Marx and Justice

  • Mark Cowling


This chapter provides an exposition of two articles in which Geras provided a widely admired account of the extensive literature discussing whether or not Marx had a theory of justice, and the major pieces of evidence from Marx’s work that point in one direction or the other. Geras reaches the classic position that Marx had a theory of justice but did not realize that he had one. Cowling accepts that Geras’s account is excellent, but offers the criticism that the theory of exploitation can be seen as value neutral, whereas Geras asserts it is value laden. Cowling’s interpretation of Marx is closer to that accepted at the time of the Second and Third Internationals, which sees Marx’s theories as scientific. However, he accepts that Marx’s theories must be seen as refuted science, so that a socialist project based on Marxism must include a theory of justice.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark Cowling
    • 1
  1. 1.Teesside University [retired]MiddlesboroughUK

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