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Marx and Engels’s Vision of Building a Good Society

Al Campbell

Chapter Chapter 2 in Alternative Perspectives of a Good Society, 2012, pp 9-31 from Palgrave Macmillan

Abstract: Abstract Any conceived alternative to the currently existing social order can be characterized by, and even defined in terms of, different institutions and practices. This has been the typical approach throughout history of religious or secular utopias, both those that were merely literary exercises and those that were intended for, or even actually used for, application in the real world. Among many others, the works of More (1989[1516]), Campanella (1988[1623]), Fourier (1971), Owen (1991[1813]), Saint-Simon (1952[1817]), Cabet (2003[1840]), Bellamy (1995[1888]), Perkins Gilman (1992[1915]), Skinner (1976[1948]), and Huxley (1962) are particularly well-known examples of such conceptions of a good society. There was seldom any discussion of how humanity could transit from the existing society to a utopian one. The implicit concept was that people would read the ideas in these works, recognize them as superior, and simply change the social institutions and practices accordingly. Those visions intended for application usually advocated small groups putting the ideas into practice, thus concretely demonstrating the superiority of the ideas and thereby winning over the rest of humanity.

Keywords: Human Nature; Social Order; Communist Party; Social Nature; Good Society (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2012
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DOI: 10.1057/9780230337800_2

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