Marxism-bashing is currently as popular in the academies of North America as the mainstream media tell us it is in the streets of Eastern Europe. In the introduction to The Ethical Dimensions of Marxist Thought, Cornel West tells us that Marxism-bashers in the academy include not only the predictable conservatives but also trendy intellectuals who find epistemological and methodological reasons to discredit the entire Marxist enterprise of critical social theory. The book was written over a decade ago by a self-described American democratic socialist of American descent then in his mid-twenties. It is published at this time not just with the scholarly intention of countering vulgar reductionist readings of Marx but with the directly political intention of rehabilitating the Marxist project of understanding the world in order to change it.
This article can also be found at the Monthly Review website, where most recent articles are published in full.