Human Rights under State Socialism

  • David Lane


Many critics, both liberal and Marxist, argue that the Western concept of rights is not (or should not be) applicable to the Soviet Union and other socialist societies. There are three distinct types of criticism. First, that the doctrine of Marxism—Leninism is alien to the concept of human rights. Second, that individual rights are not defended because of the monistic structure of society. Only pluralist society, it is argued, can secure rights for certain values (religious, ethnic); a monistic state abrogates individual and group rights. Furthermore, the totalitarian nature of Soviet-type society weakens the independence of the individual from the state. Third, that the Russian heritage of orthodoxy and absolutism has continued into the modern period and provides no political supports to Western concepts of rights.


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Copyright information

© Stephen White and Daniel Nelson 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Lane

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