Seeing the Other Side of the Coin: (Re)Constructing the Normative Flipside to Marx’s Sociology.

  • Samuel A. Butler State University of New York at Stony Brook


This paper argues that, Marx’s insistences notwithstanding, there is an ethical core to Marx’s critique of capitalism. I attempt to establish this claim through presenting salient points of Marx’s critique. From this basis, I move on to discuss Marx’s conception of human nature and the way in which it is typically frustrated under pre-communist societies. This frustration is the basis for a moral preference for communism. After pausing briefly to consider the possible criticism that this moral preference is mere ideology, I conclude with the normative heart of the matter. This is addressed by underscoring principal similarities between Marx’s work and Aristotle’s ethical project, insofar as each comprehends an intuitive description of the good life and an analysis of the prerequisites for obtaining it. A grasp of this similarity opens the door to understanding the normative flip side of Marx’s intellectual project.