The collapse of the Soviet Union would seem to sound the death knell for Marxism as a blueprint for social change. Why has this doctrine--the repository of so many hopes and dreams--failed in its grand ambition to liberate the human race from poverty and oppression? Through a critical and systematic analysis of what Marx and his interpreters had to say about democracy, Joseph Femia sheds light on the reasons for this failure. His book explores the bewildering variety of Marxist attitudes to democracy, and relates this diversity to Marxism's inconsistent goals: active political participation and all-embracing central planning, human emancipation and collective submission to the dialectical "truths" of history. Dr. Femia explains why Marxism's internal contradictions have always, in practice, been "solved" through the imposition of despotic modes of government. Marxism's tragic flaw, he concludes, is its unwillingness to recognize the distinctiveness and independence of the individual.
`Femia argues his case with a good deal of care and detail.'
Times Higher Education Supplement
`the book's clarity and succinctness make it a worthy contribution to scholarship, one accessible to beginning students'
`a densely argued and provocative text'