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Notes From The Moral Wilderness

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Chapter Summary

This chapter asks whether the dissatisfaction with the moral critic and a contemporary rereading of Marxism may not together suggest a new approach to moral issues. One cannot revive the moral content within Marxism by simply taking a Stalinist view of historical development and adding liberal morality to it. But however one may disagree with Kolakowski's theoretical position, the kind of integrity involved in reasserting moral principles in the Polish situation is entirely admirable. The Marxism that Stalin presents is recognisably the Marxism that Popper also presents. And it is this same conception of theory which is evident throughout the contemporary anti-theoretical empiricism that is fashionable in the West both in academic and in political circles. For the Stalinist Marxism is in essence the thesis that a given level of technology and form of production as a basis produces a given form of social life and consciousness.

Keywords:anti-theoretical empiricism; Kolakowski's theoretical position; Stalinist Marxism



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