Essay on Karl Marx And John Stuart Mill

Essay on Karl Marx And John Stuart Mill

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Human history is littered with the detritus of the obsolete and the wreckage of over ambition. Caesar rots next to Icarus under an overpass and no one seems to give a shit. The passage of time is not cruel, but merely apathetic. Then why, you might ask, do we remember Alexander’s greatness, Shakespeare’s script, and Christ’s mercy? In short, we don’t (at least in a particular sense). We remember their works. We remember what they represent. We remember their ideas. These ideas ring the heart of humanity, emitting waves of transcendental resonance that permeate time’s linear stockade. Karl Marx and John Stuart Mill have long since exited their corporeal form, but their ideas of personal freedom and equality for all remain and still shape modernity. The systems they propose are flawed (to be human is to ere after all) but both offer unique insights on what it means to be a member of society.
Marx’s ideal society is one in which the individual reflects himself in his work with the product of this work directly benefiting the good of all humanity (the proletariat). In order to create such a society, Marx proposes the elimination of all private property, placing it in the control of the state, essentially turning private property into the universal property of the state. However, Marx’s conception of the state is the entirety of humanity: “The working man has no country… Since the proletariat must first of all acquire political supremacy, must rise to be the leading class of the nation, must constitute itself the nation, it is so far, itself national” (174). Marx argues that this state should provide everyone with all that they need such as healthcare, education, and infrastructure. Through the centralization of private ...


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... implementations of communism this “vanguard” has rarely offered the individual freedom in choosing his position within society. Realistically, if the individual chose his daily professions, the society would be filled with many “masters of none” all possessing mediocre knowledge of vast range of subjects and all lamenting at untilled fields. Because of this the “vanguards” must assign individuals to their positions, ideally based upon aptitude, yet even this will result in some level of dissatisfaction. Worse than this, should the level of dissatisfaction regarding the state reach critical mass, the autocratic nature of centralized government makes any type of reform or revolution considerably more difficult. Communism all too often offers a reduced freedom for the individual and replaces the abstract tyranny of capital with the actual tyranny of a ruling class.

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