chapter  5
15 Pages

The Philosopher as a Prophet?

For Karl Marx there would be no individual redemption without societal redemption. This chapter moves the examination of Marx's writings into the sphere his 'vision' of the resolution to the problem of the poverty caused by the advance of capitalism. Because for Marx there is no individual redemption except through 'redemption' of society, the chapter focuses on the function of the reserve army of labour in creating the conditions for that redemption, the overthrow of capitalism, and also on the new society that would emerge. Karl Marx and William Booth offered very different answers to the woes of society. Booth offered an individual redemption that was immediately available and therefore the aim of his socially redemptive programme was to offer an improvement instantly. Societal redemption thus involved the abolition of economic alienation, which would enable individuals to find fulfilment as social species beings and this in turn would enrich society in many ways.