Volume 24, No.1 - Spring 1978
Editor of this issue: Kęstutis Girnius
ISSN 0024-5089
Copyright © 1978 LITUANUS Foundation, Inc.



The only permissible moral theory in contemporary Lithuania is Marxism-Leninism. More accurately, it is Marxism-Leninism as interpreted by current Communist Party ideologues and reflecting the needs and demands of the rulers of Soviet society. Marx himself had rather little to say about specific moral problems and what he did say is unsystematically scattered throughout his body of writings, especially in his earlier works that have generally been ignored by his Soviet commentators, Much of the subtlety of Marx's thought on man and his problems is lost in the simple-minded and philosophically unsophisticated interpretations of Engels and Lenin, whose rather naive economic determinism scarcely does justice to Marx's awareness of the complex dialectical relationship between man and society. Needless to say, the Party ideologues who interpret or place restrictions on the Engels-Lenin interpretation of Marx add little that is philosophically important to understanding either morality in general or Marx's views on morality. Thus, a criticism of contemporary Marxist-Leninist morality in Lithuania is not directly applicable to Marx's theory itself.

A certain tension is inherent in moral philosophy itself for the moral philosopher has two distinct tasks that may conflict with one another. Because he tries to make sense of the nature of morality in contemporary society by elucidating the meaning and function of moral statements, his analysis can often serve as a defense of existing standards even if the defense consists merely in presenting them as coherently as possible. However, if the requirements of logical consistency and coherence reveal contradictions or unfounded and even false assumptions underlying the central presuppositions of the moral theory, the moral philosopher may conclude it to be inconsistent or irrational and that parts of it, even fundamental ones, must be rejected. So the nature of his task makes the moral philosopher both a proponent and a critic of existing moral theories.

The Lithuanian moral philosopher is denied this luxury, for he is committed to a general Marxist framework and is not free to suggest views incompatible with its basic assumptions. In itself this commitment leaves him with quite a bit of leeway to offer various theories and accounts, for consistency is not the chief virtue of Marx's philosophy. The philosopher's permanent subordination to Party requirements is another matter. Because the Party is considered the definitive interpreter of Marxism-Leninism and its every social, political, and economic directive in accord with Marxist precepts, any criticism of the existing social system not directly attributable to human failings is at best a result of serious philosophical confusion and incompetence, at worst of ill-will or treason. In case of conflict between Marx's theory and Party practice, it is Marx's views that must be reinterpreted to justify the practice. Criticism, even that based on orthodox Marxist teaching, is strictly forbidden.

That the Party's benevolent solicitude toward correct philosophical thought is a legacy of Stalinism still very much alive was demonstrated by the case of Lithuania's most creative Marxist philosopher Jonas Repšys. In a series of articles in the philosophical journal Problemos Repšys implicitly criticized some aspects of Soviet society and what he considered the misuse and vulgarization of Marx's thought by Soviet philosophers and propagandists. Three years before his tragic death in 1976, he was sternly rebuked in the Party's theoretical journal Komunistas, removed from the editorial board of several journals, and effectively silenced. His articles were not anti-Marxist; their fatal flaw lay in not fully conforming to the canons of current dogma. For example, Repšys presented what must surely be considered a straightforward explanation of Marx's claim that religion is the opium of the masses; namely, that religion in a class society provides spiritual and illusory consolation to those suffering and miserable in their earthly and real existence1. Although various exploiters may use religion to further their selfish interests, the source of religion lies in man's sufferings, in his alienation from his true essence. Religion is primarily a consequence and not a cause of evil in the world and of class exploitation. Consequently, Repšys suggested that any attempt to reduce religion to the evil designs of class exploiters and the priestly caste neglects Marx's contribution to the understanding of religion.

This interpretation had two implications. First, the Party's militant atheistic propaganda chiefly directed at disclosing the supposed machinations and immorality of religious leaders and the faithful is misguided, non-Marxist, and if Marxism as Repšys saw it were true, irrelevant and ineffective; a treatment of the manifestations and not the source of the disease. More importantly, if social inequality and human alienation cause religion and religion still exists in contemporary life, then Lithuanian society has not eliminated human misery, alienation, and social injustice. Although Repšys does not expressly state them, the practical implications of his analysis are also obvious. To combat religion the Party must foreswear its demagogic atheistic propaganda and strive to build, and not just declare, a more just and humane society.

The criticism of Repšys could not have gone unnoticed by other philosophers, and whatever hopes they may have fostered concerning a loosening of Party vigilance and censorship have surely vanished. Moral philosophy is and is likely to remain the handmaiden of a Party ideology and politics which proscribes all independent and critical thought, even that solidly based on Marxist thought. And it is surely not surprise that moral philosophy does not flourish in such unfertile soil.

The most systematic presentation of the outlines of Marxist-Leninist moral theory in Lithuanian is Etika (Ethics)2, a collective work by several philosophers of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences. The general anonymity of the authors reflects the anonymity of their contributions as no new theories or relatively sophisticated explications of Marx's thought grace this work.3 But it does cover a wide range of issues, including the source and development of morality, its social function, the principal categories and principles of communist morality, and the formation of the moral individual, and presents them in their standard form.

Many of the problems that trouble Western moral philosophers are not discussed, most probably because they are not even understood. Exhortations to be good, moral, humane, etc. replace metaethical analysis. Arguments for the acceptance of communist morality consist solely in claiming that Soviet society is morally superior to others (it is more humane, just, etc.), that this moral society is an effect of following communist moral principles, and consequently that these principles are morally superior to all others. No other arguments are produced, and this contention about the moral superiority of communist society is invoked in discussing all aspects of morality. That a moral theory is so directly tied to such an unquestionably false assertion is an indication of its theoretical weakness and philosophical unoriginality.

It is a habit of Lithuanian and, I believe, Soviet moral philosophers in general to be promiscuously eclectic. If a certain moral principle or ideal is considered to be worthwhile, Soviet moralists tend to incorporate it into their own moral theory without much reflection on whether it is consistent or compatible with their previously enunciated principles. So instead of arguing about the virtue, purported or real, of Soviet society, I shall show that serious inconsistencies afflict crucial parts of Marxist-Leninist moral theory. I do not mean to suggest that these inconsistencies are irresolvable, for resolution is always possible even if it consists merely in the renunciation of one of the conflicting parts. But such a solution is hardly a happy one, particularly if the theory's attractiveness is a function of the seeming compatibility of what I claim to be the conflicting parts.


The nature of morality and moral progress. According to the standard interpretation of the materialist conception of history, the economic base and the relations of production determine the ideological superstructure of society (of which morality is one component; law, religion, political theory, and art being others). The doctrine has been amended somewhat with the introduction of theories stressing the relative independence of the base and the superstructure, and the so-called "lag of social consciousness behind social being." Lithuanian moral philosophy faithfully incorporates these developments. The economic base is still considered the ultimate determinant of morality, but the discussion of the formation of an individual's moral views focuses on public opinion. Public opinion is the chief bearer of the moral values of a particular society, and it is in assimilating these publicly expressed values that an individual develops both a morality and a conscience. Despite the obvious fact that an individual's moral code may differ somewhat from that of the majority of his peers, public opinion provides the basic material for his moral principles. And if this is so, then changes in public opinion, whether more or less spontaneous or deliberately fostered, should lead to alterations in the, moral views of individuals.

The account of the development of morality is presented in its standard form: the evolution and development of societies is also the evolution and development of moralities; each basic kind of society has its own kind of morality; changes in the structure of society cause changes in the moral code of its inhabitants; a classless society has but one moral code; class societies have two antagonistic moralities—those of the exploiters and of the exploited. The morality of the most primitive society which had neither classes nor important divisions of labor was based on social cooperation and harmony, and each individual's concern for the happiness of his fellow men. The demise of this primitive communism was followed by the rise and fall, each in its turn, of a series of societies, slave-holding, feudal, and bourgeois or capitalist, all of which are characterized by class antagonisms and consequently contain two different kinds of morality. The moralities of the antagonistic classes are not completely disparate and have a number of common principles or universally prized traits of character purportedly necessary for the existence of any society whatsoever. The eventual development of communist society leads to the establishment of a communist morality superior to all others. 4

Moralities do not only change, they also progress in the sense that the moral code of a new type of society is morally superior to the code it has replaced. 'Each new historical system of morality is a new historical stage of moral progress. Communist morality is the highest historical step (pakopa) of morality.5 The exact relationship between social and moral progress is hard to pin down, although it is allegedly clear that they are not identical, that moral progress has its own inner logic albeit ultimately being a reflection of society's productive relations, and that the masses are chiefly responsible for moral progress. What constitutes moral progress is equally shrouded in mystery, although it is defined in terms of the acceptance of the so-called universal human principles and the full development of man's personality.

In the course of moral progress social and moral values, such as freedom, equality, fraternity, and justice, took on an ever increasing importance . . . One might say, speaking generally, that the historical direction of moral progress is that of the realization of the human personality, of the perfection of man within man.6

Such is the basic account, and not one without difficulties. But first it should be mentioned that this conception of morality and moral progress has strayed quite a bit from Marx's formulation. The Soviet realization that the economic transformation of society was not paralleled by similar changes in the superstructure made certain theoretical alterations inevitable. If elements of bourgeois morality are unexpectedly resilient to the influence of economic changes, then more active means must be employed to eradicate them, Morality must now serve to shape the new Soviet man and Soviet society rather than passively reflecting the existing social structure. Thus, public opinion and morality take on, to some degree, a function once exclusively reserved for the economic base. While the adjustment of theory to accord with empirical facts is admirable, excessive re-interpretation can lead to a theory more Marxist in vocabulary than in content. The emphasis on justice, equality, fraternity, and the like as indicators of moral progress is a feature, not of Marx's thought, but of the Utopian socialists whom he so avidly derided. Their major transgression, probably attributable to contemporary Marxism-Leninism, is the replacement of the materialistic basis of socialism 'by modern mythology with its goddesses of Justice, Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity.7

The superficiality of Marxist efforts to specify the nature of class morality is notorious. Aristotle's defense of slavery and the injunction against theft, issued by exploiters to preserve their ill-gotten gains, are the universal examples which supposedly show the validity of the concept. In Etika we are told that the prohibition against killing was formulated in order to supply slave-holders with free labor.8 At best such derivations, if one may call them that, show that the interests of individuals are incorporated into moral codes. But surely no one has denied this for morality is by definition concerned with the interests of men and their efforts to reconcile them.9

That serious problems remain with the Marxist conception can be easily seen from the many important issues that remain unclarified. For example, what makes a certain morality the morality of a particular class? Must a number of basic aims and interests of that class be incorporated into the fundamental moral principles, or must a majority of the class merely adhere to a certain code, or both? It is readily imaginable that a majority, due to their ignorance, sincerely assents to principles contrary to their interests or fails to profess a morality which is in their interest. According to some Marxists, peasant believers would be an example of the first, workers in Western Europe of the second. Christianity causes similar problems, for here we have a morality, purportedly expressing the interests of the feudal aristocracy, that was initially accepted by the oppressed of a slave-holding society and which drew its major support from the peasantry rather than the nobility of feudal society. Even if it were granted that exploiters and exploited could have had different conceptions of Christian morality, what were the specific prescriptions that one accepted and the other denied? And if a few different kinds of prescriptions did in fact exist, why should we say that there were two types of morality rather than one common morality, some of whose principles were subject to varied interpretations?

The concept of moral progress is a hazy concept indeed, and one that would seem to cause Marxism-Leninism exceptional problems because it claims that there are no a priori self-evident moral principles and that each morality is relative to its society. But the notion of moral progress presupposes the existence of a criterion for the moral evaluation of various moral codes. Such a criterion cannot be relative to just one type of society, for otherwise it would be strictly applicable only to that society and could not be used to determine the moral worth of other societies. And if such a criterion exists, then it is absolute in the sense that it can judge all moral codes and not merely that from which it is derived.

The Lithuanian Marxists would probably contend that we must differentiate between the applicability of this criterion and the societal conditions in which it arises or comes to be known. Their claim in effect would be that the criterion can only come to be known in a socialist society or by the proletariat, but that once it has been recognized it can then be used to judge all societies. Thus, knowledge of the criterion is relative to the evolution of society, while its applicability, once recognized, is absolute. But is it in fact the case that this criterion was only recognized by the proletariat or the communists? The claim is somewhat doubtful for much of what Aristotle says or what Christianity teaches is still incorporated into contemporary moral theories. In answer it may be said that while these principles were recognized, perhaps not very clearly, the fact remains that the men who professed them did not live according to their precepts. Christianity may have promulgated universal love, but Christians, in particular the ecclesiastic and feudal hierarchy, paid these principles only lip service, while supporting serfdom and other gross injustices. The same argument, however, can be turned against the Marxists, for the lack of freedom and justice are institutionalized features of the Soviet state. Moreover, the reign of Stalin has effectively shown that communism alone is not somehow immune from the recrudescence of moral barbarism. Thus, the Marxist-Leninist argument comes down to two doubtful assertions. First, that the moral ideals which are the criterion for judging the moral worth of moral codes were only recognized by the proletariat. Or second, that socialist society is the only one that enacts them.

So far we have assumed that the criterion is a coherent one and can be clearly specified. Man's self-realization, the development by man of his human capacities to the fullest, seems to be the criterion of moral progress. The morality which allows or even encourages such self-development is considered morally superior to one that does not. But concepts, such as 'man's self-realization,' 'the perfection of man within man,' 'the development of man's capacity to the fullest,' are quite unclear, perhaps even hopelessly muddled. It is not unreasonable to believe that rational men could not even agree to a stipulative definition of such concepts, or if such a definition were postulated, that some would refuse to consider it a moral ideal. Although Lithuanian moral philosophers do not even try to explicate the concepts, they suggest that the fully developed man will flourish in a society where freedom, equality, fraternity, and justice prevail. I cannot say whether this prediction (hope) will turn out to be true, but I want only to mention that while freedom, equality, justice, and fraternity are ideals that should be fostered, it is not clear that they do not conflict. Requirements of justice and equality impinge on the freedom of some, fraternity may best flourish where freedom is somewhat curtailed, equal treatment of all is at times unjust. The question thus arises which combination of these four ideals is most conducive to man's fullest development, and according to whose conception of man's fullest development. And as long as such questions remain unanswered, talk of moral progress is premature.


The consequentialism of Soviet moral principles. Roughly, consequentialism is the theory that the moral value of an action lies in its consequences, and that the consequences of the act rather than any intrinsic characteristic or value it may have allow us to justify or condemn actions if they can be justified or condemned at all. The classical consequentialist theory is utilitarianism, the doctrine that the rightness or wrongness of an act depends on its effect on the welfare of all men. In one of its forms, utilitarianism claims that the act which is right is that which leads to the greatest happiness of the greatest number.

The consequentialist nature of Marxism-Leninism is stated quite categorically:

The behavior of every individual in society is evaluated according to the principles and norms of communist morality which reflects the goals of socialist society. The fundamental goal—to build communism—is at the same time the criterion of communist morality. According to communist morality, those acts and the general behavior of the individual that help the building of communism are considered moral.10

Consequentialism is not without its critics, but I shall only stress the problems peculiar to the Marxist version. One of the chief virtues of consequentialism is that it provides us with a decision procedure for evaluating moral action and for solving moral dilemmas. If a consequentialist holds that pleasure or happiness is that which must be maximized, then all that we have to know in order to determine which of several possible actions is right is to calculate how much pleasure or happiness each produces. That is, we have a criterion (the production of pleasure or happiness) that theoretically applies to all acts, and we are left with just the practical problem of calculating consequences.

Although it is still not all that clear what 'pleasure' and 'happiness' mean and how we assign definite units of pleasure and happiness to various acts, these problems pale in comparison to the difficulties that beset the Marxist-Leninist criterion of 'building communist society.' We are never told what communist society will be like. Purportedly it will be one in which freedom, equality, fraternity, and justice shall reign, and where each individual will be able to develop his full potentiality as a human being. But as we mentioned above, these values may conflict. If they do, we need an ordering principle of some kind specifying which values are more important, or we are left unable to determine which act is right. There simply are no discussions of ordering principles, and the complete compatibility of these values is hardly self-evident enough to simply assume that no conflict would exist. And if the criterion cannot determine in most cases which act is right, then consequentialism becomes a form of intuitionism.

An appeal to more concrete principles, such as those espoused in 'the moral code of the builders of communism' of the 1961 Party Program of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, does little to resolve the problem.11 The twelve principles that constitute the code are themselves quite vague, without any underlying fundamental ground, and subject to the same difficulties of interpretation and ordering12. For example, the sixth principle requires humane relations and mutual respect, while the eleventh an uncompromising attitude toward the enemies of communism. But how can the good communist express his respect for the individual who sincerely assents to beliefs contrary to Party directives, while still retaining an uncompromising attitude toward him? Should he be uncompromising in his enmity or humane in his relations if and when the two are incompatible? Similarly, fraternal solidarity with the working people of all countries and with all peoples (the twelfth principle) also conflicts with the eleventh if, as surely is the case, some working people are strongly anti-Communist.

An ordering of these principles is not impossible, particularly because they are sufficiently vague to be open to many interpretations. The most probable ordering would stress the priority of obedience to communism, then enmity toward those opposed to it, allowing the individual to be humane in his relations to others subject to these two constraints. However, one must ask whether such an ordering is in fact conducive to the building of a fraternal, free, just, and equitable society in which each individual develops his human capacities to the fullest. Because one of these human capacities must be the ability and the desire to decide for oneself what one ought to do, the requirement to obey Party directives (the extensional equivalent of loyalty to communism) or even the belief that responsible Party operatives are uniquely capable of judging moral matters seems to preclude moral autonomy, in the sense that an autonomous individual is under an obligation not to act in a given way unless he himself has good reason for so doing. Of course, the answer to this objection would be that the fully developed man would freely and sincerely assent to Party directives, that he would do so because he himself had good reasons for so doing, reasons other than being simply ordered to do so. Such a retort will not do, if one remembers Marx's claim that 'morality rests on the autonomy, religion on the heteronomity of the human spirit.13 Marx obviously realized that many Christians sincerely assented to Christian moral principles, so sincere assent alone is not a sufficient condition of moral autonomy. For Marx the recognition of a superior authority to whose judgment one acquiesces, whether freely or not, seems in itself to be enough to preclude moral autonomy, presumably because such recognition is necessarily a form of servility and a refusal to fully use one's freedom and reason.

Thus, the Marxist-Leninist version of consequentialism is beset by very serious difficulties. The universal applicability of a consequentialist criterion, its reduction of even the most difficult moral problems to the calculation of tangible effects, is one of the chief virtues of such a theory. But the Marxist criterion of 'building communism' is too vague to do this. Without a precise specification of the nature of communist society and the ways it is to be constructed, the criterion becomes roughly equivalent to 'building the best society,' a noble sentiment but hardly a paragon of ethical analysis or of much help in making ordinary moral judgments. The most probable ordering principle, that of obedience to Party directives, would very likely require the abandonment of moral autonomy, a characteristic of the kind that Marx believed essential to the fully developed man.

All consequentialist moral theories face certain difficulties in dealing with human integrity. Because an individual is considered to be under a moral obligation to maximize certain consequences {for example, the greatest happiness for the greatest number), it makes no difference whether the consequences are the result of the individual's action or inaction. He is equally responsible for both. The problem to human integrity arises when, due to the causal nexus in which the individual finds himself, he is required to behave in a way that is either contrary to sincerely held moral feelings or to his life projects, or both. A standard example is the ordering of the judicial execution of an innocent to appease an angry mob that would otherwise riot and kill more than one. A case more pertinent to Marxism-Leninism could be that of a dedicated Communist, a pacifist by conviction, who is asked to aid in the destruction of possible class enemies in order to facilitate the building of Communism. The important point is that the individual must not only believe, according to consequential-ism, that it is his moral obligation to secure the execution of such individuals, but must neither feel any moral repulsion in so doing, nor regret that his pacificism is sacrificed. But if his repulsion to killing innocents and his commitment to pacificism are deep-seated, then in an important sense he is alienated from his feelings and life projects.

Such situations cannot be easily resolved in the Marxist framework, for in socialist society alienation is allegedly overcome and man becomes one with himself and his fellow men. If the concept of alienation were restricted merely to an individual's loss of power over the products of his labor, then Marxist-Leninist philosophers could argue that the dismantling of capitalism is a sufficient condition for the disappearance of alienation. However specious this argument may be, it will not do for Marx quite explicitly claims that man can also be alienated from the process of labor itself, from his own universal, generic social being, and also from other men. "What is true of man's relationship to his labor, to the product of labor and to himself, is also true of his relationship to other men, and to the labor and the object of the labor of other men.14 Central to the concept of alienation is the notion of something once part of man appearing as an alien, hostile object which now seems to have an independent existence and has become man's master. The acceptance of consequentialist principles, or more precisely, the claim that it is the individual's moral duty to accept such principles requires the individual to consider his deepest feelings and life projects as expendable components of his life. The causal nexus in which the individual finds himself dictates what his response ought to be and is, thus, independent of him and his master as well. And it is not open to the Marxist-Leninist to suggest that the individual renounce his 'selfish' interests for the greater good, for then the society which demands these sacrifices stands indicted, just like capitalist society, of failing to secure the conditions necessary for man's full development.15

Another purported feature of socialist or communist society is that its members are fully free to pursue their favored activities. Yet a consistent consequentialism demands of the individual a willingness to consider such activities a temporary luxury to be willingly abandoned when their pursuit does not maximize total favorable consequences. Thus, freedom of activity and freedom from alienation are subordinate to demands that may arise from situations for which the individual is not responsible, in the sense that they are not primarily brought about by his own behavior. Instead of freely determining what he is to do, the individual's behavior becomes a function of the total situation which in various circumstances may require him to act in a way that is reprehensible to him.

The most facile answer to these objections is to claim that such situations do not arise in a socialist society. But clearly this is not the case. It may also be argued that such sacrifices are only temporary and that with the full flowering of communist society in the future they will no longer be necessary. Under such an interpretation the full development of man is to be viewed sub specie aeternitas, that is, not as something that an individual can claim now, but as that which is to be the birthright of another generation at some indeterminate future time. Whether contemporary Soviet citizens are willing to sacrifice their present happiness so that others may flourish later is an open question, but it perhaps explains the great stress placed on public opinion in the formation of the moral views of the new Soviet man. For it seems that a function of public opinion is to make palatable such sacrifices. Nonetheless, the Marxist-Leninist guiding principle of 'building communism' requires at present that individuals subject themselves to alienation, be willing to curtail or even sacrifice life projects, and perhaps even renounce moral autonomy—demands ostensibly quite at odds with the ideal of 'the perfection of man within man.'


A few final comments. I have concentrated my criticism basically on two aspects of Lithuanian ethics: the nature of morality and moral progress, and the consequentialism of communist principles. These two areas contain most of what is original in Marxist-Leninist ethics, and if my criticisms are well-founded, then the whole theory is in need of a drastic overhaul.

Yet major revisions are unlikely. The contention about moral progress culminating in communist morality has too great a propaganda value to be discarded simply because philosophers find it a muddled concept. Any serious attempt to define 'freedom,' 'justice,' 'equality,' and 'fraternity,' to see how they are interrelated, and to determine the degree to which they are present in any particular society would invariably lead to criticisms, at least implicit, of essential features of Soviet society. So philosophers will be content to contrast the 'abstract freedoms' of the West with the real accomplishments of socialism. The conception of morality as class-based is a cornerstone of the Soviet interpretation of Marx, and as such immune from criticism. Its inviolability is further buttressed by the fact that in Lithuania Marxist-Leninist ethics is not a living philosophical tradition (in the way that utilitarianism is in the West), but a receptacle of various quotations from Marx, Engels, and Lenin to be drawn out and quoted at appropriate times to support a particular contention or to indicate one's orthodoxy. In such a situation the true believer is recognized by his pious professions of faith in, and humility towards, the classics of the masters rather than by critical efforts to see what is viable and what is no longer so in their works. The tension, that 1 suggested exists, between the consequentialist principles of communist morality and man's full development is likely to find a facile resolution; namely, that it is only by following these principles that an individual achieves his full development. Future conflicts will be considered improbable; past conflicts, the consequences of straying from these very principles. Both are indispensable although not in the same way: there would be no point in accepting communist principles if they did not lead to man's self-realization, while loyalty to communism (i.e., obedience to Party demands) is the most essential component of the whole theory.

I have not discussed more specific principles of communist morality for they are disarmingly similar to those propounded, and generally with more skill, by bourgeois philosophers and moralists. Whatever novel elements may have existed in the first years after the Revolution have now vanished or been proscribed. In fact the principles are rather reactionary, exalting the wisdom of the authorities, stressing the need for eternal vigilance against the enemy and the desirability of conformity, and propagating a work ethic whose acceptance by laborers would make most capitalists ecstatic.


1 Jonas Repšys, "Marksizmas, ateizmas, žmogus (Marxism, atheism, man)," Problemos, no. 2(1968): 20-22.
2 Vytautas Žemaitis, et al. Etika (Vilnius: Mintis, 1974).
3 In fairness it must be mentioned that the book is not intended solely for professional philosophers but also for propagandists. Yet its level of argument is representative of that of Lithuanian moral philosophy in general. The reason for this may simply be that there is no clear differentiation between moral philosophy and propaganda.
4 Surprisingly or perhaps not, the authors of Etika (p. 41) mention the following as universal character traits: modesty, simplicity, politeness, and respect for women. While it may console women to know that respect for them has always been a necessary component of social living, the authors seem to have forgotten Marx's comments about the exploitation of women in bourgeois society. In fact many societies seem to have existed without any of these traits, or at least in forms that we would now recognize.
5 Etika. p. 52.
6 Ibid., pp. 56-57.
7 Marx's letter to F.A. Sorge of 19 October 1877. Quoted by Z.A. Jordan, The Evolution of Dialectical Materialism (London: Macmillan and Co., 1967). p. 3,
8 Etika, p. 32.
9 The authors themselves seem somewhat uneasy about the validity of their claims concerning class morality for they issue a disclaimer to the effect that class antagonisms were not as readily reflected in morality as they were in politics.
10 Etika, p. 48.
11 The Party holds that the moral code of the builder of communism should comprise the following principles;
*  devotion to the communist cause; love of the socialist motherland and of the other socialist countries:
*  conscientious labor for the good of society—he who does not work, neither shall he eat;
*  concern on the part of everyone for the preservation and growth of public wealth;
*  a high sense of public duty; intolerance of actions harmful to the public interest;
*  collectivism and comradely mutual assistance: one for all and all for one;
*  humane relations and mutual respect between individuals—man is to man a friend, comrade, and brother;
*  honesty and truthfulness, moral purity, modesty, and unpretentious-ness in social and private life;
*  mutual respect in the family, and concern for the upbringing of children;
*  an uncompromising attitude to injustice, parasitism, dishonesty, careerism, and money-grubbing;
*  friendship and brotherhood among all peoples of the USSR; intolerance of national and racial hatred;
*  an uncompromising attitude to the enemies of communism, peace, and freedom of nations;
*  fraternal solidarity with the working people of all countries, and with all peoples.'
Reprinted in Leonard Schapiro (ed.). The U.S.S.R. and the Future (New York: Praeger, 1963), p. 304.
12  While the authors of Etika do not explicitly refer to these principles, their whole discussion assumes familiarity with them. They discuss in turn five fundamental categories: loyalty to communism, socialist patriotism and internationalism, collectivism, the communist attitude towards labor, and socialist humanism.
13 Marx states this in his Remarks on the Most Recent Prussian Instruction to Censors. Quoted in Eugene Kamenka, The Ethical Foundations of Marxism (London; Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1962), p. 26. The claims that the Party places on its citizens are as encompassing and categorical as those of any religion.
14 Karl Marx, "Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts," in Early Writings, edited by Quentin Hoare (New York: Vintage Books, 1975), p. 330,
15 Lithuanian philosophers are not unaware of the problem of alienation, or the related problem of contradictions in Soviet society, but they generally dismiss them rather cavalierly. J. Repšys has argued that the existence of alienation cannot be denied nor minimized, yet he expresses the hope that socialism is creating secure foundations for its overcoming. A more typical treatment is offered by J. Minkevičius, who differentiates between 'antagonistic' and 'non-antagonistic' contradictions. The latter are less severe, and the only type found in Soviet society; the former, of course, afflict capitalism. But without strict criteria for distinguishing between the two, the differentiation is thoroughly unilluminating.