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Karl Marx’s Intellectual Roots in John Locke

Author(s): Eric Allen ENGLE

Journal: Postmodern Openings
ISSN 2068-0236

Volume: 7;
Issue: 7;
Start page: 29;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: Rousseau | Marx | Social Contract | marxism | marxist | liberalism | legal history | legal theory | jurisprudence

Marx supposedly represents a radical break from liberal individualist property oriented thinking. In fact however, Marx integrates the best points of a variety of liberal individualists, notably Locke and Rousseau, but also to a lesserextent Aristotle and even Plato. Marx is an extension of, not a break from, mainstream thinkers in Western thought: all Marx’s main ideas can be traced to one canonical Western scholar or another. Understanding analytical tools common to bothLiberalism and Marxism contextualizes their divergences and allows one to better understand both the successes and failures of Marxism as a critique in practice of liberal state theory.
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