Marx and Social Justice, George E. McCarthy presents a detailed and comprehensive overview of the ethical, political, and economic foundations of Marx’s theory of social justice in his early and later writings. What is distinctive about Marx's theory is that he rejects the views of justice in liberalism and reform socialism based on legal rights and fair distribution by balancing ancient Greek philosophy with nineteenth-century political economy. Relying on Aristotle’s definition of social justice grounded in ethics and politics, virtue and democracy, Marx applies it to a broader range of issues, including workers’ control and creativity, producer associations, human rights and human needs, fairness and reciprocity in exchange, wealth distribution, political emancipation, economic and ecological crises, and economic democracy. Each chapter in the book represents a different aspect of social justice. Unlike Locke and Hegel, Marx is able to integrate natural law and natural rights, as he constructs a classical vision of self-government ‘of the people, by the people’.
George E. McCarthy is Professor of Sociology at Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio. He received an M.A. and Ph.D. (1972) in philosophy from Boston College and an M.A. and Ph.D. (1979) in sociology from the Graduate Faculty, New School for Social Research. He has been a research fellow at the universities of Frankfurt/Main, Munich, and Kassel, Germany. He is the author of a number of works, including
Marx and the Ancients: Classical Ethics, Social Justice, and Nineteenth-Century Political Economy (Rowman & Littlefield, 1990) and
Classical Horizons: The Origins of Sociology in Ancient Greece (SUNY Press, 2002).
Table of contents
Introduction: The Ethical Archaeology of Justice in Marx
Dialectic between the Ancients and the Moderns: Natural Law and Natural Rights
Natural Law and Natural Rights in Locke: Indifference and Incoherence of Liberalism Thomas Hobbes and the State of Nature and War Richard Hooker and the Laws of Nature and Ecclesiastical Polity Locke on Natural Rights and Natural Law Ethics and Structure in Natural Law Natural Law Limits to Natural Rights in the Original State of Nature Eclipse of Natural Law and Social Justice in the Second State of Nature Irrelevance of Natural Law, Incoherence of Liberalism, and the Return to Hobbes
Justice Beyond Liberalism: Natural Law and the Ethical Community in Hegel Early Theological Writings and Dreams of Classical Antiquity in Hegel Hegel’s Natural Law and Critique of Liberalism and Natural Rights Social Ethics and Integration of Natural Law and Natural Rights Hegel’s Philosophy of Right, Law, and the State as Objective Spirit Formation of the Ethical Life in the Family, Civil Society, and the State Marx’s Critique of Hegel and the Revival of Classical Democracy in Spinoza and Rousseau
Ethics, Virtue, and Natural Law in Marx
Civil and Legal Justice: Integrating Natural Rights and Natural Law Religious Prejudice, Judaism, and Civil Rights Natural Rights as Ideology and Alienation Transition of Politics from Pure Ideology to Human Rights and Emancipation Critique of Liberal Democracy and Contradictions between Economic and Political Rights Marx’s Theory of Emancipation and Human Rights Natural Rights of Free Press and Universal Suffrage
Workplace Justice: Ethics, Virtue, and Human Freedom Alienation and the Virtue of Work and Self-Determination Work as Productive Life and Creative Beauty Ethics, Human Needs, and Natural Law Virtue and Late Medieval Thomistic Natural Law
Ecological Justice: Historical Materialism and the Dialectic of Nature and Society Alienation of Production, Labour, and Nature Dialectic of Nature and the Alienation of Consciousness Natural Science as the Objectification and Social Praxis of Species Being Science as Objectivity and Alienation Social Metabolism, Contradictions, and Ecological Crises Social Justice and the Natural Laws of Ethics and Ecology
Structures of Democracy, Economy, and Social Justice in Marx
Distributive Justice: Justice of Consumption, Economic Redistribution, and Social Reciprocity Labour, Nature, and Society in the Gotha Program Equality, Fair Distribution, and the Public Expenses of Production Distribution, Fairness, and the Means of Social Consumption Socialism, Self-Realisation, and Human Need Critique of Reformist and Vulgar Socialism – Happiness without Meaning
Political Justice: Ethics and the Good Life of Democratic Socialism Franco-Prussian War and the Formation of the Paris Commune of 1871 Dismantling the Old State and Rise of Political Democracy in the Commune Organisation of Labour and Economic Democracy ‘Declaration to the French People’ and the Social Programmes of the Commune Marx, Lincoln, and the Human Emancipation from Racial and Wage Slavery
Economic Justice: Ethics, Production, and the Critique of Chrematistics and Political Economy Commodities, Exchange, and the Labour Theory of Value Labour Power, Surplus Value, and the Alienation of Chrematistic Production Natural Law of Contradictions, Crises, and Capital Natural Law of Justice and Natural Law of Value
All interested in issues of ethics, human rights, natural law, humanism, social justice, freedom, equality, wealth distribution, democracy, Aristotle, Marx, Continental social theory, and political economy.