O que Marx antecipara era uma revolução internacional nos países capitalistas avançados. O que vingou, porém, foi um putsch isolado num país agrário e semifeudal. A disuntiva era brilhante, inapelável: se o experimento soviético fosse bem-sucedido, o marxismo estaria ustificado pela força esmagadora dos fatos; mas se ele naufragasse, se a revolução fosse traída ou descambasse num mero despotismo asiático, bem, aí era preciso frisar que Marx nunca teria acreditado que o verdadeiro counismo pudesse se tornar realidade ou mostrar a que veio num país tão atrasado como a Rússia czarista.
Eduardo Giannetti, Felicidade: diálogos sobre o bem-estar na civilização, São Paulo, 2002, p. 44
As long as we continue to study and cite Hobbes, Rousseau, and Marx—none of whose views of human nature can today be ranked as scientific—it would be perversely backward-looking to refuse even to consider sociobiology and what follows from it.
Peter Singer, ‘Ethics and Sociobiology’, Philosophy & Public Affairs, vol. 11, no. 1 (Winter, 1982), pp. 40-64
The orthodox economists, as well as Marx, who in this respect agreed with them, were mistaken in supposing that economic self-interest could be taken as the fundamental motive in social sciences. The desire for commodities, when separated from power and glory, is finite, and can be fully satisfied by a moderate competence. The really expensive desires are not dictated by a love of material comfort. Such commodities as a legislature rendered subservient by corruption, or a private picture gallery of Old Masters selected by experts, are sought for the sake of power or glory, not as affording comfortable places in which to sit. When a moderate degree of comfort is assured, both individuals and communities will pursue power rather than wealth: they may seek wealth as a means to power, or the may forgo an increase of wealth in order to secure an increase of power, but in the former case as in the latter their fundamental motive is not economic.
This error in orthodox and Marxist economics is not merely theoretical, but is of the greatest practical importance, and has caused some of the principal events of recent times to be misunderstood. It is only by realising that love of power is the cause of the activities that are important in social affairs that history, whether ancient or modern, can be rightly interpreted.
Bertrand Russell, Power: A New Social Analysis, London, 1938, p. 9
Unexpected discoveries are useful for calibrating pre-existing ideas. G. W. F. Hegel has had a very powerful imprint on professional philosophy of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and a profound influence on the future of the world because Karl Marx took him very seriously (although sympathetic critics have argued that Marx’s arguments would have been more compelling had he never heard of Hegel). In 1799 or 1800 Hegel confidently stated, using presumably the full armamentarium of philosophy available to him, that no new celestial objects could exist within the solar system. One year later, the asteroid Ceres was discovered. Hegel then seems to have returned to pursuits less amenable to disproof.
Carl Sagan, Broca’s Brain: Reflections on the Romance of Science, New York, 1974, p. 235
El ambiente está lleno de intelectuales sin obra que en realidad son políticos sin votos: a tales seres no se les puede pedir un pensamiento que, por desmitificador, pueda alienarlos de las grandes mayorías. Se trata del tipo de animal político que puede ser marxista si es que hay un segmento de la opinión local para el cual el marxismo es la “buena doctrina”, pero que jamás podría lanzarse a la aventura del pensamiento a que se entregó Karl Marx, ni aspiraría a ello.
Carlos Escudé, Realismo periférico, Buenos Aires, 1992, p. 11