Marxism vs. Randism

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“From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs” is one of the most famous quotes found in the Communist Manifesto. When compared to a line in Ayn Rand’s book, Atlas Shrugged, that states, “man- every man – is an end in himself, not the means to the ends of others”, I believe that Marx’s quote better fits how society should be. As a whole, the quote promotes philanthropy and contentment, while Rand’s encourages selfishness.

To me, the first part of Marx’s quote means that people should give to society the best they can according to their abilities. This fosters the financial and volunteer side of philanthropy. Philanthropy is a crucial part of today’s society; it gives people better lives. A personal example of this would be my experiences with Camp Good News. Camp Good News is a nonprofit camp for inner city children ran by volunteers. Since the camp relies on volunteer workers, parents can cheaply send their children there for a week Many summer camps, even Christians one, can cost several hundreds of dollars, but it costs less than one hundred dollars to attend Camp Good News. I had the pleasure of spending many summers volunteering at Camp Good News, and by doing so I was enabling children to attend a camp without putting a substantial burden on their caregivers. I was giving to the community according to my ability to do so. I was fulfilling the first part of Marx’s quote, and in process I was bettering the lives of children.

Not only does philanthropy make the lives of people better, but it is vital to the survival of many people. Numerous individuals would not be alive without philanthropy or governmental intervention. An example of this is found in the YouTube video from CBS Evening News with K...

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...Rand’s quote would they truly be able to do this? Who would the government find to be a soldier, police, or firefighter? A person “liv[ing] for his own sake” would not sacrifice his life for others. Nobody would voluntarily join the armed services, police force, or fire department. The government would have to force its citizens to join. This would be very hard for them to do. People would just vacate their jobs and responsibilities. A strict and absolute following of Rand’s quote would ruin society.

“From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs” is how our society ought to be. The quote encourages philanthropy and contentment. If our society was based on Rand’s quote, then it would eventually self-destruct. It would destroy all altruism' class='brand-secondary'>altruism which would lead to the elimination of the armed services, police, firefighters, and eventually America.

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