Crítica, Revista Hispanoamericana de Filosofía, Volume 36, number 107, agosto 2004
The Notion of Politics in Marx's Early Writings
[La noción de política en los escritos del joven Marx]
Humberto Schettino
Political Science Department
Rutgers University

Abstract: This paper deals mainly with Marx's conception of politics. My contention is that in Marx's works two basic and opposed conceptions of politics coexist. On the one hand we find a negative, instrumental and realist conception that sees politics as nothing but domination of one class over another and the State as the main instrument of that domination. On the other, we find a positive conception that understands politics as community self-rule. I trace the conceptual origins of these two conceptions to three basic concepts: "alienation", "emancipation" and "species-being". These notions provide the foundations of Marx's conception of politics and enable us to understand its shortcomings. It is basically a contradictory and utopian conception which seriously disregards both the positive traits of actual politics and individual freedoms.
Keywords: alienation, emancipation, species-being, community

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