Why didn't traditional Marxist theory focus on ethical values?
I have been reading this book and the author states that Marx did not care about ethical values, but the author does not really explain why. Does anybody here know?
Part of the reason is that you are only reading about Marx instead of actually reading the words directly from Marx.
Most critiques of Marx are extremly bias and prejudiced.
When I read Marx then I found a different story indeed.
One BIG example is the famous (yet inaccurate) quote from Marx which is: "Religion is the opiate of the people"
And that is not a true quote, and it is way far out of context, and the true words of Marx do not mean what people claim in that quote.
HERE below is the correct words (translated to English) while the fuller text is in the link below: Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.
Link it here = http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opium_of_the_People
I found that Marx was saying that about the organized religions and not about God or about individual beliefs.
Organized religions (1818-1883) being the Russian Orthodox Church under the Czar, and the Roman Catholic Church under the Pope, and the Church of England under Queen Victoria.
Since Marx was born in 1818 then that was shortly after the horrible Napoleon wars, and at those times opium was seen as a wonder drug that cured pain helped in operations and healed things like depression.
It seems to me that calling it the "opium of the people" was very near a big compliment to religion.
And many people today still see organized Churches (religion as a noun) have been very destructive to this world.
But the modern interpretation that religion will mess up the mind of the people as we view illegal narcotics today is NOT what Marx was saying - no.
Also Karl Marx was born a Jew, and at those times it was common to hide that identity, and much of the ethics of Judaism is very compatable with much of Communism.
And ethics itself needs to be seen as separate from a religious doctrine. Marx did not preach about a religious God but he did preach about social injustices and about making the world better by correcting those injustices - and that is true ethics big time.
So my answer to your posted question - is that the book you are referring to does not explain the "why" because its claim is extremly untrue.
If anyone wants to learn the truth about Marx then you need to go read Marx, and not his critics.