- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Not so...

Posted by: Red Deathy ( Socialist Party, UK ) on May 16, 1999 at 13:49:54:

In Reply to: Thoughts about Communists ethics posted by Bob Lee on May 15, 1999 at 15:16:13:

: From my studies of 20th century history (in AND out of school), communists ethics fall into utilitarianism, and into all the pitfalls of utilitarianism ("The ends justify the means").

Certainly teh Bolsheviks and particulalry stalninists have used an 'end justifies teh means' ethics, although I doubt, strictly, it is utilitarian, Trotsky in 'Their Morals and Hours' relates all ethics to the supreme good of the Proletarian revolution- hence when he took hostages and murdered people it was good, when Stalin did it, it was bad.

Some notable Communists have been ardent anti-utilitarians- William Morris despised it from a great hieght, Marx and Engels tended towards a more deontological modal of morality, with human free expression of capacity being the supreme good.

The Bolsheviks came from a Hegelian tradition (I think Lenin veers closer to hegel than he does Marx, certainly Trotsky does (IMNSHO).

: I would like to hear comments from communists and anti-communists.

Communists tend to view utilitarianism as 'the ethics of the account book' and tend not to like it- it has been very influential on Liberal reformists (Fabianites 'Socialists').

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