Conclusion: Marxism and Totalitarian Democracy

  • Richard N. Hunt


It is time to draw some overall conclusions about the relationship of Marx and Engels to the political tradition for which J. L. Talmon has devised the label “totalitarian democracy.” With a bit of pushing and wedging, it is not too difficult to fit the two men within the broadest definition of what is supposed to distinguish totalitarian from liberal democracy. One may take their scientism and their oft-expressed intolerance of differing views as revealing an “assumption of a sole and exclusive truth in politics.” In some sense, they undoubtedly regarded the classless society as a “preordained, harmonious and perfect scheme of things,” although they were always reluctant to specify details. And at least down through the year 1850 they certainly treated this vision as “a matter of immediate urgency, a challenge for direct action, an imminent event. ”1


Political Tradition Elite Party Early Tradition Perfect Scheme Classless Society 
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Copyright information

© University of Pittsburgh Press 1974

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  • Richard N. Hunt

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