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Wrong TurningsHow the Left Got Lost$
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Geoffrey M. Hodgson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226505749

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226505916.001.0001

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Down the Slippery Slope to Totalitarianism

Down the Slippery Slope to Totalitarianism

Chapter:
(p.101) Chapter 6 Down the Slippery Slope to Totalitarianism
Source:
Wrong Turnings
Author(s):

Geoffrey M. Hodgson

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226505916.003.0007

This is the second of to chapters on Marxism. It argues that the rule of one class over another, even if the ruling class is a majority, nullifies the principle of universal human rights, and paves the way for a totalitarian system. The realities of organization in any large-scale society (numbering in the thousands or millions) mean that effective direct rule by the whole population is impossible and that some kind of leadership or elite is necessary. Marxists are also negligent concerning the rule of law. For example, in the Soviet Union, rights were deemed to be granted by the state, to be withdrawn if it desired. Acting against the state or ‘against the revolution’ became a vague, catch-all crime. For reasons outlined in the chapter, Marxism generally carries the seeds of totalitarianism.

Keywords:   Marxism, universal human rights, rule of law, totalitarianism

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