The Ethical Foundations of Marxism, first published in 1962 and corrected and revised for a 1972 edition, examines carefully and critically the origin, precise nature and subsequent role of Marx's ethical beliefs.
Drawing freely on Marx's still largely untranslated philosophical works and drafts the author elicits the ethical presuppositions with which Marx began.
He then examines the intellectual development that made Marx a Communist and seeks to clarify the place of Marx's ethic in his mature, `materialist' work.
Professor Kamenka distinguishes sharply between the critical, ethical views of Marx and the inept, conventional applications of his doctrine by Engels.
He appraises the `ethics' of the Communist Party and traces the development of the moral and legal theory in the Soviet Union.
He concludes by subjecting Marxism as a whole to a radical, ethical and philosophical criticism for which Marx himself laid some of the foundations.