MARXISM AND THE PHILOSOPHY OF JUSTICE: PERSUASIVE DEFINITION OF JUSTICE AND SOCIAL PRACTICE
Marxism being a philosophy generally identified with the philosophy of social justice does not contain a developed theory of justice. The notion “justice” is found in Marxism in three theoretical contexts:
First, justice is a subject of sociological analysis which demonstrates the connection between class interest on the one hand and the concept of justice on the other. It is a deception exposing analysis that by itself is not a part of philosophy of justice, however, philosophy of justice is often adduced in this context as source of justification of the special role of the class interest of the proletariat as a constitutive component of “genuine justice”.
Secondly, Marxist philosophy proposes two rules of distribution of goods, one for the earlier and another for the more developed stage of the communism. The first rule, “to each according to his work” is applicable in the first stage of communism, i.e. socialism. The second rule, “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs” is an element of a future ideal. The latter rule is not, strictly speaking, a formula of justice, as it does not account for the exigencies of equality. Both rules, however, have not been sufficiently analysed. They have never been given a suitably detailed interpretation which would make them applicable in real situations of distribution of goods.
Thirdly, the predicate „just” is used in Marxism to describe complete socioeconomic formations, and it is found therefore in historiosophical contexts. In this usage the concept of justice is only employed to express a general approval or disapproval of a social system, according to the results of particular analyses.
As we can see, justice is being defined persuasively in Marxism, and more than one persuasive definition is offered. They are proposed to meet temporary needs and fluctuating political trends. It is incumbent on Marxist philosophy to urgently work out a univocal conception of justice which would meet the standards of the contemporary theory of justice. This conception should not only satisfy theoretical criteria but should also provide clear practical rules of distribution of goods.