Virtually since its dawn, capitalism has been subject to variegated critique over the inability of capitalist societies to deliver on the human liberationist promises of modernity. Of this critique Marxism, the body of thought tracing its lineage to the writings of Karl Marx, has proved the most enduring and powerful with its vision of socialism as a society which ultimately consummates the historical march of human beings toward freedom. In summarizing Marx's vision of socialism, Friedrich Engels put the supersession of capitalism by socialism in terms of “humanity's leap from the kingdom of necessity to the kingdom of freedom” (Engels 1954, 391–3). What Engels is referring to here is Marx's concurring with bourgeois claims for capitalism “freeing” human beings from the interpersonal bonds of domination and subordination along with the extra-economic coercions in which their material lives were ensnared in precapitalist societies. Marx further lauded the bourgeois cultivation of a “public sphere” of civil and political society as a cornerstone of human freedom. Marx, however, was crisply clear: in capitalist society, one glaring un-freedom remains. This is the fact of human subjugation to the blind economic forces of the capitalist market which yokes human beings to its economic compulsions. Marx discerned how economic compulsion in capitalist economies confronts human beings as a natural force to which they must conform and argued that the leap to the kingdom of freedom necessitated a superstructure of free associations of free human beings managing the economic substructure of society for their concrete human purposes and needs.