Marsx and morality

Justin Schwartz jschwart at
Tue Jun 6 17:21:42 MDT 1995

On Tue, 6 Jun 1995 glevy at wrote:

> Justin is, of course, correct to say that Marx had a set of moral
> beliefs. The point that I made in the previous post, though, is that the
> law of value is not (I believe) grounded in his morality.

Who said anything to the contrary?

> As for morality itself, many Marxists have debated what is moral within
> the context of the capitalist mode of production.  I would recommend
> Trotsky's short pamphlet THEIR MORALS AND OURS for continued discussion
> of the morality question.

No disrespect to Leon, but the discussion has got rather better than that.
For a Trotskyist point of view, you might try Norman Geras on justice or
revolutionarity morality--the former in Literature of Revolutio, the the
lastter in Discourses of Extremity. For a sort of ex-Trot Marxo-Rawlsian
view, see Rodney Peffer's Marxism, Morality and Social Justice. For a
defense of Marxian amoralism, try Richard Miller's Analysing Marx; for
Marxain relativism, Milton Fisk's Ethics and Society or (and) the State
and Justice. I'm a very big fan of the latter book in particular, but not
its relativism. Steven Lukes' Marxism and Morality is an important
critique of standard Marxist viewqs of ethics.

Does Jerry mean, in referring to what is moral in capitalism, to endorse
relativism in ethics?

--Justin Schwartz

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