The Root is Man

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Eloquently expresses the unwavering political philosophy that the only worthwhile government is one devoted to the good not of the state, but of the individual. We must emphasize the emotions, the imagination, the moral feelings, the primacy of the individual human being once more, must restore the balance that has been broken by the hypertrophy of science in the last two centuries.

The root is man, here and not there, now and not then.--from The Root is Man

In the spring of 1946, Dwight Macdonald published “The Root Is Man" in politics, the journal he and his then-wife Nancy created after breaking with Partisan Review three years earlier. “The Root Is Man" is largely about the theories of one man: Karl Marx. Macdonald argues that any serious critique of Marxism must come to terms with Marxism's origins in the European Enlightenment. Macdonald shows us the Victorian optimist in Marx, the would-be Charles Darwin who believed he had finally uncovered the evolutionary law of human history but whose system unwittingly articulated, as well as challenged, the desires and values of his own time. “The Root Is Man," however, was not an exercize in armchair Marxicology or another obituary for a god that failed but a painful reexamination of views Macdonald had held for over a decade both as a Communist Party fellow traveller and then as a Trotskyist revolutionary.