Gluchman, Vasil

Kusý and Marxist Humanism in the 1960s


Miroslav Kusý (1931) exemplifies the critical approach to Marxist philosophy in Slovakia in the 1960s. In his Philosophy of Politics (Filozofia politiky, 1966) and Marxist Philosophy (Marxistická filozofia, 1967), he tried to critically develop the approach. Based on contemporary critical discussions on Marxist philosophy in the countries of Central and Western Europe, he reflected upon the existing experience from the development in Czechoslovakia and tried to formulate new approaches within Marxist philosophy, with an emphasis on man in socialist society. He was among the most active advocates of a return to real humanism and searching for solutions that would be, first of all, beneficial for man rather than for socialism’s sake, which often contradicted the needs and interests of man; however, they were beneficial in maintaining and strengthening the power of the Communist party. In his understanding, Marxism and socialism were to, predominantly, serve man before the Communist party. If this was not the case in the past, in the period of the cult of personality, he characterised this as a major mistake that should be avoided, that one was to learn from and not repeat. He saw the whole period as a chance to return to real, concrete rather than declarative socialist, or Marxist, humanism.