Marx's DreamFrom Capitalism to Communism

Marx's DreamFrom Capitalism to Communism

Tom Rockmore

Print publication date: 2019

ISBN: 9780226554525

Publisher: University of Chicago Press


This book discusses Marx’s formulation of a theory that, since it is supposedly practical, changes or will change the world. The discussion is divided into three parts, including Marx’s Theory of Practice, Marx and Marxism on materialism, Feuerbach and Hegel, and On the Practice of Marx’s Theory, or the Transition from Capitalism to Communism. The first part argues that Marx, under the general influence of Hegel, formulates a supposedly practical alternative to the view outlined in Hegel’s Elements of the Philosophy of Right. Special attention is given to the Marxian view of the traditional philosophical theme of human flourishing as social freedom. The second part discusses the meaning of “materialism” for Marx, including the “Theses on Feuerbach,” as well as Marx’s understanding and critique of Hegelian dialectic. The third part considers four possible transitions from capitalism to communism, all of which fail: the revolutionary proletariat, economic crisis, the party as the vanguard of the revolution, and critical social theory. The conclusion argues that since Marx’s account of the transition from capitalism is impractical, Marx’s dream is only a dream.