more from Karl Marx

Single Idea 23874

[catalogued under 22. Metaethics / A. Ethics Foundations / 2. Source of Ethics / j. Ethics by convention]

Full Idea

Marx saw that social groups manufacture moralities for their own use, so their activity is placed outside the reach of evil. Thus the first articles of soldiers and businessmen is to deny that it is possible to do evil while waging war or doing business.

Gist of Idea

Armies and businesses create moralities in which their activity can do no wrong


report of Karl Marx (works [1860]) by Simone Weil - Fragments: London 1943 p.146

Book Reference

Weil,Simone: 'Oppression and Liberty' [Routledge 1955], p.146

A Reaction

This is especially true of the modern reverence for 'market forces'. It is a key debate in the ethics of warfare - compare Walzer and McMahon. A striking thought, obviously containing a lot of truth.

Related Idea

Idea 23599 You don't become a legitimate target, just because you violently resist an unjust attack [McMahan]