: I have a friend who is a very learned and active Trotskyist, and I get into this discussion with him often. He says (convincingly) that morality is always predicated on the social relations, so he doesn't even want to enter the discussion yet.
Actually, Barry and I have been having precisely this discussion below. I think he's said almost exactly the same thing. I've been trying to argue the opposite, that morality is essential, absolute, and the foundation of any true socialism.
: I say that Marx's writings are full of moral indignation at the unnecessary suffering capitalism inflicts on people and that, as much as he denied it, Marx was a moralist.
Yes, I agree. I think, moreover, that ANY humanitarian socialist is a moralist. I believe that no one can be a real socialist purely out of self interest. Barry has rsponded to this with some strong points, you might want to check out what he says.