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Essay on Marxist Human Nature and Society

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For Karl Marx human nature is a reflection of the society that they are a part of. It’s a product of the influencing relationships between a human’s consciousness (their psychology), the material world, and society. These three things produce our nature within society, but we also have a basic species nature. Our basic nature, or our species nature, is more important to Marx than our individual nature. Marx’s belief of our nature leads him to believe that communism is the most beneficial society for us to exist in.
If humans were living in a state of nature, according to Marx, are naturally drawn to one another because our collective nature is more important than our individual nature. In living in nature and trying to survive we are required to make something out of our surroundings. In essence humans produce a material world out of nature and here is where we differ from the animals. “But an animal only produces what it immediately needs for itself or its young. It produces one-sidedly, whilst man produces universally.” (266) Humans have a propensity to create more things than we need simply because we like to make things. We value ourselves as producers because it sets us apart and it demonstrates that we are free thinking. Also what we produce gives us a concept of ourselves, meaning that we can see ourselves in what we make. “Thus it is quite obvious from the start that there exists a materialistic connection of men with one another, which is determined by their needs and their mode of production and which is as old as men themselves.” (273) For as long as humans have been around we have been producing things. That production leads to connection because it shows that all of humanity has something in common. That we are all un...


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...ary in a communist world. All that matters to communism is the collective, not the individual.
This causes me to think that Marx’s view of human nature isn’t correct, or at the very least isn’t complete. I believe that while humanity may be drawn to communities, we also value individuality. Marx puts too much emphasis on community in saying that human nature is a collective thing and not an individual one. Individuality and creative thinking is how societies progress and how new discoveries are made. If every single person simply works for the common good then nothing of that sort is going to happen. Communism and thinking that our base nature is collective limits people in what they can accomplish. I believe that it would create resentment in how restrictive it is.



Works Cited

Loptson, Peter. Readings on Human Nature. Peterborough, Ont.: Broadview, 1998. Print.


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