MIA: Encyclopedia of Marxism: Glossary of Terms




The End is an ideal state of affairs which is intended, and Means are the methods by which the End is achieved.

The End is firstly the Subjective End – a desired change in the objective world, but subsequently becomes the Realised End – the, usually unexpected, result of the Means adopted. For Hegel, the dialectics of Means and Ends is part of the first part of the sub-division of Teleology and is the penultimate stage before the Idea.

See also: "Means & Ends".

Further Reading: Engels’ comment on the difference between subjective intention and its outcome, End, Means and Realised End in the Science of Logic and Life in the Shorter Logic.


Enlightenment, The

Intellectual movement which marked the rise of the bourgeoisie in Europe of the 17th and 18th centuries, in which ideas of god, reason, nature, and human were shaped in adherance to capitalist ideology through revolutionary developments in art, philosophy and politics. Central to Enlightenment was the deification of Reason.

The rise of empirical and rational natural science (Bacon, Copernicus, Galileo, Descartes, Leibniz and Newton), Renaissance art, and the Protestant Reformation laid the basis for the Enlightenment. For Luther, as for Bacon or Descartes, the way to truth lay in the application of human reason, rather than the authority of the Fathers of the Church.

Inevitably, Reason was applied to religion itself leading to Deism, especially in England and France, and the more radical products of the application of reason to religion: scepticism, atheism and materialism. The Enlightenment produced the first modern theories of psychology, language, political economy and ethics – Locke, Hobbes, David Hume, Adam Smith and Bentham in England, Rousseau, Montesquieu, Diderot and Voltaire in France, Thomas Jefferson in America and Goethe, Schiller, Immanuel Kant and Fichte in Germany, for example.

Thus the Enlightenment became critical, reforming, and eventually revolutionary with an evolving critique of the arbitrary, authoritarian state and the concept of a higher form of social organisation, based on natural rights and individual freedom which found expression as reform in England and revolution in France and America.

The reaction that followed the Jacobin application of science to social progress in France (Thermidor in 1794) and the growing social agony following the application of science to industry in Britain, confronted the bourgeoisie with the horrified reality of the implementation of their ideas, and brought an end to the Enlightenment period. The following cultural period, known as Romanticism, took a darker view of the human condition, seeking solace in the idealisation of the past and pondering the fall of humankind.



The Entente, the imperialist bloc of Britain, France and tsarist Russia which took final shape in 1907, and was opposed to the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy. The emergence of the Triple Entente was preceded by the conclusion of the Franco-Russian alliance of 1891-93 and the Anglo-French agree-ment of 1904. The formation of the Entente was concluded by the signing of the Anglo-Russian agreement in 1907. During the First World War the military and political alliance of Britain, France and Russia was joined by the United States, Japan, Italy and other countries. This alliance of imperialist powers, that later took part in the intervention against Soviet Russia, was known at the time as “the Entente”.