思想と歴史に関する長～い書評論文を読むというのは、一つの楽しみである。一年に二回ぐらいあるかしら。Main Currents of Marxismについての書評は面白い。たとえば、書評者が抜き出す、本の一部分。
One of the causes of the popularity of Marxism among educated people was the fact that in its simple form it was very easy; even [sic] Sartre noticed that Marxists are lazy....[Marxism was] an instrument that made it possible to master all of history and economics without actually having to study either.
Marxism, in short, was the deep "structure" of much progressive politics. Marxist language, or a language parasitic upon Marxist categories, gave form and an implicit coherence to many kinds of modern political protest: from social democracy to radical feminism. In this sense Merleau-Ponty was correct: the loss of Marxism as a way of relating critically to the present really has left an empty space. With Marxism have gone not just dysfunctional Communist regimes and their deluded foreign apologists but also the whole schema of assumptions, categories, and explanations created over the past 150 years that we had come to think of as "the left." Anyone who has observed the confusion of the political left in North America or Europe over the past twenty years and asked themselves "But what does it stand for? What does it want?" will appreciate the point.
But there was a third reason why Marxism had appeal, and those who in recent years have been quick to pounce upon its corpse and proclaim the "end of History," or the final victory of peace, democracy, and the free market, might be wise to reflect upon it. If generations of intelligent men and women of good faith were willing to throw in their lot with the Communist project, it was not just because they were lulled into an ideological stupor by a seductive tale of revolution and redemption. It was because they were irresistibly drawn to the underlying ethical message: to the power of an idea and a movement uncompromisingly attached to representing and defending the interests of the wretched of the earth. From first to last, Marxism's strongest suit was what one of Marx's biographers calls "the moral seriousness of Marx's conviction that the destiny of our world as a whole is tied up with the condition of its poorest and most disadvantaged members."