John Locke versus Karl Marx

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Two of the most influential and celebrated modern political thinkers, Karl Marx and John Locke, have made countless insightful and compelling arguments, expressing their ideas on various conditions of the individual, state, and the interactions between the two. Marx was a German political thinker who was best known for his works with idea of communism and social class divisions. Locke was an English philosopher famous for his social contract and is known as the Father of Liberalism (CITE). Despite the paramount success these men achieved, they had radically different views on the idea of property and the description of freedom, finding only minimal similarity on their views on the right to revolt.
The concept of property has developed many different perspectives over the years as political philosophers continually searched to find its rightful role in society. Of these perspectives, John Locke and Karl Marx had perhaps developed the most combative and different views. In Locke’s Second Treatise of Government, he discusses how it is a natural right for all men to have private property, and the protection of this right should be a top priority of the government. In fact, one of Locke’s most influential quotes states that all men have the right to “life, liberty, and property.” (CITE) This later became the groundwork for some concepts used by the Founding Fathers of the United States. In the eyes of Locke, “labour being the unquestionable property of the labourer, no man but he can have a right to what that is once joined to,” (Locke in Cahn 457). This means that when a man plows a garden, the garden is annexed into his possession based off of his labor, and any and all fruits or flowers that come from this garden belong to him.

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...ed the idea of the division between the private and public realms seen today. Additionally, Locke’s evolutionary description and interpretation of freedom set the pace for the tacit consent to be governed concept, while simultaneously protecting the unrestrictive living of the people and the absence of absolute power in any political institution. Furthermore, his perspective on the right to revolution had a more realistic and practical approach over Marx’s opinion on the Proletariat Revolution, which has failed to really ever occur. Therefore, John Locke’s assessment was superior and more persuasive in explaining a fundamental relationship between people and state.

Works Cited

Cahn, Steven M. Classics of Political and Moral Philosophy. New York: Oxford UP, 2012. Print.

Marx, Karl, and Friedrich Engels. The German Ideology. New York: International, 1972. Print.
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