"Levine (Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison) argues that Marxism should and could still have a future. His book is divided into two sections. In the first, Levine reflects on the development and decline of Marxism and discusses the social and political environments in which those events occurred. In the second section, Levine assesses the merits and limitations of Althusserian and analytical Marxism. What distinguishes Marxist theory from other forms of socialist thought is that, rather than offering a utopia with no program for realizing it, Marxist theory claims to be scientific. Louis Althusser and the analytical Marxists in particular attempted to articulate a scientific Marxism. They addressed a common problem: how can Marxism continue when there is no longer a class that can be designated proletarian? Levine argues that the state necessarily rests on force. Hence, what is utopian is the liberal ideal of a Rechtsstaat--a state in which all individuals stand equal before universal principles of right--rather than Marx's hope for communism without the state. This book would have been stronger had Levine discussed the writings of post-Marxists and postmodernists, instead of dismissing them. Summing Up: Recommended. General readers; upper-level undergraduates through faculty" -- J. M. Fritzman, Lewis and Clark College in CHOICE
About the Author
Andrew Levine is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His recent books include 'The End of the State' (Verso), 'The General Will' (Cambridge), 'Rethinking Liberal Equality' (Cornell) and 'Engaging Political Philosophy: Hobbes to Rawls' (Blackwell).