Karl Marx and Prophetic Politics

Karl Marx and Prophetic Politics

Karl Marx and Prophetic Politics

Karl Marx and Prophetic Politics

Synopsis

Marx and the Tradition of Prophetic Politics Marx's Guiding Values and the Superior Universal Order Marx and the Radical Social Scientific Analysis and "Criticism of Everything Existing" Marx's Theory of Revolutionary Communist Action Marx and the Future of Economic, Politics, Society, and Culture Conclusion Bibliography Index

Excerpt

Does Karl Marx illustrate the prophetic mode and challenge? Can we place him within the tradition of prophetic politics? Is he a true or false prophet? I ask these questions in order to explore the thought of Karl Marx in what is, I believe, a unique and fruitful way.

In this book the object of my analysis is the thought of Karl Marx. The mode of my analysis is a model of prophetic politics. In my examination of the thought of Marx I endeavor to present--as fairly and as objectively as I can--Marx's guiding values, his social scientific analysis and criticism of the existing order, his theory of revolutionary communist action, and his views of the future of economics, politics, society, and culture. I utilize the model of prophetic politics in order to present, analyze, and criticize Marx's thought.

Consequently, in Chapter 1, "Marx and the Tradition of Prophetic Politics," I set forth my understanding of prophetic politics, review briefly how some see Marx as prophetic, and indicate why I think it is profitable to explore Marx's thought within the framework of a model of prophetic politics. This chapter should set the stage for my inquiry.

In Chapters 2-5 I then attempt to present, analyze, and criticize Marx's thought. In Chapter 2, "Marx's Guiding Values and the Superior Universal Order," I explore Marx's own guiding ethical values, values that constitute his own standard of a superior order, values very much concerned with the "least free." I seek a fuller and deeper understanding of Marx's own preferred communist and human values.

In Chapter 3, "Marx and the Radical Social Scientific Analysis and 'Criticism of Everything Existing'," I investigate the character and substance of Marx's own critique of the existing nineteenth century bourgeois capitalist order. Here I treat, particularly, Marx's answer to the why and how of the exploitation and oppression of the proletariat. I focus especially on (what we today call) Marx's social science and his understanding of the critical mission of such a social science. This chapter thus explores Marx's concept of criticism, his still hotly debated materialist conception of history (and its sensitivity to technological and economic analysis, and to class struggle), his analysis of capitalist economics and the mechanism of exploitation, and his critique of the bourgeois superstructure of state, politics, religion, education, and so on. In my critique of Marx's social science, I note Marx's attention to, or neglect of, other powerful . . .

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