‘Marxist theories continue to offer a useful framework for understanding the relationship between law and society.’ Discuss critically. Please advise on the essay. Thank you in advance.

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thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

As you work on your essay, you might take as a starting point the idea that one of Marx's major innovations in the thinking about law was to remove it from the realm of pure philosophy or theology and ground it in economics and class conflict. Rather than considering laws in terms of some abstract notions of justice, Marx emphasizes the way that laws can benefit specific classes.

Marx sees the foundation of much of civil law as a defense of private property, benefiting primarily the wealthy. This understanding is a possible starting point for analyzing the legal ramifications of contemporary financial crises. For example, it provides a framework for understanding how multinational banks and their multimillionaire CEOs ended up being bailed out by middle class taxpayers or how proposed trade agreements such as the TPP codify protection of the rights of multinational corporations over the democratically determined laws of the potential trade bloc members.