What's Left in egalitarianism? Marxism and the limitations of liberal theories of equality

Philosophy Compass 12 (8):e12428 (2017)
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Contemporary Marxism may seem to have been eclipsed by the dominance of Left-liberalism in egalitarian thought. Since Rawls, the liberal tradition has made a robust contribution to the argument for distributive justice, whilst Marxist orthodoxy regarding the “withering away” of the state has seemed unhelpful in comparison. However, most Left liberals are wedded to several claims that constrain the ambition and depth of the egalitarian project, claims which can be shown to be wanting in light of the socialist commitment to distribution on the basis of need, as well as the Marxist critique of alienation. This paper explores the potential of Marxism to address some of the limitations of contemporary liberal egalitarianism.



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Christine Sypnowich
Queen's University

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Rescuing Justice and Equality.G. A. Cohen (ed.) - 2008 - Harvard University Press.
What is the point of equality.Elizabeth Anderson - 1999 - Ethics 109 (2):287-337.
The Morality of Freedom.Joseph Raz - 1986 - Philosophy 63 (243):119-122.

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