Why Marx Was Right Book Summary - Why Marx Was Right Book explained in key points

Why Marx Was Right summary

Terry Eagleton

Brief summary

Why Marx Was Right by Terry Eagleton engages with and defends Karl Marx's ideas, arguing that his critiques of capitalism and vision for a more just society are still relevant and valuable today.

Give Feedback
Table of Contents

    Why Marx Was Right
    Summary of key ideas

    Revisiting Marx's Ideas

    In Why Marx Was Right, Terry Eagleton, a prominent Marxist literary critic, revisits the ideas of Karl Marx, arguing that they are still relevant today. He begins by addressing the common misconceptions about Marx and his theories, such as the belief that Marx advocated for a totalitarian state or that his ideas are outdated in the modern world.

    Eagleton argues that Marx's critique of capitalism is still pertinent, especially in light of the global financial crisis and growing economic inequality. He emphasizes that Marx was not just a critic of capitalism but also a visionary who sought to create a more just and equitable society.

    Marx's Economic Theories

    Next, Eagleton delves into Marx's economic theories, particularly his analysis of the labor theory of value and the concept of surplus value. He explains how Marx believed that capitalism inherently exploits workers by extracting surplus value from their labor, leading to alienation and inequality.

    Eagleton also addresses the criticism that Marx's economic theories are deterministic and argues that Marx was not predicting the inevitable collapse of capitalism but rather highlighting its internal contradictions and the potential for change.

    Marx's Political Philosophy

    Turning to Marx's political philosophy, Eagleton discusses the idea of class struggle as the driving force of historical change. He explains that Marx saw history as a series of class conflicts, culminating in a revolution that would overthrow the capitalist system and establish a classless society.

    While acknowledging the failures of some Marxist revolutions, Eagleton argues that these do not invalidate Marx's ideas. He points out that Marx himself never provided a detailed blueprint for a communist society, and that the implementation of his ideas in the 20th century was often distorted by external factors.

    Marx's Views on Human Nature

    Eagleton also addresses the criticism that Marx's ideas are flawed because they are based on a flawed understanding of human nature. He argues that Marx did not have a fixed view of human nature and that his ideas were more concerned with the social and economic conditions that shape human behavior.

    According to Eagleton, Marx believed that under different social and economic conditions, human nature itself would change. He suggests that Marx's vision of a communist society was one in which individuals would be free to develop their full potential, unencumbered by the constraints of capitalism.

    Marx's Legacy

    In conclusion, Eagleton argues that Marx's ideas are still relevant and valuable, even if they need to be adapted to fit the modern world. He suggests that Marx's critique of capitalism and his vision of a more just society continue to offer important insights into our current economic and social problems.

    While acknowledging that Marx was not infallible and that his ideas have been misused in the past, Eagleton maintains that Marx's fundamental critique of capitalism remains valid. He encourages readers to engage critically with Marx's ideas and to consider their potential for addressing the challenges of the 21st century.

    Give Feedback
    How do we create content on this page?
    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is Why Marx Was Right about?

    Why Marx Was Right by Terry Eagleton challenges the common misconceptions about Karl Marx and his ideas. Eagleton argues that Marx's critiques of capitalism, class struggle, and the potential for a more just society are still relevant today. He addresses criticisms and presents a compelling case for why Marx's analysis of the flaws within capitalism and the need for social change are more important than ever.

    Why Marx Was Right Review

    Why Marx Was Right (2011) by Terry Eagleton explores the enduring relevance of Marx's ideas and why they are worth considering in our contemporary world. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • It presents a persuasive argument for Marx's key principles, challenging common misconceptions and demonstrating their continued applicability.
    • The book offers a nuanced analysis of capitalism, class struggle, and the potential for societal change, providing valuable insights for those interested in politics and economics.
    • With its accessible and engaging writing style, it manages to make complex ideas comprehensible and even intriguing, ensuring that readers won't find it boring.

    Who should read Why Marx Was Right?

    • Individuals interested in understanding the core principles of Marxism
    • Readers looking to challenge conventional capitalist ideologies and explore alternative economic systems
    • Those who want to critically engage with political and social theories

    About the Author

    Terry Eagleton is a prominent British literary theorist and critic. With a career spanning over five decades, Eagleton has made significant contributions to the fields of cultural theory, Marxism, and literary studies. He has written extensively on a wide range of topics, including literature, politics, religion, and ideology. Some of his notable works include "Literary Theory: An Introduction," "The Ideology of the Aesthetic," and "Why Marx Was Right." Eagleton's thought-provoking and engaging writing style has solidified his reputation as one of the most influential intellectuals of our time.

    Categories with Why Marx Was Right

    People ❤️ Blinkist 
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    31 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    10+ years
    Experience igniting personal growth
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,000+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial

    Why Marx Was Right FAQs 

    What is the main message of Why Marx Was Right?

    Why Marx Was Right argues for the continued relevance of Marx's ideas in understanding and critiquing capitalism.

    How long does it take to read Why Marx Was Right?

    The reading time for Why Marx Was Right varies depending on the reader, but the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Why Marx Was Right a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Why Marx Was Right is a thought-provoking read that challenges conventional perspectives on capitalism and encourages critical analysis.

    Who is the author of Why Marx Was Right?

    The author of Why Marx Was Right is Terry Eagleton.

    What to read after Why Marx Was Right?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Why Marx Was Right, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Why Nations Fail by Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson
    • Rogue States by Noam Chomsky
    • The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama
    • The Road to Serfdom by Friedrich August von Hayek
    • Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser
    • Manufacturing Consent by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky
    • No Logo by Naomi Klein
    • The Great Degeneration by Niall Ferguson
    • The Bottom Billion by Paul Collier
    • The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein