China’s Cultural Revolution” in the May-June 1969 issue.
Before his study of French revolutionary politics and British political economy, in the period when he was criticizing Hegel’s theory of the state from the standpoint of a radical democrat, Marx proclaimed as his ideal mankind’s return from Gesellschaft to Gemeinschaft:
That self-reliance, that freedom, which disappeared from earth with the Greeks, and with Christianity vanished into the blue haze of heaven, must again be awakened in the hearts of men. Then only will they seek as their highest goal moving from society (Gesellschaft) to a new community (Gemeinschaft), to a ...
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