chapter  8
The Japanese concept of civil society and Marx’s bürgerliche Gesellschaft
Pages 12

In the English translation of the works of Marx and Engels, the term ‘civil society’ is sometimes used as a translation of bürgerliche Gesellschaft. This is an apparent distinction from ‘bourgeois society’ as another translation of the same German term. However, ‘civil’ or ‘civilised society’ also occurs in the works of the Scottish Enlightenment, including Adam Smith and Adam Ferguson. In the history of Japanese Marxism and communist thought since 1922 (when the Communist Party of Japan was established illegally), and especially after 1932 when the Communist International issued the Theses on the Situation in Japan and The Task of the Communist Party, there have been a few Marxists and their followers who have tried implicitly or explicitly to identify two civil societies.