Marxist Law as an Extension of Party Politics

QUESTION: Marxist Law as an Extension of Party Politics

ANSWER:

Because Marxism bases much of its legal theory on economics, its version of legal positivism differs in one sense from the Secular Humanist approach. In Marxism, the proletariat must gain control of the state and formulate new laws in order to create a truly just society. Therefore, Marxist-Leninist legal positivism requires a class-consciousness that Secular Humanist positivism does not emphasize. The working class must lead the Marxist state.

Marxist Law as a Guiding Force for the Working Class
However, Marxists believe the political party functions as the guiding force for the working class once it attains power. In actuality, then, the entity that determines justice is not the working class, but the Marxist-Leninist political party. Vyshinsky explains, “There might be collisions and discrepancies between the formal commands of laws and those of the proletarian revolution. . . . This collision must be solved only by the subordination of the formal commands of law to those of party policy.”1

Notes:

Rendered with permission from the book, Understanding the Times: The Collision of Today’s Competing Worldviews (Rev. 2nd ed), David Noebel, Summit Press, 2006. Compliments of John Stonestreet, David Noebel, and the Christian Worldview Ministry at Summit Ministries. All rights reserved in the original.

1 Andrei Y. Vyshinsky, Judiciary of the USSR, 2nd ed. (Moscow, USSR: Progress Publishers, 1935), 32. Cited in Berman, Justice in the USSR: An Interpretation of Soviet Law, (New York, NY: Vintage, 1963), 42–3.

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