The Socialism of Our Times: A Symposium

By Harry W. Laidler; Norman Thomas | Go to book overview

try to force the adoption of these codes upon society-at- large. In very many instances for a considerable period these ruling groups are successful in this attempt, and get masses of people to follow a course of action diametrically opposed to their interest and in line with the interests of their oppressors. Even when the oppressed groups are able to see clearly where their interests lie and begin a revolt in line with the interest of the group or class to which they belong, they may not be said to be economically determined as far as they as individuals are concerned; they may, in fact, sacrifice their every interest in behalf of the larger interests of the group to which they belong.

In the following brilliant essays, Professors Barnes and Goldenweiser, James Oneal, Henri deMan and Ernest Untermann and in the discussion Algernon Lee and others, deal, from varying angles, with the extent to which the economic and material factors in society may be regarded as basic in the progress of the past, present and future and its relation to the general Marxian philosophy. The unanimity with which both socialists and non-socialists taking part in this symposium agree with the essential soundness of the theory is a great tribute to Marx. The suggestions of revisions that should be made in view of recent discoveries in science are of interest. Though the symposium is in no sense conclusive, it is a distinct contribution to this important historical concept.


THE ECONOMIC INTERPRETATION OF HISTORY: ITS USES, STATUS AND LIMITATIONS

By HARRY ELMER BARNES


SOCIALISM, MARXISM AND ECONOMIC DETERMINISM

The time has now come when socialism, Marxism and the economic interpretation of history should be dissociated in the discussion of open-minded persons, though of course we should recognize the historic fact that Marx is the most

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