Wednesday, September 13, 2006


A nice-sounding (??is there a better word??) sentence from Tony Judt's review of Leszek Kolakowski's massive three-volume history Main Currents of Marxism: The Founders, the Golden Age, the Breakdown:
The attraction of Marxism thus understood is obvious. It offered an explanation of how the world works—the economic analysis of capitalism and of social class relations. It proposed a way in which the world ought to work—an ethics of human
relations as suggested in Marx's youthful, idealistic speculations (and in György Lukács's interpretation of him, with which Kolakowski, for all his disdain for Lukács's own compromised career, largely concurs[6] ). And it announced incontrovertible grounds for believing that things will work that way in the future, thanks to a set of assertions about historical necessity derived by Marx's Russian disciples from his (and Engels's) own writings. This combination of economic description, moral prescription, and political prediction proved intensely seductive—and serviceable.

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