Human Rights According to Marxism

Guild Practitioner, Vol. 65, No. 249

12 Pages Posted: 16 Sep 2008 Last revised: 17 Dec 2009

See all articles by Eric Engle

Eric Engle

http://www.amazon.com/author/quizmaster

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Date Written: September 16, 2008

Abstract

Marxism sees liberal individualist freedoms as a step up from feudalism but not as the end of historical development. Marxism defends not just negative "freedoms from" (procedural justice) but also affirmative "rights to" (claims). However, rights are contextualized in Marxism by the logic of socialist development rather than capitalism. Thus, rights are collective, social, relative and substantive rather than individual, absolute and procedural. The Marxist critique of fundamental rights and freedoms is a dialectic between first and second generation rights. This article presents a detailed explanation of the Marxist conception of human rights and critique of capitalist individual freedoms. Rights and freedoms are best seen not as conflicting but as complementing each other.

Human Rights According to Marxism 1 A. The Marxist Critique of Human Rights 3 B. The Marxist Concept of Human Rights in Theory 7 C. The Marxist Concept of Human Rights in practice 8 D. Conclusion: The Liberal Critique of Marxist regimes 9

Suggested Citation

Engle, Eric, Human Rights According to Marxism (September 16, 2008). Guild Practitioner, Vol. 65, No. 249. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1268556 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1268556

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