Marx, Revolution, and Social Democracy
Philip J. Kain
Many people think Marx a totalitarian and Soviet Marxism the predictable outcome of his thought. If one shows them the texts-proves to them that Marx was a radical democrat--they often flip and think him utopian. Totalitarian or utopian--for many those seem to be the alternatives. How might one combat this completely mistaken image?
To establish the connection between Marx and social democracy, philosopher Philip J. Kain argues four main points. First, economy if markets are controlled to eliminate alienation, socialist society for Marx is compatible with a market. Second, markets can be controlled democratically. Third, Marx had a theory of revolution compatible with a democratic electoral movement engaged in by a social democratic party. And fourth, from the late 1860s on, Marx and Engels worked with the German Social Democratic Party of Liebknecht, Bebel, Bernstein, and Kautsky--which eventually became the largest party in Germany and the largest socialist party in the world.
If social democracy is a true expression of Marxism, then Marx cannot be called a totalitarian. There is nothing remotely totalitarian about social democracy. Nor is it utopian. It exists all over Western Europe. Moreover, social democratic parties have always opposed the undemocratic tactics of Soviet Marxism. Drawing on these four points, Kain argues against the depiction of Marx as either utopian or totalitarian, and instead makes a case for Marx as a social democrat, whose strongest legacy is found in Western Europe.
Embroidering the Landscape: Art, Women, and the Environment in British North America, 1740-1770
Linking histories of women, relationships to the natural environment, material culture and art, Andrea Pappas presents a new, multi-dimensional view of eighteenth-century American culture from a unique perspective. This book investigates how and why women pictured the landscape in their needlework. It explores the ways their embroidered landscapes address the tumultuous environmental history of the period; how their depictions of nature differ from those made by men; and what women’s choices of motifs can tell us about their lives and their relationships to nature. Embroidering the Landscape situates these pastoral and georgic needleworks (c. 1740-1775) at the intersection of environmental and social histories, interpreting them through ecocritical and social lenses. Pappas’ investigation draws out connections between women’s depicted landscapes and environmental and cultural history at a time when nature itself was a charged arena for changes in agriculture, husbandry, gardening, and the emerging discourses of botany and natural history. Her insights change our understanding of the relationship between culture and the environment in this period and raise new questions about the unrecognized extent of women’s engagement with nature and natural science.
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