THE MARXIAN REVOLUTIONARY IDEA by Robert C. Tucker

THE MARXIAN REVOLUTIONARY IDEA

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Professor Tucker's Philosophy and Myth in Karl Marx overzealously tied Marx to German idealism. This is a lucid exposition of crucial social and political elements in full-blown Marxist thought--beginning with the notion of revolution as a recurrent reaction to the impossibility of fully developing productive potential within the confines of existing social relations. Tucker's emphasis on the concept of production leads to a discussion of the Marxist denial that distributive justice (a prominent issue in current Anglo-American social theory) constitutes the main socialist goal. With effective use of short quotations and drastic simplification of economic principles, Tucker hits such obvious but often-obscured points as the revolutionary, modernizing role of the bourgeoisie and the classical debates about the meaning of ""proletarian dictatorship."" Later chapters (some were published as articles) deal with a typology of communist revolutions and the ""deradicalization"" of social-democratic and Soviet Marxism. There are lapses from detachment when Tucker presses his belief that capitalism is reforming itself, and a needless conflation between ""peaceful revolution"" and ""revolution under peaceful international conditions."" Tucker neglects such important thinkers as Luxemburg and the Mensheviks, but neatly relates the thought of Kautsky, Lenin, and Mao to the work of Marx and Engels. The book is not only more concise and less formidably academic than Lichtheim, Plamenatz or recent French critiques; it has far more direct relevance to latterday communism. And it is likely to find an even bigger readership than Philosophy and Myth.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1969
ISBN: 0393005399
Publisher: Norton