Marxism, in one form or another, is an inescapable intellectual force almost everywhere in the modern world. In countries where books by, and sometimes even about, Marx are prohibited, often with severe sanctions attached, Marxism is at least as much in the air as in those lands where such books are standard items for the reading public. In the former countries, Marxism's presence is primarily that of a 'spectre', to use the apt expression of The Communist Manifesto. Marx's philosophy is flexible and open. It was the philosophical perspective which Marx brought to his apparently disparate studies that enabled him to sustain his sense of the interrelatedness of things. If one follows Marx's critical analyses, then one's overall perception of past history and of the contemporary social world is certain to be different, in a number of specifiable ways, from that of, let us say, a traditionalist or a liberal.