Marx's Critique of the Legal Form

Andrea Herbert jspiers at
Sat Jan 25 13:09:12 MST 2003

I thought you'd be interested to know that the groundbreaking work,
"Democracy and the Rule of Law: Marx's Critique of the Legal Form," by
Professor Bob Fine is back in print. In it, he explores afresh the relation
between jurisprudence, Marx and Marxism.

In the first section, he examines the tradition of modern natural right
theory that preceded Marx and informed his writings, demonstrating that
jurisprudence is as important as political economy in understanding Marx's
work. Here he focuses on the theories of right in Hobbes, Rousseau, Smith
and Hegel.

In the second section, he reconstructs the critique of classical
jurisprudence in the early Marx, how this developed in his political
writings, and the connection between the analysis of economic and legal
forms in his mature writings. Fine reconstructs the legal forms of right,
law and the state based on Marx's analysis of the economic forms of value,
money and capital.

In the third section, Fine addresses strategic ways in which Marx's critique
of the legal form has been received in contemporary social theory: as
'law-from-below' according to the Marxist humanist, Edward Thompson; as 'the
withering away of law' according to the Bolshevik, Evgeni Pashukanis; and as
'historical anachronism,' according to the post-structuralist, Michel

Originally published in 1984 as "Democracy and the Rule of Law: Liberal
Ideals and Marxist Critiques," this book contains a new preface relating the
original text to current political and intellectual debates. It has been
brought back into print by The Blackburn Press.

"Fine deserves considerable praise for developing a detailed argument which
deals with the essence of the problems raised by the nature of law."  Prof.
Dennis Davis

"It will become an instant replacement on reading lists for turgid
jurisprudential texts on Marxist theory of law, and deservedly so."
Prof. Steve Redhead

"Democracy and the Rule of Law: Marx's Critique of the Legal Form" by Bob
Fine. ISBN 1-930665-65-2, paperback, 242 pages, $24.95.

The Blackburn Press is a relatively new publishing company, founded with the
mission of keeping in print and available for purchase at reasonable prices
book titles that larger publishers have lost interest in and have declared
to be "out of print." It specializes in scientific and technical books that
are classics in their field and provides a service to the academic community
by bringing back classic books that are out-of-print, making them available
again for research, reference and teaching. (See

We are especially interested in reprinting niche textbooks with modest
adoptions. We are not well-positioned to bring every out-of-print book back
into production, but are eager to hear from you. If you are an author whose
book is out of print or you are aware of an out-of-print book that has value
and should be returned to print, we would like to hear from you. Please
contact Frances Reed, Publisher, at freed at

For more information, see:  or

Andrea Herbert
jspiers at
Herbert/Spiers Editorial Services LLC
Expert editorial services--on-line or on paper
P.O. Box 43044, Upper Montclair, NJ 07043
Visit us at

PLEASE clip all extraneous text before replying to a message.

More information about the Marxism mailing list