Marx, Engels, and the ethics of violence in revolt
Hewlett, Nicholas. (2012) Marx, Engels, and the ethics of violence in revolt. The European Legacy : toward new paradigms, Volume 17 (Number 7). pp. 882-898. ISSN 1084-8770Full text not available from this repository.
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10848770.2012.728798
Marx and Engels's thought-combined with the way in which it has been interpreted-has tended to militate against discussion of an ethics of violence in revolt. Along with Sorel and Fanon, their attitude towards violence is often seen simply as one where the ends justify the means and where violence in pursuit of a just society is necessarily defensible. However, we can (and should) look to certain sources within Marx and Engels for inspiration for an ethics of violence in revolt, which places emphasis on the humanizing aspects of their work, on the core ideas of freedom, moving beyond dehumanization and moving beyond violence. I argue that this approach suggests an abhorrence of any violence and can thus be combined with a pacifist-influenced approach to the ethics of violence in revolt. This is compatible with Ernst Bloch's interpretation of Marxism, which he describes as “concrete utopianism.“ Classical Marxism can, then, offer fruitful pointers to an ethics of violence in political change, although Marx and Engels's texts must be used with considerable care and must be combined with the work of other thinkers, in particular those who display more explicit moral objection to violence of any kind.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Divisions:||Faculty of Arts > French Studies|
|Journal or Publication Title:||The European Legacy : toward new paradigms|
|Official Date:||1 December 2012|
|Page Range:||pp. 882-898|
|Access rights to Published version:||Restricted or Subscription Access|
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