the single most influential strain of radical Western thought in the 19th and 20th centuries

Course descriptions – POLI 114 – Marxist Political Thought!

Marxism was the single most influential strain of radical Western thought in the 19th and 20th centuries, and its influence continues to be felt in East and West today. In this course, we will analyze major themes in Marxist political thought, from its roots in Western Europe in the work of John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and G. W. F. Hegel to its elaboration by twentieth-century thinker-activists in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Emphasis will be placed on the position of Marx’s and Engels’s conception of politics as an outgrowth of the tradition of “modern” Western political thought. We will examine Marxism as it emerged in response to the changing socio-economic setting of Western Europe and conclude with an assessment of how effectively non-European theorists adapted Marxism to their own national contexts. We will conclude by assessing the continued relevance of the Marxian paradigm of development and revolutionary change in the post-industrial world of the 21st century. Students enrolled in the course are not expected to have a background in the subject matter, although those who have studied political theory and/or world history will find that experience helpful.

What is the purpose of the Socratic (or Noble) Lie, and how is it related to the notion of political legitimacy?

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