STUCHKA'S THEORY OF LAW
THE first important attempt to develop a specifically Soviet theory of law -- not as a mere by-product of a theory of the state -- was P. L. Stuchka The Revolutionary Part Played by Law and the State: A General Doctrine of Law,1 published in 1921. Stuchka in 1918 became Commissar of Justice and, in 1919, the Commissariat of Justice edited certain guiding principles of criminal law formulating the 'Soviet' understanding of law; among them the following definition of the law: 'Law is a system (or order) of social relationships which corresponds to the interests of the dominant class and is safeguarded by the organised force of this class'.2 Stuchka's theory of law, as presented in the above-mentioned work, is nothing more than a paraphrase of this formula. He specifies the statement that law is a system of 'social relationships' by emphasising that these relationships are only relationships of production and distribution.
'By the word society, Marx thus understands primarily the aggregate of production relationships, and then the aggregate of distribution relationships as well. "The individual relationships of production -- and of exchange, it may be added -- in each society, constitute a single whole," as Marx says; from which it follows that our definition of law -- with its allusion to "a system of social relationships" as a single whole, or a social order -- is in complete accord with the view of Marx'.3
That means that the law is identified with society and society with economy. Hence, there cannot be such a thing as law different from economy. This, of course, is no objection from the point of view of an economic interpretation of society, which has the tendency to reduce all social phenomena to economic phenomena. But, if such economic interpretation of society is____________________
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: The Communist Theory of Law. Contributors: Hans Kelsen - Author. Publisher: Frederick A. Praeger. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1955. Page number: 62.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.