One key difference that will, if we read their works casually, make most readers assume that Marx and Locke are incompatible, is Marx’s critique of private property. Even with that said, we can still argue that Locke complements Marx. Looking at their theories from the perspective of a linear spectrum, a question and answer standpoint, we can infer that Locke’s promotion of property rights based on one 's own labor is later challenged by Marx to argue against private property. Even though Marx was opposed to private property, in a capitalist sense, he still believed that there should be property owned, in a collective sense. Marx states that true freedom is achieved when man is able to contemplate himself in a world he created.
Ironically, throughout history those in power who develop many moral laws for society are ones who partake in the underground world of society’s forbidden fruits, which is what troubles Freud and many others. Both Freud and Nietzsche find flaws with human morality, but Freud is the one who attempts finding a solution. On The Genealogy of Morals is one long story about the triumph of values that should not triumph. Nietzsche believes we value common man for no good reason (Nietzsche 28). Freud in Civilization and its Discontents, attempts to break down how our moral standards have developed from society and our instincts, while attempting to create a solution to salvage civilization, because although Freud is not an enemy of society, he does believe it can be improved.
Communism could have been the answer to governing a nation but due to the vice of power-hungry leaders, democracy surpasses this institution with evidence from history, revealing why these political powers machines cannot remain mutually exclusive. Communism can be regarded as a social system in which property is owned by the community and each member works for the common benefit. Such an ideal where the community as a whole works for equal benefit may seem to paint the perfect picture at first but this theory becomes tainted. The Communist Manifesto proclaims, “Communism deprives no man of the power to appropriate the products of society; all that it does is to deprive him of the power to subjugate the labor of others by means of such appropriations” (Marx 12). What communism lacks, due to ignorance by its perfect picture, is the aspect of proper management to further a country’s prestige.
Orwell, in his political writings, was extremely contradictory. He was a critic of communism, yet he also considered himself a Socialist. He had hatred toward intellectuals, but he too was a political writer. It is only natural that a man of paradoxes would write of them. In his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell develops his Socialist Utopia as a paradoxical society that ultimately succeeds rather than flounders.
Rousseau and Marx are leftist thinkers who believe in freedom and equality for all humans. Rousseau and Marx agree that modernization and industrialization ruin society, Rousseau believes that it leaves men in chains hooked to materialistic things, and Marx argues that it creates class differences where not everyone is equal to gain theses materialistic things. Marx was interested in moving beyond materialistic equality to a society where everyone is equally free to develop to the fullness of their potential. Rousseau like Hobbes and lock distinguished between what is natural and what is constructed by society. He argues that other philosophers do not go back far enough in describing the state of nature, Hobbes and Locke describe civilized, competitive men corrupted by civilization, rather than describing true natural state of humans.
Socialism is the ultimate form of economic leveling and similar to communism, both systems sound ideal at face value but once a few layers are shed, they are quickly found to be completely unrealistic. The simple fact is that competiveness is a part of human nature and a whole society cannot be content being equal to everyone else. At least one person will always want more than their neighbor and strive for greater material wealth to provide for their families and themselves. Although leveling can absolutely be considered dangerous to a democratic society, things will always regress to the mean and in this instance that means that there will be a society made up of the impoverished, a middle class, and the elites. Economic homeostasis is unrealistic, particularly when it comes to maintaining such a system as leveling and socialism go against people’s genetic programming.
Civilization cannot exist without the existence of man, however, man never ceases to change the construct of his civilization. In his Civilization and Its Discontents Sigmund Freud explains the conflict in which humans experience self-entanglement, primarily due to the conflict with the self and civilization. Freud defines the conflict humans have between the self and culture, both of which are structured by civilization. Similar to Freud, Adrienne Rich also sees herself locked in conflict caused by society. However, in comparison to Freud, Rich describes these conflicts based on personal identity, whereas Freud describes conflicts based on personal desire.
His main two ideas behind his essay, Wealth are Social Darwinism and Utilitarianism. In Carneige’s time, the world was at a difficult time, it was on the verge of industrial revolution. My main issue with Carneige’s proposal is his stance on individuality, he opposes Thoreau’s belief entirely on each person is their own person. “While the law may be hard for the individual, it is best for the race, because it ensures survival of the fittest in every department.” (p.226) One of his concerns was the gap between rich and poor and that the tension would lead to violence. He proposes that an inheritance tax be placed on the rich, to administer the wealth over the community.
George Will and G.D.H. Cole both reject individualism of liberalism and agree that a political system where the society is placed above the individual, communitarianism, is the proper way to produce a better society. Both agree that shared values in a community is essential in order to “bind people together into a strong, mutually supportive society” (Ball, 320). However, Will’s Conservatism approach differs greatly to that of Cole’s Guild Socialism in how they view the essence of human nature, its approach to perfectibility, and the role in which State applies to creating a communitarian society. Will argues that human nature is fundamentally flawed and it is up to a strong State in order to educate the people of communitarian fundamentals.
In the past, Marx acquired an intriguing stand on individualism he found that it was far more important than equality. He argues individualism allows workers to achieve a consensus and breakdown the dictatorial leader. De Tocqueville on the other hand mentions that capitalism thrives on individualism. De Tocqueville’s argument was between equality versus individualism. He describes individualism as “a calm and considered feeling which disposes each citizen to isolate himself from the mass of his fellows and withdraw into the circle of family and friends” (De Tocqueville, 506).