Karl Marx and John Locke both place a great deal of importance in both labour and property in discussing their political philosophies. At first glance, the two thinkers seem to possess completely different ideas on property, its importance, and the form of society which should grow from it. The disparity in their beliefs is evident, but they share a similar approach to labour and acceptable conditions while constructing philosophies which inherently attack each other. Locke’s suggestion that capitalism is a natural political progression can only be accomplished when the worker himself becomes a commodity to be traded, a transformation which Marx identifies as a major problem with capitalism. In looking at capitalism through a Marxist lens, we can see that Locke may find substantial problems with it.
At the outset of Locke’s fifth chapter in the Second Treatise of Government, he sets the stage for property acquisition. “God, who hath given the world to men in common, hath also given them reason to make use of it to the best advantage of life, and convenience” (Locke 18). Locke implies that God’s creation of the world ultimately serves men, for their property will come of it, and with it, the best advantages of life. As the fruits of the world ripen, men find themselves picking it off the trees and placing it under their command as part of their property. One cannot underestimate the importance of property for Locke. It is the single most important aspect of human relation. Disputes over property directly proceed to Locke’s state of war, an important term which I will return to later. In Locke’s mind, property plays a key role in the creation of civil society. “The only way whereby any one divests himself of h...
... middle of paper ...
...o thinkers place a great deal of worth in the same concepts, though their philosophical focuses tend to settle on different issues. Were Locke to consider his own philosophy in the sense that Marx analyzed capitalism, he may have come to different conclusions about the accumulation of wealth.
Marx, Karl. “Manifesto of the Communist Party.” The Marx-Engels Reader. Ed. Robert C. Tucker. London: W.W. Norton & Company Inc. 1978. 473-500.
Marx, Karl. “Wage Labour and Capital.” The Marx-Engels Reader. Ed. Robert C. Tucker. London: W.W. Norton & Company Inc. 1978. 203-217.
Marx, Karl. “Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844.” The Marx-Engels Reader. Ed. Robert C. Tucker. London: W.W. Norton & Company Inc. 1978. 66-125.
Locke, John. Second Treatise of Government. Ed. C.B. Macpherson. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company Inc., 1980.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- With great ideas, comes and follows great change. Niccolo Machiavelli, John Locke and Karl Marx are renowned philosophers who paved way to the most prominent forms of government in the world. Through their literature they have created a huge wave of revolutionary ideas that exist in the several forms of government to this day. On one hand, Machiavelli advocates political absolutism. It is a form of government in which the governed accept the powers granted to a single ruler usually vested in a king or an emperor by divine manifestation.... [tags: power, absolutism, government]
893 words (2.6 pages)
- Although there is a strong diverse controversy tied with the name of Karl Marx, he was concerned primarily with human freedom, stimulating the ancient concept of Communism, in which human beings might fulfill their cooperative roles within society, without the fear of exploitation. He saw the historical period of capitalism as the "menacing" antagonist of such freedom; menacing because unlike serfdom (the predecessor of capitalism in the evolution of social relations), capitalism enabled the illusion of freedom even though it relied on those who have nothing to sell but their labor and those, who through the power of capital and property, exploit such labor for profit.... [tags: Philosophy]
2238 words (6.4 pages)
- The Justice of Private Property: analysis of Locke, Smith, and Marx Private property and in a sense distribution of wealth have been key topics of social justice debate for centuries. John Locke, Adam Smith, and Karl Marx had differing and sometimes overlapping ideologies when it comes to property acquisition, economics, and property ownership. I assert though, that though it has not be put into practice in way matching the theory, Marx had the greatest ideas towards the creation and sustainment of harmony between men in his economic theory.... [tags: economic and political theories]
1806 words (5.2 pages)
- Impact of Lockeian Elements on US Foreign Policy; North Korean and Chinese Relations Due to Marxist-Leninist Policies and a Look at Korean Culture Resulting From Extreme Ideologies The realist worldview of North Korea characterizes North Korea as a coalesced form of belligerence that must be dealt with through American containment and deterrence. Because of the rising fear produced by North Korea’s growing nuclear power and radical behavior toward the U.S., realists support using threats and pressure to force North Korea to shut down its nuclear program if necessary.... [tags: nuclear power, hobbesian and marxist ideology]
2917 words (8.3 pages)
- Using Hobbes theory of the Leviathan replacing the ‘state of nature’, what is his conception of normativity and coercion. Discuss three writers from different disciplines who change and update these conceptions and the relationship between normativity and coercion. The 17th Century English philosopher Thomas Hobbes is now widely regarded as one of a handful of truly great political philosophers, whose masterwork Leviathan rivals in significance the political writings of Plato, Aristotle, Locke, Rousseau, Kant, and Rawls.... [tags: philosophy, leviathan, law, morality]
3764 words (10.8 pages)
- Marxist Feminism Theory Marxist theory has different points which are gender, class, labor and housework wages, and lastly capitalists. First of all, Marxist has different meanings which Bryson explains, “. . . With the young Marx’s claim that ‘The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point, however, is to change it” (Bryson 13). I believe the Marxist theory for feminism have a good and bad problems. The reasons are trying get a word out to help the women by explaining jobs in gender, different classes each women are in, housework should be a paid job not voluntary job, and capitalist helps women by getting out of the house and get outside of house to the real w... [tags: Marxism, Karl Marx, Socialism, Working class]
2174 words (6.2 pages)
- Marxist Economics This is a school of thought in the field of economics that has developed from Karl Marx’s writings (1818-1883). It is very dissimilar to conventional economics, presenting a vital analysis of capitalism while identifying the essentially exploitative and conflictual nature. This does not mean that the body of work is homogenous. There is significant debate and diversity on the interpretation of Marx’s work and the legitimacy of the varied ways it has been developed. Some of the contributions of Marxist thought include the social and intellectual turmoil since the death of Marx, the difficulty of getting connection between practice and Marx’s theory, the varying economic and... [tags: Capitalism, Karl Marx, Marxism, Socialism]
950 words (2.7 pages)
- This economic study will define the dilution and variability of Marxist and Neo-Marxist Theory in the post-WWII era. The slow dilution of Marxist theory as a 19th century economic concept defines the rise of capitalism and the neoliberal ideology that has permeated the latter half of the 20th century. The fall of communism in the late 1980s reveals the bankruptcy of communism as a state ideology in the U.S.S.R., especially after the Unite States and other first world nations triumphed through the neoliberal capitalist ideology of the 1990s and into the 21st century.... [tags: Marxism, Sociology, Capitalism, Karl Marx]
1251 words (3.6 pages)
- In which philosophical form of government does Barack Obama believe. That has been one of the on-going debates since he burst upon the national political scene a scant four years ago. Political observers noted he was the most liberal member of the United States Senate and many believed he was a radical left-wing zealot if not an ideological revolutionary. The terms socialist, progressive, and Marxist were generally thrown about to describe the eloquent, little-known Obama as his unlikely quest for the presidency unfolded.... [tags: US Politics, Marxism]
987 words (2.8 pages)
- Marxist Criticism Introduction Marxist literary criticism is based upon the political and economic theories of the German philosopher Karl Marx. In works like The German Ideology and The Communist Manifesto, written with Frederick Engels , Marx proposes a model of history in which economic and political conditions determine social conditions. Marx and Engels were responding to social hardships stemming from the rise of capitalism. Appropriately, their theories are formulated specifically to analyze how society functions in a state of upheaval and constant change.... [tags: Karl Marx Marxism Essays]
1335 words (3.8 pages)