chapter  VIII
16 Pages

Criticism and Ideology

SOC I A L criticism is not science, but in modern times it has been very much dependent upon the social sciences. In earlier ages it was often religious movements-the 'religions of the oppressed' as they have been called-which led the way in social criticism. Somewhat later it was the schools of philosophy which largely assumed this role in Europe. But from the end of the eighteenth century most of the movements of criticism were based upon some theory of society. The utilitarians, the Saint-Simonians, Comte and the positivists, the various schools of socialism, and especially Marxism, all combined in their teaching a theory about the nature of human society, a criticism of contemporary society, and a plan for its reorganisation.