Comparison of Marx and Hobbes

Contrast and compare the views of Marx and Hobbes as to the basis of law and order in society.
Marx and Hobbes are great philosophers with phenomenal contribution towards the theory of human society resulting in the socialist revolution leading to communism by Marx and the ‘state of nature’ and ‘social contract’ by Hobbes. Although the two philosophers are distinct in their own theories, a comparative analysis of differences and similarities can be drawn based on the era they lived in and how this has influenced their beliefs which was then passed on to the upcoming human society.

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The political philosopher Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679) was one of the first modern view theory which provided an insight into why a governments legitimate authority should be obeyed. The rationale was based on genuine legitimacy derived from secular and material argument. Thomas Hobbes comes from the time of war, conflicts and many historians suggest that he was ruled by fear. This could have been a parameter to his view on human society. In his book titled ‘Leviathan’, Hobbes describes ‘the state of nature’ as the natural condition of human society which is a state of conflict and war. During this stage, a person is perceived to be rational egoist governed by appetites and emotions of hatred, pride, despair, etc. Furthermore the non-existence of government increases the inequality amongst highlighting the need of a state wherefore everyone must be equal. This inequality, to Hobbes, entail that people can kill each other which lead to great suspicious of one another and to avoid risk man avoids human contact.
The primary goal to men becomes the security to escape the state of nature. The perception was that it can only be achieved by dominating all other men but since all are equal this becomes the ambition for everyone and it leads to a deadlock situation. Nonetheless, at some point people will also agree to appoint a law-giver and law-enforcer i.e. they elect a sovereign and this is the moment of the social contract. The sovereign can be defined as a ruler with unconditional power and unaccountable to the people he rules. However Hobbes argued that the freedom of speech and other rights belong in the state of nature, this censure is necessary to maintain order otherwise it will lead to conflict and a shift back to the state of nature. The social contract therefore is a contract between the people not between the people and the ruler. So in order to maintain peace and security, men give up their freedom to the sovereign to achieve protection in return.
In Hobbes view, the evolution of human society happens in two stages from the state of nature to civil society. When men decide to elect the sovereign they are no longer primitive beings but citizens of a civil society. Hobbes’ interpretation was that an absolutists rule with sovereign that cannot be judged or punished. Hence, according to Hobbes there are only two possibilities for human society: either to be in a state of nature characterized by war and conflict or get peace in the civil society ruled by an absolutist sovereign by giving up their freedom.
The German philosopher Karl Marx (1818-1883), was a sociologist, economist, journalist, historian and revolutionary socialist. He contributed a great deal of theories in economic fields which later formed strong foundation of current knowledge of labour and capital, and has impacted wide variety of successive economic thoughts.
Marx’s theory about society, economics and politics – collectively known as Marxism belief that human societies progress through class and struggle. A conflict between an ownership class that controls production and a dispossessed labouring class that provides the labour for production. He called capitalism the “dictatorship of the bourgeoisie,” believing it to be run by the wealthy classes for their own personal benefit; and he predicted that, like previous socioeconomic systems, capitalism produced internal tensions which would lead to its self-destruction and replacement by a new system: socialism. He argued that class antagonisms under capitalism between the bourgeoisie and proletariat would result in working class’ conquest of political power as a dictatorship of the proletariat and eventually establish a classless society, socialism or communism, a society governed by a free organisation of manufacturers. In parallel to believing the fact that socialism and communism were inevitable at that time, Marx actively fought for their implementation, arguing that social theorists and underprivileged people alike should carry out organised revolutionary action to rule out capitalism and introduce socio-economic change.
Marx has been described as one of the most influential figures in human history. Revolutionary socialist governments adopting Marxist concepts formed existence and power in a variety of countries in the 20th century, leading to the formation of largest socialist states such as the Soviet Union in 1922 and the People’s Republic of China in 1949. Many labour unions and workers’ parties worldwide are influenced by Marxism which also led to establishment of various theoretical deviations, such as Leninism, Stalinism, Trotskyism, and Maoism, which were developed as a result. Marx is typically referred along with Emile Durkheim and Max Weber, as one of the three principal architects of modern social science.
The fact that both philosophers comes from different times, governed by different events and situations, had great inspiration on their thoughts and their derivation on what the end state of society should be like. They have made their contribution to what human society currently has and will continue to evolve. They conclude that the evolution of humans into many forthcoming stages reflect advancing conditions for mankind in each other’s perspective.
Hobbes commenced during the time of war and conflict, at which human beings basic requirement of security was deprived. Marx, who went through exploitative effects of capitalism on labour, in turn has a critical view on capitalism. However, he holds a very positive view of the future and also believes that the basic contradictions in the capitalist society would lead to its own collapse leading the way for revolution. He also assumes that the exploitation of labour would not exist in a communist society. The outcome of Marx’ stage theory is therefore a fair and very specific to the fact that the society is characterized by equality.
Marx’s and Hobbes difference was in their views of the social contract between human beings. Hobbes states that people will voluntarily abandon their rights of freedom to an independent ruler standing outside the contract. This is quite fundamental theory of the social contract as most would see the independent governor as also bound by the contract. This theory was further summarised that an absolutist ruler is necessary to keep men in admiration. Marx however, has been through the isolating effects of the capitalism and hence proposes a communist ideal of a communal society.
One of the famous Hobbes statements about the state of nature was, “Life is brutish, short and harsh, in the state of nature.” Humans are constantly in competition for resources, whether it’s primary or secondary. They would reach any extent necessary to meet those needs. This sense of desperation to fulfil needs create insecurity within the human society. Hobbes wrote the book “Leviathan”, the word Leviathan means the best way of protecting citizens would be by appointing a government that is powerful and intimidating. Hobbes believed that life is not immoral, but immoral in a state of nature. So, by killing an individual in a state of nature would be the same as the letting them live. The rationale is that a government must make laws and regulations in order to create a civilised society to result minimal crime. Regardless of these, Hobbes good works have been recognised as influential in shaping people and government with regards to a state of a civilised society.
Hence, views of Hobbes and Marx had different path to reach to the same determination even though they had similar objectives of bringing improvement to the society. Hobbes’s “Leviathan” explains the good management of natural and civil laws, as it empowers people to make themselves the people of the society. On other side, Marx states “history is economics in action”.
After analysing the differences and similarities of Karl Marx and Thomas Hobbes, we can gather that both philosophers settled on the notion of communism over individuality. Marx holds very calculative and measurable theories, as his theories are formed natural laws. Although, the differences between these theories are quite visible, their objectives and the message is the same which is the establishment and improvement of a civil society.
Bibliography
Hobbes, T. (1968) Leviathan, Harmondsworth: Pelican Books
Raphael, D. D. (1977) Hobbes- Morals and Politics, Alden Press Oxford
Bottomore, T. (1975) Marxist Sociology, The Anchor Press Ltd
Swingewood, A. (1975) Marx and Modern Social Theory, The Macmillan Press Ltd
Ritzer, G. and Stepnisky, J. (2014) Sociological Theory, 9th edition, McGraw-Hill Education, page 43-75
Biography- Thomas Hobbes [Online] Available at: http://www.biography.com/people/thomas-hobbes-9340461 [Accessed: 10th January 2014]
The History Guide- Karl Marx [Online] Available at: http://www.historyguide.org/intellect/marx.html [Accessed: 10th January 2014]
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The Communist Manifesto by Marx and Engels

The passage I have chosen to analyze critically is a part of the book “The Communist Manifesto” authored by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels who are both political theorists. This particular passage has been taken from the second chapter of the book which is named “Proletarians and Communists”. The Communist Manifesto is considered to be one of the bravest books of all time. Karl Marx, after being banished from Paris for his comments on radical politics, he established a group of working class people from Germany and together they formed “The Communist League”. The testimonials of the communal principles of the group were written down which later took the form of the book, the Communist Manifesto.

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The book unwraps with the thought that- “The history of all hitherto societies has been the history of class struggles”. In the book, the authors talk about the drawbacks that have arisen in the society due to the formation of two classes: the bourgeois and the proletariats, and the antagonism between these two classes. In the first chapter of the book “Bourgeois and Proletarians”, Marx and Engels describe the rise of the bourgeois class, in which he thought the French revolution had played a huge part. He also explains that how tremendously the bourgeois class is harmful to the society and that it will be the cause of its own destruction.
In the second chapter of the book “Proletarians and Communists”, the author’s main focus is on the ideologies and features of the Communists and that they aim to work on behalf of the proletariats. He also expresses own thoughts regarding the modern bourgeois property features, wage-labor, capital accumulation and lastly ends his argument by saying, “In place of the old bourgeois society, with its classes and class antagonisms, we shall have an association, in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all”.
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in this chapter mostly talks about the determined willpower of the communists towards the formation of proletariat into a class, overthrow the bourgeois supremacy and the power governance/takeover by the proletariat class in this chapter. They discuss many of the reasons why property and capital are at the power of the bourgeois class. In the passage I have chosen they argue that the wage labour creates only capital which in turn creates the property, but only for the bourgeois not the proletariats and this system needs to be changed in the society.
In the first paragraph, the author talks about wage labour- the person who comes to work to earn a minimum salary for living. There is a certain aggression in the tone of the writing throughout the whole chapter which reflects their rage regarding the issue. They say that the average salary of a wage-labour is only the least possible amount of money needed for the worker to only come to work every day. ‘What, therefore, the wage-labourer appropriates by means of his labour, merely suffices to prolong and reproduce a bare existence.’- Marx and Engels seem to write this with complete offence and disbelief.  Because the scenario which they are talking about, which in fact still exists now, is that workers put their effort and are exploited constantly by the bourgeois class.
‘The two dollars therefore expresses the relation in which labor-power is exchanged for other commodities, the exchange value of labor-power. The exchange value of a commodity estimated in money is called its price’– this is an extract from Karl Marx’s writing ‘Wage Labour and Capital’ in which he clearly explains that the wage labourer only receives the money in ‘exchange’ for his work. This turns to the fact that a proletariat sells its own flesh and meat in exchange of a minuscule amount of money, which is completely undeserved.

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Moving on to an example from Adam Smith’s book ‘The Wealth of Nations’. He says that a commodity is only priced at the cost of what it requires for the person to bring the product into the market. He explains the factors that are looked into while pricing a commodity where ‘wage of the labour’ is only one of the factors; hence it is very distinct that the wage labourer cannot even afford to buy the product he himself has produced in the factory. His salary is just a bare minimum for him to afford some food and clothing so that he can come to work the next day to be exploited again by the bourgeois.
The two kinds of societies that are talked about are the bourgeois or today’s capitalist society, and the other is the imagined communist society which communists aim to establish. The authors expresses that in the capitalist mode of production, the workers are only seen as the work power or the force that will earn more capital for the bourgeois through their effort. But in the communist society, the whole proletariat class is a way to promote and enrich themselves and their lives too and not only serving the bourgeois. “In bourgeois society, therefore, the past dominates the present; in Communist society, the present dominates the past”- this statement is not very precise or clear, but from the lines written just before and after this statement it appears as if Marx and Engels think of the accumulated labour as the past and living labour as the present. Hence, the motivation and ambition to produce more labours will give rise to exploitation by the bourgeois on the present working labour. The labourer only exists because it has to work for increasing the capital which brings me to the point that capital is materialistic, an inanimate object whereas the proletariat is a living person with will, wish and needs. Despite this being a fact, in the capitalist society, the bourgeois dominate the proletariats for which they gain no power or anything and are not free willed. Whereas capital, when controlled being a material object, has complete power to run anything or anyone. It is possible for the owner of capital to run his work without any particular labourer amongst the millions, but it is the labourers who are entirely and in a very complexed way dependent upon selling their labour. Also, the labourers do not have the opportunity to choose between a numbers of capitalists. In this way the labourers are destined to cope up with conditions in which they always give more labour power as an input than they get back in reward as the incentive.
In the last paragraph from the suggested passage I have chosen, the authors seems to talk about the fact that the destruction of this cycle of manipulation and corruption, which is desired by the communists is thought to be unreasonable by the bourgeois society. The bourgeois society holds the communists accountable for depriving them of their ‘individuality’ and ‘freedom’. By critically analyzing it appears that Marx and Engels critiques the existing capitalist society by saying that ‘By freedom is meant, under the present bourgeois conditions of production, free trade, free selling, and free buying.’ In Capitalist mode of production the freedom is the freedom to buy and sell in the market for free, but only for the bourgeois.  Bourgeois desire to earn as much as capital they can earn needed that is crucial to acquire all the social power in the society.
Throughout the whole writing it is very evident that Marx and Engels have persistently portrayed that the whole society is about the exchange of the propertied class and the property-less class. But this is only for profitable development of the former class by the help of the latter. The Communist Manifesto, being one of the most influential political theory books has been an inspiration for many also in the contemporary society today. It has very boldly addressed the social relations and structure of power in the society and how it depends on the production process. It has shown that proletariats are only worth to the bourgeois as long as it brings profits. But there are some aspects of the writing which makes us think about the usefulness and consequences of the establishment of a communist society. Marx and Engels point out several times that if the bourgeois possess majority of the property then exploitation will continue but an argument they also make is that the owner of the means of production do not work but make others work for them. Therefore, if proletariat forms into a class and earns property for them, they are also bound to become idle. Proletariats will also not work and fall under the bourgeois class and use their cogency to compel others to work for them. This circle of power struggles is bound to continue in different forms probably, which is why Marx and Engels’ writing is still essential.

Marx and Epicurus Theories of a Happy and Meaningful Life

What is the picture of the ‘point’ of human life implicit in Marx’s discussion of “alienation”, and how does this picture contrast with the views of Epicurus? Explain which of the two views you find more plausible and why.
The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the contrasting views of Marx and Epicurus for a happy and meaningful life, and ultimately support the view of Marx over that of Epicurus, because it is more relevant in current times and a way of live.
This paper will develop two arguments, by which Epicurus will disagree with Marx. The first is that Marx’s concept is mostly related to materialistic considerations, where Epicurus focuses on contemplation, pleasure, and friendship. Secondly, Marx does not consider people to be intelligent, where for Epicurus wisdom is the most valuable thing in life.
According to Marx, with the emergence and development of capitalism people work to live and they choose work to afford other things, not for the work itself. They relate to a product that is not related to them and are thrown into “forced labor”, which disconnect them from human nature (p. 2). Therefore, Marx sees importance in the relation between labour, production and reality with human nature (p. 3). One is alienated from his/her productions and he/she is driven away from his/her nature, and consequently from other human beings, then “nature is taken away” (p. 3). Because everybody is employed in the machine of economical forces one cannot see any actually free human beings to relate with “one man is alienated to another, just as each of them is alienated from human nature” (p. 4). Marx disapproves of capitalism. He believes such an economic system is inferior as it leads to estranging people from their production, or “alienation of the thing”, from the act of production “the relationship of the worker to his own activity as an alien activity”, from their human species and from other people (pp. 2, 3). Thus, Marx believes that what makes us human is the conscious ability we have to be creative in a universal act of production (p.3). Therefore, capitalism deprives one from being a human. However, according to Marx the meaning and happiness of life are embedded and related to materialistic considerations. One is unhappy, because he/ she produces “commodities” and he/ she is not related to them (Marx, 1844, p. 1). Capitalism leads to alienation of product, and this leads to all other alienations that Marx talks about, which makes one’s life unhappy. Therefore, if he was related to those commodities, he would be happy. Thus, according to Marx, activities and products are essential for our happiness.

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Epicurus’ concept is built on a pursuit of pleasure, which one could conceive with the elimination of mental and physical pain. He sees wisdom as the most valuable virtue of all. Where, the most precious thing that wisdom could attain is friendship, from all the “means that wisdom acquires…the most important is friendship” (Epicurus 2, p. 2). Therefore, Epicurus concentrates its discourse on the importance of a non-materialistic world. He believes in one living wisely, honourably and justly with directed interests toward tranquility of the mind. This is what Epicurus sees as a pleasurable and happy life “we call pleasure the alpha and omega of a happy life” (Epicurus 1, p. 2). Therefore, Epicurus will disagree with Marx. Products, no matter in what way created, should not be of primer importance for one to be happy. Friendship is something that can not be simply produced, but is an established connection with another human being, through common interests, visions, discussions, unrelated to material production.
Marx believes that people are not happy in a capitalist’s society, because they are dehumanized and alienated from everything in their life. Thus, Marx talks about a universal act of production that enables one to feel as a “free being” (Marx, 1844, p. 3). However, none of his arguments considers one to be an intelligent human being. Moreover, he says that capitalism and mass production leads to “imbecility and cretinism for the worker” (Marx, 1844, p. 2). His concept is based on the relation of humans to their nature, and therefore closer to their instincts. Thus, their belonging to the natural is substantial and it is before a process of active reasoning in their life. In Marx’s words, in terms one to be happy, he/she must be mainly active in a physical way, not on a mental level. However, one could be intellectual, when he/ she works and his/ her object of labour is “objectification”. This “objectification”, on the other hand, is related to the absence of alienation from one’s production (Marx, 1844, p. 3). Where, Epicurus’ idea about pleasurable life is highly tied with the notion of one being wise. He says that a wise man or woman, that ultimately would be a happy man or woman will always think about what he/she does in his/her life and “greatest interests… will be, directed by reason throughout his [her] whole life” (Epicurus 2, p. 1). Thus, Epicurus believes that there is no such thing as a chance in the life of a wise man or woman. If a wise man or woman is experiencing “misfortune” in his/her life that is much better than“prosperity of a fool” (Epicurus 2, p. 2). Therefore, if Marx does not consider people to be wise, if they overcome the capitalist’s machine of dehumanization, it would be a chance, and their happiness would not be a real happiness, according to Epicurus.
However in my personal opinion, living in a dominant western capitalist society, constrains people in the way that Marx describes. If you ask me if I am happy, I will never explain it in terms of other emotions or pleasures, pain or wisdom. I will talk about my experience as a human being, what I achieved in life, school and career. I will explain it with relationships to other human beings in my life. This does not mean that I don not have a life of reason, or I am not employing my intellectual abilities in my life. Even if something happens by chance in my life I would appreciate and enjoy it the same way as everything that I have planned. Thus, I believe that what we feel defines our life. When we talk about happiness and pleasure, those notions seem to be very short-sighted consideration. The meaning of mine life is a feeling about what I will leave after me, what I will achieve and how I will contribute in to this world. Does not always matter how something happens in our life, if it makes us feel complete and in touch with our instincts and nature, as Marx would agree. Moreover, relation to a universal labour and production is what better defines my vision for the world we live in.
Going to work nowadays is a must for one to maintain at least basic living standards. We do not spend enough time with our families and friends. We are enslaved in life, scheduled by our work. Thus, we spend so much time doing something, which results in products and services belonging to somebody else. Moreover, the social structure that we are part of makes work, production and consumption more important than our nature as human and social beings. In my opinion, no matter how much reason and wisdom we put in our actions, we will define our life, by our productivity, relations to nature and material considerations which consequently is much closer to Marx’s concept.
Bibliography:
Marx, Alienated Labor. (1844). In Jackman (ed), Phil 1100: The meaning of Life, Course Kit, York University 2009, pp. 55-62
Epicurus (1), Letter to Menoeceus in Jackman (ed), Phil 1100: The meaning of Life, Course Kit, York University 2009, pp. 29-30
Epicurus (2), Principle Doctrines in Jackman (ed), Phil 1100: The meaning of Life, Course Kit, York University 2009, pp. 31-33
 

Marx and Mill’s Theories of Freedom: A Comparison

SANDRINE UWIMANA
 
MARX AND MILL’S VIEWS ON FREEDOM.
This essay compares and contrasts Karl Marx and J.S. Mill on their understandings of freedom and their analyses of the impediments to its realization. Both Marx and Mill agree that human beings are capable of making progress and that the concept of freedom is an end in itself. Thus, they saw freedom as a means to realise individual potential and self-determination. However, both differ on the concept of freedom realisation and the impediments to freedom. Mill argues that the impediment to freedom is the masculine society while Marx argues that the impediment to freedom is the bourgeoisie. Furthermore, the essay discusses the intervention by state/society into freedom. Mill assert that the society can interfere into someone’s freedom when there is harm done to others. For Mill freedom should be exercised as long as there is no harm done to others while Marx supports the freedom to overthrow the bourgeoisie . On the other hand, Marx views hold that the government/ society should intervene in individual freedom to avoid individuality that leads to private property and hence creating classes.

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Both Marx and Mill see freedom as an end in itself. According to Marx’s definition of freedom, was viewed as an end in itself. “Only in community has each individual the means of cultivating his gifts in all directions; only in the community, therefore, is personal freedom possible. In the previous substitutes for the community, in the State, etc. personal freedom has existed only for the individuals who developed within the relationships of the ruling class, and only insofar as they were individuals of this class,” Karl Marx and Frederick Engels. For Mill, freedom of speech, opinion and the right to associate with others, were important for the progress of mankind. Freedom of choice is and do what is desirable as long as no harm is done to others is an end in itself. As Mill thus say that , “… though the customs be both good as customs… yet to conform to custom… does not… develop…human faculties…exercised only in making a choice.” (Mill 60). It is evident that freedom of choice is important to the development of individuality and progress of the society as a whole. Thus, freedom is an end in itself, because utilizing human lead to make choices is beneficial for personal development. Hence, the view that sees freedom as an end in itself can be attributed to both Marx and Mill.
On the other hand, there are considerable differences between Mill and Marx perspectives on views regarding freedom. For Mill, freedom is important for the purpose of searching for truth and for reasons to live and for progress ( Mill 29). Mill asserts that a man must be free to pursue his happiness and pleasure. Furthermore, Mill in “On Liberty“ asserts that individual freedom is the paramount chief for the progress of society. The opinion of the individual has to be nurtured and allowed to grow so that he can use his assets and talents to benefit the society at large ( Mill 63). Thus, Mill, can be summarised in On Liberty : “The only freedom which deserves the name, is that of pursuing our own good in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it.” An individual has the capability and the power to be creative in a society that recognises that ability. As well, Mill argues for the freedom of speech for everyone and that each individual opinion should be respected regardless of its content. Mill also argues that freedom/liberty is important for the pursuit of happiness (Mill 29). However , Marx asserts that people should not be individualistic and should not pursue their own interests but should conform to the society’s norms. For example in “On The Jewish Question: Zur Judenfrage, “ Marx criticizes the liberal concept of freedom and argues that it assumes that a human being is “an isolated monad” ( Max 364) who pursues his own private happiness and also tries to avoid conflict with others ( Marx 370). He argue that an individual cannot be treated separately from society. The individual is part and parcel of society and there is nowhere he/she is going to operate in isolation without affecting the society as a whole. Hence, Marx argues that the communist system would make it possible for everyone including children and women to be free as they would not be forced to work for the anyone (Marx 72). For Marx, this is freedom. As well, Marx explains how “my free activity” transforms itself into “the alienated and inhumane power” with the fetishism of the commodity. (Marx, 554).
Furthermore, Mill and Marx offer a different perspective on the intervention by state/society into freedom. Mill argues that there is no justification for interfering in other people’s opinions and thinking. Not even the government has the right to interfere in someone’s freedom. It could be argued that this is the foundation of modern individual freedom. You are free and entitled to your own opinions as long as you don’t harm another ( Mill 4). “The reason for not interfering, unless for the sake of others, with a person’s voluntary acts, is consideration for his liberty. His voluntary choice is evidence that what he so chooses is desirable, or at least endurable, to him, and his good is on the whole best provided for him by allowing him to take his own means of pursuing it,” Mill (14). In contrast, Marx argues that there is a need for the state to interfere with private property so that property ownership might be abolished. The government should have the right and the means to control the people who have private property, thereby forming an ideal communist society. It has to be noted that Marx ‘s arguments were based on the view that capitalism was evil and hence needed to be replaced by communism. As well, Karl Marx, in On the Jewish Question says that “None of the supposed rights of man go beyond the egoistic man, man as he is a member of civil society; that is, an individual separated from the community, withdrawn into himself, wholly preoccupied with his private interests and acting in accordance with his private caprice.” Hence, a person has to conform to the society’s norms. Thus, Marx views counter-argue the view by Mill that the society should respect the individual freedom. On the other hand, Mill warns against the tranny of the majority because sometimes the majority’s opinion is not always right. Thus the protection of the individual is more important and have to be protected.
In addition, Mill’s and Marx’ views differ on the exercise of freedom. According to Mill, freedom and liberty is having free will and self- determination without being subjected to invariable law ( Mill 32). Mill adds that innovation and creativity can be achieved in a free environment . Thus, he advocates for a free environment which allows for development and growth of new ideas. “Genius can only breathe freely in anatmosphereof freedom. Persons of genius are …moreindividual than any other people” ( Mill, 65). Thus, freedom of the individual will allow new ideas and result in the progress of the society as a whole. As well, he argues that the society or the state should not force people to conform to the particular norms of the society and nor intervene in the activities of the individual which contribute to the development of the community as a whole. However, Mill acknowledges that the only time when the government or the society has to interfere is when it steps in to prevent your harming other people (Mill 68). Thus, Mill asserts that freedom should be exercised as long as there is no harm done to others. Mill, a man’s freedom has to be protected and allowed to be explored without infringing on other people’s freedom. Nevertheless, the exercising of freedom should be checked.
In addition, Marx argues that the majority of the working class should fight for their freedom and overcome the tyranny of the bourgeoisie (Marx 73). This seems like the views of Mill who argues that the citizens are to have freedom and the state, which is in small minority, should not exercise tyranny over them. Mill, on the other hand, argues that the freedom to unite has to be done in such a way that there is not harm to others . Mill would see the argument of Marx advocating the overthrow and taking the property of the bourgeoisie as harm done to others. In the Manifesto, Marx calls for the freedom of the working class to unite and in the end to revolt against the production owners also known as Bourgeoisie (Marx & Engels, 34). The working class will rise up for their freedom. Marx asserts that freedom can be achieved through ideology. If the working class would learn and know the ideology of the bourgeoisie, they would be able to develop a counter ideology and hence the proletariat would become self-conscious and self-aware and thus be able to manage and control the means of production (Marx 173.) Thus, Marx argues that the working class would be freed from alienated labour if they knew the ideology of the bourgeoisie. This is how the proletariat would be able to overcome the exploitation of the bourgeoisie. For Marx, the working class should be united and fight for their individual freedom .
As well, according to Marx, freedom could be achieved if the working class owned the means of production. It can also be viewed that capitalist system dies freedom to the working class in the modern era. For example, even if you desire to have a certain type of work, you are not free to choose your boss. On the same point the people who controls the means of production have the freedom to choose among the abundance supply of labour. I would agree that communism in which the means of production is owned by many could have been a good society for mankind. Capitalism denies the freedom of choices to many people especially the poor. It lead to a few of individual controlling all the wealth. As well, I would argue that in the modern era, due to capitalism, most working class people do not have freedom. In the world of today, the owner of the means of production decides which work you are supposed to do but the working class person is not free to choose his work and set his own wages. This could be regarded as a lack of freedom as the working class do not have a choice but rather to work under the conditions set by the master. For Marx, the ideal society was communism that gave everyone a chance to own something and freedom to majority. As well, Marx argues that there is a need for society to interfere to help the individual realise his potential/ self-cultivation. This is so because Marx believes that the society should be classless. Marx asserts that classless society is the foundation of freedom for all because the working class will have power in the production of goods and commodities and hence hold the interest of everyone. When the bourgeois owns the means of production the majority of the people who are the working class are left out.
Furthermore, Marx asserts that the impediment to freedom is the bourgeoisie. For instance, Marx argues that the bourgeoisie controls the means of production, robbing freedom from the working class by exploiting their labour. The different classes results in the working class being oppressed . The class of the bourgeoisie infringes upon the freedom of the working class in what he calls the “ class struggle” to refer to a situation where one group has an advantage over the other group. This is so because the class that has an advantage will try and maintain its status quo and in so doing will establish norms that maintain that class. The working class person has no freedom in the capitalist world since he relies on the wages of his master. As well, since the laborer has no profits to be gained from the production that he doing, he is alienated him from the process of the profit making, which is a violation of his freedom. Furthermore, Marx argues that the majority of the working class should fight for their freedom and overcome the tyranny of the bourgeoisie (Marx 73). This seems like the views of Mill who argues that the citizens are to have freedom and the state, which is in small minority, should not exercise tyranny over them. Nevertheless, for Mill, the impediment to freedom is the “ masculine state, ” (Mill, 219). For example, Mill argues that men control the affairs in public life and hence the women are forced to perform the duties of the private life. This implies that the half of mankind who are women are not free.
In conclusion, this essay argues that Marx and Mill both share similar understandings of freedom such as the possibility of progress in society, the views that hold that freedom is an end in itself, and the idea that human nature for self-determination must be valued. However, both Marx and Mill pursue a different road in their conclusion of the concept of freedom. As described above, Mill’s argument argues that masculine is the impediment to freedom. This is so because most of the domestic work is done by women. Marx on the other hand views that the impediment to freedom is the bourgeoisie. Marx believes that capitalism is the problem for freedom and hence advocated for communism. As well, Mill advocated for freedom without the intervention from anyone or from the state as long as their action done does not affect others. Mill also argues against the norms of society that require the individual to conform. As well, he argues that the state should not interfere in the individual`s affairs as this is a violation freedom. On the other hand, Marx suggests that the individual cannot be separated from the society. Thus the state can intervene in order to bring the society together and prevent other people from acquiring all the wealth. Ultimately Marx’s vision of communism is valuable because it is a vision that allows for the critique of contemporary society. As well, I would in conclusion, I would argue that capitalist system denies the majority freedom. For example, Even if you desire to have a certain type of work, you are not free to choose your boss. On the same point the people who controls the means of production have the freedom to choose among the abundance supply of labour. I would agree that communism in which the means of production is owned by many could have been a good society for mankind. Capitalism denies the freedom of choices to many people especially the poor. It lead to a few of individual controlling all the wealth.
NB: The word freedom has been used interchangeably with the word Liberty.
Work cited:
John Stuart Mill, “On Liberty “Broadview Press.
Mill, J.S. 1869 The Subjection of Women.
Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx. Robert C. Tucker. Ed. “The Marx-Engels Reader.”W W Norton & Co Inc (Np); 2nd Revised edition: March 17, 1978.
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The Life & Influence of Karl Marx

Karl Marx, he has been said to be the most influential political philosopher of the 19th century, today his name is legendary throughout the world, but there are different perspectives of Karl Marx. His ideas are well-known with about a third of the world practicing a style of government he helped create. First I will tell you a little bit about him.

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Karl Marx was born on May 5, 1818, in an ancient town called Trier, Prussia (now called Germany) which was proud of calling itself on being the oldest town in Prussia (Germany), he was the third child out of nine brothers and sisters, he was the eldest “son” because Moritz David Marx, who was four died the year after Karl was born but Karl did have an elder sister Sophie who he was very attached to during his childhood. Marx’s two younger brothers both died early from tuberculosis, as well as two of his sisters. He still had four surviving sisters. He was the son of a respectable Jewish couple, Heinrich Marx and Henrietta Marx. The father Heinrich Marx was a thoughtful, cultivated and intelligent man who thought of himself as a Prussian and a lawyer. Mr. Marx hoped that someday his son would become a lawyer just like him Heinrich Marx, still a Jew decided to baptize his family and himself into the Christian Church in 1824. Why? Well many Jews were doing the same thing they were doing. They were detaching themselves from a way of life which set them apart from other Prussians’ and just making it easier for their children, so they were able to fit in the society they were born into (to save. Guard their livelihood)
In 1830 Karl Marx begins his studies at the Grammar School in Trier which had been a Jesuit School but later on changed the name to Frederick William High School. Karl was a very rebellious person, he was also know to be very rowdy and liked to spend a lot of money (liked to shop a lot). It was during this time that he met his sweetheart Jenny von Westphalen, her father was a distinguished nobleman, (Baron von Westphalen). She was “celebrated as the “prettiest girl in Trier” she was admired by everybody for her beauty, intelligence and charm.” At the age of 17, Karl Marx became engaged to Jenny von Westphalen. In October 1835, young Karl was to attend the University of Bonn to study law . He maintained a very long engagement with Jenny. At Bonn University Karl was thrilled about his new independence, he took so many courses that his father became worried and told him that he didn’t want him to do more than what he could handle but Karl thought differently he was confident that he was able to do more that what “the mind and body can stand”.
In the year of 1836, Karl’s father decided to move him to the University of Berlin where the life at this place was more serious and disciplined. When Karl arrived in Berlin he found the place to be harsh and noisy unlike his childhood home which was very peaceful and the life at Bonn was very easy. Here he decided to study Hegelianism, because he was influenced by Ludwig Feuerbach and some other Hegelians. “He admired Hegel’s dialectics and belief in historical inevitability, but Marx questioned the idealism and abstract thought of philosophy and maintained his belief that reality lies in the material base of economics. In distinct contrast to Hegel’s concentration on the state in his philosophy of law, Marx saw civil society as the sphere to be studied in order to understand the historical development of humankind.”
In 1841 Marx earned his doctorate in philosophy at Jena University with his work on the materialism and atheism of Greek atomists. “Marx moved into journalism and, in October 1842, became editor, in Cologne, of the influential “Rheinische Gazette”, a liberal newspaper backed by industrialists. Marx’s articles, particularly those on economic questions, forced the Prussian government to close the paper” It was during this year that Baron von Westphalen also passed away. In 1843 he marries Jenny von Westphalen. In October he goes to Paris and edits, with Arnold RugeI, the first number of the German-French Yearbooks. In 1844 Karl Marx wrote “The Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts, written in Paris however they were not published until the 1930s. “In those early writings Marx mad a preliminary stab at addressing, in theoretical terms, issues that were to occupy him for the rest of his life: private property, industrial labor, social class, political power, communist society.” It was also during this time his friendship with Engels, Friedrich (Frederick) begins (a Communist writer) and the birth of Karl Marx first child Jenny. Marx meets several important revolutionaries during this year Heine Heinrich a German lyric poet, Bakumin Michael a Russian revolutionary, Proudhon Pierre-Joseph a French political economist, he was well known for his book called “What is Property?” this friendship lasted very little due to a quarrel over how to interpret Hegel’s ideas. Marx adopted communist beliefs and was ordered to leave Paris in 1845 because of his revolutionary activities. Marx then settled in Brussels, his second daughter is born, Laura. In Brussels 1846, Marx joins the “League of the Just” and a son named Edgar is born (the third child).
Between the years of 1848 through 1849 Karl Marx and Frederick Engels published “The Communist Manifesto: states that the communists are those who have observed this conflict of interests between the newly growing rich and the newly expanding poor classes. To those who cry out against the communists saying that they wish to destroy the family, religion, private property and all other things which are held sacred by the bourgeois middle-classes, the communists reply that these are things which the proletariat does not, in any case, have the chance to enjoy. There are more workers than there are owners and they are all enslaved by the industrial system. It is time that the workers seized power with their own hands and became the new masters of society.” Marx organization demanded that to confiscate private property, to not have right of inheritance, required work for all and free education for all in other words equality. Also the money that was made by the industry wouldn’t go into the hands of a few or certain individuals but that it would belong to the state and the new state would be run by the workers themselves. “The Manifesto called for the workers to carry out their historic mission “Let the ruling-classes tremble at a communistic revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. Working-men of all countries unite!”” Marx is expelled from Brussels and goes to Paris where the February Revolution has broken out. He goes onto Cologne again and begins publication of the New Rhineland Gazette. He writes “Red Number” in his new newspaper this was Marx’s most furious revolutional publication. He was actually urging the workers to fight for their rights, not with words but with weapons, Marx was expelled again from Germany so he decides to go to Paris guess what he was also banished from there. He decides to move to London with his family his son Guido is born, 1949.
In London Marx rejoined with the Communist League, confident that there would be further revolutionary action in Europe. He went on to writing two pamphlets about the 1848 revolution in France and its effects, titled, The Class Struggles in France and The 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte. “He felt that new revolution would only be possible if there was to be a new crisis, and he hoped to uncover what would cause this crisis. He spent a large amount of his time in the British Museum studying political economy toward this end. During the first part of the 1850s Karl Marx and Jenny his wife along with their four children lived in an impoverished state in a three room flat in London’s Soho. The couple would have two more children, but only three in all would survive. The family survived primarily on gifts from Engels whose own income came from the family business in Manchester. Marx also earned a small amount from articles he wrote as the foreign correspondent for the New York Daily Tribune”
Marx’s health rapidly declined during the last ten years of his life and he was unable to work at the same impressive pace he had set in his early years. He still paid very much close attention to the politics, especially the ones concerning Germany and Russia, and he often offered his some of his comments. “In his Critique of the Gotha Programme” he critiqued the actions of his admirers Karl Liebknecht and August Bebel, disagreeing with their compromises with state socialism in the interest of a united socialist party. He indicated in his letters to Vera Zasulich of this time that he imagined it could be possible for Russia to bypass a capitalist stage of development and move directly to communism by basing its economy on common ownership of land characterized by the village.” “A full six months before her death in December 1881 Marx wife was dying. Both Marx and his wife became ill. Marx lay in bed with bronchitis, while his wife adjacent from him sick from the unbearable pains characteristics of cancer, but Jenny died on December 2, 1881. The last words she spoke to Marx were “Good”. Marx never recovered from his wife’s death; he no longer had the heart to work on anything.” In January 1883 Marx was terribly saddened by the loss of his eldest and beloved daughter who died from cancer of the bladder. Marx returned to London and on March 14, 1883 Marx was found having passed away in his armchair. He was buried March 17, 1983 at Highgate Cemetery in London.
Karl Marx’s early life was extremely important in shaping the way he thought about society and governments and what he thought could make them better, and his experiences and up-bringing made him a pro-communist writer and believer.
The worrying thing for the bourgeoisie is that Marx did not simply analyse the workings of the capitalist system; he pointed out that the crises the unfairness of the system eventually lead to revolution, to a revolt of the ordinary working people who have to suffer the consequences of these periodic crises. Although it is true that many of Marx’s predictions about the course of the revolutionary movement were wrong, we don’t lose anything by saying he left a firm point on the world in which he lived. Even now, there are many who believe, as Engels did, that, “just as Darwin discovered the law of development of organic nature, Marx discovered the law of development of human history.” As Marx wrote in a letter to Engels in 1868 “It is absolutely impossible to transcend the laws of nature. What can change in historically different circumstances is only the form in which these laws expose themselves.”
 

Comparison of Marx, Nietzsche and Mill’s Views on Society

Neither Marx, nor Mill, nor Nietzsche find the present condition of society to be advantageous to human flourishing. (Marx calls that condition alienation; Mill calls it conformity; Nietzsche calls it slave morality). 
For each, the present condition of human affairs reduces human beings to something less than fully human. Write an essay comparing (and contrasting – when appropriate) each in terms of what they think is the source of this development.
Neither Marx, nor Mill, nor Nietzsche find the present condition of society to be advantageous to human flourishing. For each, the present condition of human affairs reduces human beings to something less than fully human. This essay will discuss three different interpretations of the source of this development from Karl Marx, John Stuart Mill and Fredrich Nietzsche. Marx explains this demise of human flourishing as ‘alienation’, Mill as; ‘conformity’, and Nietzsche as; ‘slave morality’.

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The first part of this essay will explore Marx’s concept of alienation, which suggests that the fact humans have detached themselves from their labour means they have reverted to being ‘animal-beings’, only finding pleasure once they have sold their labour for a wage. Following this, I will discuss Mill’s theory of conformity and how conforming to societal norms denies the exploration of genius. The final part of this essay will look at Nietzsche’s idea of slave morality which argues that humans have become less than human due to the fact they require an oppressor in order to know whether they are ‘good’. This essay will provide a comparison and contrast (where necessary) of the three theories leading to a conclusion that the theorists opinion that current society is not advantageous to human flourishing is based on their own social and political backgrounds meaning that the various overlapping views of all three may not have any relevance in today’s society.
Karl Marx was born to a Jewish lawyer in Trier, 1818 and studied law at the universities of Bonn and Berlin respectively. After moving to, and then being expelled from France he moved to Brussels. Following his expulsion from Brussels, Marx moved to Paris and then Cologne eventually finding himself in London. His development of The Communist Manifesto influenced his interpretation of the restriction of human flourishing.
Marx suggests that man is a “species-being, not only in that he practically and theoretically makes as his object his own species as well as that of things, but also in that as a present and living species he considers himself to be a universal and consequently free being”. Marx believes that humans become less than fully human when they are unable to own the object of his labour and no longer view that labour as a manifestation of his life. Marx defined this decline of human flourishing as ‘alienation’. He proposed that mankind (as workers) have become detached from their labour and consequent products of that labour, suggesting that the labour exerted is used to gain wages. He argues that the labour is simply a representation of earnings, we are alienated from work, it is external to us rather than being a part of our nature. Therefore, we are not fulfilled by our work, just our desire to gain wages. He states that money has alienated us from the products of our labour since it “reduces all human qualities to quantitative, interchangeable values devoid of any specific value”. In a Capitalist society, humans sell their labour in return for money meaning they do not own the product of their hard work. Shlomo Avineri deciphers this in ‘The Social and Political thought of Karl Marx’, stating that “the product of his [the workers] activity is not the object of his activity. What he produces for himself is wages”. This means that man has alienated himself from being truly human as he cannot enjoy and own the fruits of his labour.
The concept of alienation imagines man as an “object creator” and suggests that once this has been taken away from the worker, “he retains only his biological, animal-like functions”.  This is expanded saying, “life begins for him [the worker] where the activity ceases, at table, in the public house, in bed”. This acts as a disadvantage to human flourishing due to the fact humans are not viewing their work as a manifestation of their life, instead they alienate themselves from their labour and only view themselves as living when they are outside of work. Marx believes this causes the worker to become something less than fully human as the worker begins to “feel himself to be freely active only in his animal function; eating, drinking and procreating”. The human becomes an animal-being which has detached himself from his work finding joy only when in leisure.
There appears to be a paradox surrounding alienation making it difficult to escape. Marx states that “the less you are and the less you express your life, the more you have, the greater is your alienated self and the greater is the saving of alienated being”. This suggests that the less human you are (and more alienated you are), the more wealth you will have. This is because you work longer and produce more but continue to sell your labour for a wage. The worker has more in terms of wealth but has sacrificed his ability to be fully human. We therefore live in abstractions to allow ourselves to pretend that what we are doing is necessary i.e. selling our labour and earning a wage is necessary to survive.
Marx’s theory of alienation could be considered similar to Fredrich Nietzsche’s idea of slave morality. Nietzsche’s view that humans have become something less than fully human due to their need to be oppressed can be compared to Marx’s view that humans are no longer accepting their labour to be a manifestation of their lives. In Marx’s case, the labour and need for a wage can be seen as the oppressor causing humans to disassociate themselves from work and the products made due to a feeling of labour being a means to an end. These theories differ from John Stuart Mill who suggested that it is society’s willingness to conform as a whole, rather than the individual’s need for financial and moral stability for the demise of human flourishing.
John Stuart Mill was a philosopher born in London, 1806. Most recognised for his theory on Utilitarianism, Mills understanding of the condition of human decline is “conformity”. He believes that society naturally prefers to conform due to a stifling of individuality extending to both legal and social realms. Mill was taught by Jeremy Bentham who was considered a political radical during his time. For example, he was an advocate for the abolition of slavery, equal rights for woman and the abolition of the death penalty. These seemingly non-conformist views influenced Mills theory that humans can be considered less than if they conform to societal norms.
Mill believed that there is a danger of conformity, suggesting that there is a risk of society becoming identical and monocultural. Aristotle agrees with this view stating that conformity stifles genius whereas non-conformity can promote individuality and excellence due to people discovering new ways of living that could benefit society. This could be similar to Nietzsche’s idea of alienation. The workers, all alienated from their labour and no longer with an individual product acting as their life manifestation, with one common goal of gaining a wage could be seen as conforming to societal norms. All workers have conformed to the need for a wage consequently becoming animal-beings. It could be said that the condition of human society that reduces human being to less than is an alienation from labour that then leads to society conforming to a common goal (in this case, a salary).
Mill was a thinker of self-cultivation who suggested that he point of freedom was to figure out who you are and once discovered, live that life. In order to discover who you are meant to be, Mill suggest society engage in self-experimentation. This could be considered a good method for both the individual and society as a whole because if successful, the individual is free and living an authentic life however, if unsuccessful, or if the life chosen is not sustainable, society will then know to avoid that way of living.
Mills theory can be seen as a rebuttal of Calvinism which stated that humans are good as long as they are obedient. Mill, on the other hand, believes that non-conformists may discover a different and potentially better way of living. An example of non-conformity benefitting society in the long run could be seen in the fight for same-sex marriage, had it not been for various individuals campaigning for the equal rights of LGBT+ people, they might still not have the right to marry each other which seems wrong in today’s society but 50 years ago was viewed as the way society was conducted. This suggests that diversity is necessary to challenge societal norms and promote social progress.  There are ways that contemporary society is tricked into conformity through various advertising campaigns and product descriptions. For example, the online shop ‘rebellious fashion’ encourages its buyers to “Be A Rebel!” however, this appeal to all women to rebel against societal clothing norms forces shoppers to unknowingly conform with the group of people who consider themselves rebels for shopping at this site. Therefore, Mills theory may be most applicable to today out of the three, due to humanity’s continued desire to be unique, the struggle to avoid conformity in modern life has resulted in many accidentally conforming.
Fredrich Nietzsche was born in 1844. Following a life of studying, teaching and writing philosophy, he eventually suffered from insanity and died in 1990. Nietzsche believed that there were two fundamental types of morality, these being; ‘master morality’ and ‘slave morality’. Master morality stems from the notions of nobility and power. The Masters are “strong, creative and wealthy”. The noble type judges that “what is harmful to me, is harmful itself”. It is value-creating and determines what is good based on whether the act benefits the person. Master morality is therefore ‘sentiment’ and based on feeling. The slaves, however, are oppressed by the masters and are “weak, poor and resentful”. Slave morality is therefore ‘ressentiment’ meaning based in resentment. Despite this, slave morality is not simply the inverse of master morality as master morality is evaluating what is good or bad whereas slave morality is differentiating good and evil. Slave morality suggests that a person needs oppression in order to know if they are good or evil. A slavely moral person requires an enemy, they say, in effect; “My goodness, do I suffer! You make me suffer, you are evil, and I am the opposite of you and therefore am good”. Nietzsche suggests that slave morality is essentially a reaction, stating that “in order to come about, slave morality first has to have an opposing, external world, it needs, physiologically speaking, external stimuli in order to act at all; its action is basically a reaction.” (GM I 10) Slave morality is principally an argument, being ‘good’ in slave morality is the result of reasoning taking you to the conclusion that you are good.
The concept of slave morality has been seen in recent history. For example, in 1985, Georgi Arbatov, a member of the Central Committee of the USSR Communist Party, told an American audience, “we are going to do a terrible thing to you. We are going to take away your enemy”. This is considered a bad thing under slave morality because without oppression, people cannot know who they are. A slave’s identity is founded in their otherness, if there is no ‘other’ to differentiate themselves from, they cannot understand their identity. Following the loss of the enemy in 1985, the United States found a new enemy in global terrorism following 9/11. This, due to fact terrorism as a whole is near impossible to completely eradicate due to the unpredictability of it, (for example, although the culprits of the 9/11 bombings were known to police, there was little they could do to prevent the bomb detonating and subsequent destruction) has given the US an everlasting sense of fear and oppression, allowing then to know they are good and have a continued sense of identity. Slave morality could also be found in the United Kingdom during the Brexit referendum. The leave campaign used the threat of immigration to instil the feelings of fear and resentment in British citizens. The British people began to feel oppressed by the number of immigrants entering the country and therefore formed an identity fuelled by their dependency on the fear of immigration.
According to Nietzsche, slave and master morality have recurred throughout history. He states that ancient Greek and Roman societies were grounded in master morality. The stereotypical hero of that time period was a strong-willed, Herculean man. He suggests that slave morality is therefore rooted in the emergence of religion during this time, for example within the fundamental principles of religion. The idea of original sin in Christianity means that all humans have to capacity to oppress themselves. Therefore, if people are oppressing themselves and are acting as their own enemies, there are no risks of this enemy being removed and consequently, no risk of people losing their sense of identity. Nietzsche condemns the rise of slave morality, viewing ressentiment as “priestly vindictiveness” suggesting that it is the jealous weak seeking to enslave the strong. Nietzsche believes that the world we live in will always be one of slave morality due to our use of language and grammar. For example, slave morality allows a disassociation between the pronoun and the verb. This can be seen in common phrases like “the lightning flashes”, there is no such thing as lightning separate from the flash as there is no such thing as a slavely moral person being separate from their strength.
John Stuart Mill, Fredrich Nietzsche and Karl Marx’s social and political background will have heavily influenced their interpretation of what is causing the demise of human flourishing. It is therefore, difficult to determine if one theory can be used as the explanation of this demise as the theory of why the present condition of society is not advantageous to human flourishing may only be applicable to each philosophers’ time in history. This suggests that there may be another explanation as to what reduces humans to something less than human.
This essay has explored the fact that Marx, Mill and Nietzsche believe that the present condition of human affairs reduces human beings to something less than fully human and had discussed their differing interpretations of this development. Marx believes that humans have devolved into animal-beings due to their alienation from labour and the product of labour. Mill theorises that humans have become less than due to their willingness to conform and suggests that society would be improved if we allowed individuals to explore different ways of living. Finally, Nietzsche believes that the decline of humanity is found in peoples need for oppression in order to determine whether they are good. There seem to be some similarities between Marx and Nietzsche’s theories, drawn from the fact it is weakness in the individuals that cause a stunt in human flourishing rather than in the society as Mill suggests. Similarities were also found between Nietzsche and Mill. Both theories either explicitly or implicitly suggest that conforming to a common goal leads to a decline in human flourishing. In my opinion, a combination of all three theories could act as an explanation of the current human condition, however, when individually evaluated, the political background and context in which their theories were written mean that they are all somewhat unreliable and would not be applicable to today’s society.
BIBLIOGRAPHY
Avineri, S. (1968) ‘The Social and Political Thought of Karl Marx’, Cambridge University Press. pp.105-110
Marx: Communist Manifesto; Wage Labour and Capital (Can be found at https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1847/wage-labour/ch04.htm  — read at least “By What Are Wages Determined?” and “Relation of Wage Labour to Capital.”)
Mill: On Liberty
Nietzsche, F. (2012 (1913)) ‘On the Genealogy of Morals’, Dover Publication Inc.