A useful way of taking stock and retracing briefly the steps of my earlier chapters is suggested by Hannah Arendt’s ostensibly surprising observations that the theory of the young Marx “was firmly rooted in the institutions and theories of the ancients,” particularly the Athenians, and that Marx’s ideal of the best form of society is “as such … not utopian, but rather reproduces the political and social condition of… (ancient) Athens.” 1 This latter claim should not be taken too literally. Arendt, unlike so many of her Cold-War contemporaries, was perfectly well aware that Marx had no wish to restore chattel slavery. Her claim is nonetheless suggestive and timely. We know 112that Marx as a young man was anything but exempt from what Eliza Marion Butler termed, in a fine book of the same title, “the tyranny of Greece over Germany.” 2 Quite to the contrary, he freely admitted to wishing to restore ancient political freedoms. Marx wrote to Arnold Ruge in 1843 that:

The feeling of self in man, freedom, will have to be awakened again in these [German] men. Only this feeling, which disappeared from the world with the Greeks, and with Christianity vanished into the blue mists of heaven, can again transform society into a community of men to achieve their highest purpose, a democratic state. 3