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Comparative Religion

Encyclopedia of World Cultures, east_and_southeast_asia by Paul Hockings

By Paul Hockings

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Extra resources for Encyclopedia of World Cultures, east_and_southeast_asia

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Karl Marx Selected Writings (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), p. 271. Intramural dissent: Marxism 37 believe that professional revolutionaries, fighting on behalf of the working class, were indispensable for inculcating the class-consciousness that earlier generations of Marxists thought circumstances alone would impress upon the working class. With this modification, some feasible approximation of the original synthesis remained in force. But even the Leninist reconstruction of the classical Marxist view lost much of its appeal as the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and therefore the Soviet state fell increasingly under the sway of Joseph Stalin (1878–1953).

Central aspects of Marxist theory were therefore reconstructed and criticized according to exacting standards. The predictable result was that many of the old sureties had to be abandoned or revised beyond recognition. Also, many ideas that were once assumed emblematic of Marxism, including some defining tenets of Marxist economic theory, were effectively folded into the broad tent of mainstream social science and liberal political philosophy. Analytical Marxists who remained true to the values that had brought them to Marx therefore became something Marx and Marxists had long inveighed against: utopian socialists.

Enforced uniformity of belief is antithetical to the liberal creed. In the case of West Virginia v. Barnette,9 the Supreme Court was asked to decide whether the Constitution permitted the government of a state to compel Jehovah’s Witnesses to salute and pledge allegiance to the American flag, a practice to which this small denomination was conscientiously opposed. A majority of the Court said that government could not do so. Writing for that majority, Justice Robert Jackson declared that “If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or 9 319 US 624 (1943).

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