In This Review

Pluralism On and Off Course
Pluralism On and Off Course
By Stanislaw Ehrlich
Pergamon Press, 1982, 254 pp

The first half of this study by a Polish political philosopher is a not particularly arresting review of pluralism in the political theory of the West in the 19th and 20th centuries. The second and more interesting half takes up pluralism in relation to Marxism (he finds it inherent in Marx and practiced by Lenin), especially as it has appeared and developed in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe since the heyday of Stalinism. Ehrlich uses the not typical but not irrelevant example of Poland to show how society, in a pattern of ups and downs, has created its own groups, associations and loyalties, which have transformed socialism without challenging its essence. Although open to criticism from several different angles, the book is coolly reasoned, draws on a rich literature, and deserves attention in both the East and the West.