Karl Marx promised, in the preface to his Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844, that he would write an ‘independent pamphlet’ on ethics. Although he never did so, in his later writings he discussed morality extensively. Later commentators were more concerned with other aspects of Marx’s thought and largely neglected this area. As a result, Nicholas Churchich’s exposition of Marx’s thoughts on morality has become the standard work on the subject. Thoroughly researched, well reasoned, and balanced in its argument, Marxism and Morality presents a comprehensive and critical analysis of Marx’s and Engel’s ideas on morality and ethics, analysing both strengths and weaknesses.
Churchich examines morality in its bourgeois and proletarian forms, the origin and development of moral ideas, moral values and standards, egoism and altruism. He explores the role of religion and science in communist ethics, and discusses the ends and means in the struggle for a classless society. Praised by those on both sides of the political divide for his objectivity, Churchich’s approach remains the definitive evaluation of the ethical arguments of Marxism.