Karl Marx And John Locke

1001 Words5 Pages
Karl Marx and John Locke share immediate commonalities. Their philosophies were the foundation of two incredibly influential ideologies: classical liberalism and Marxism. The former had impact in the founding of the United States Constitution and in the rejection of the divine right of kings. To see the impact of the latter one need look no further than the force of Communism in the 20th century. Their ideas in many cases share come common ground, but on most issues are rivals in thought. In speaking of either of these philosophers, it is important to begin with the ontological assumptions at the root of their ideas. Locke was a devout Christian and believed that “God gave the world to men in common” (Locke). Continuing on this belief,…show more content…
Loose societies arose in order to take advantage of natural resources and promote their survival and to meet their immediate needs. (Schumaker 161) These ideas do not necessarily conflict, but there are noted differences. Locke’s idea of the state of nature is that man is self-interested and entitled to guide his life as he pleases, but he has no right to impose his will on others. Each man has his rights given to him from God. According to Marx, man leads his life guided by the natural world. But, men realized that they could adapt and mold the world to their advantage. “…They discovered that limited forms of cooperation enabled them to deal with natural disasters and exploit nature more effectively” (Schumaker 161). So, both perhaps believed that man have the same inherent liberties, but Marx would say that he isn’t limited by the “state of license.” These thoughts on the state of nature have further implications that in large part determine each philosophers’ stance on what the purpose of government actually is. Marx believed that “loose” society was ideal and marked man’s most optimal state. However, as time passed, man desired more than simply his basic needs. People grew to desire more goods. Production increased, and because people did not equally possess skill and intelligence, some acquired more than others. Those who gained more had greater advantage, and societies evolved. Class distinctions began. Marx posited that
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