Karl Marx and Humanity

1579 Words7 Pages
Karl Marx, a modern German philosopher, forever altered our perception of who we are by offering a description of human nature that differs from traditional thinking. Although Marx’s theories were groundbreaking, they do not escape criticism. More specifically, differing views are offered for both the importance of labor and how our society shapes our nature. In this essay, I will be addressing these two opposing views and arguing for Marx’s description of human nature.
Marx rejects the idea that human nature consists of any certain, particular activity. He instead puts forward the idea that our human nature is a product of the society we live in (Wall, 2005). Marx accepts the notion that humans are rational, thinking things and expands
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Marx suggests that the Bourgeoisie was able to exploit the working class because it is the ruling class in a capitalistic society, thus its actions are backed and enforced by the State (Wall, 2005).
From his disdain of Capitalism arose Marx’s idea of the perfect society for human nature, Communism. Communism is a system in which there is no private property, no social classes, and no excess capital. The government essentially has total economic control, including owning both the means of forces of production, as well as having an exclusive monopoly of the banks. This practice, in turn, eliminates the exploitation and alienation of any persons. Communism embraces the idea that you contribute what you can and take what you need without any form of inequality. Each man would work for the collective good for all, as opposed to working for his own individual good. Individuals only have to spend the minimal amount of time working as a means to survive, allowing for more time to become self-actualized, happy beings through the creative activity of their choice (Wartenburg, 1982). Thomas Hobbes offers an opposing view to Marx’s idea of labor that may appear more favorable to some. Hobbes argued for the belief that the best way to live life is selfishly, putting your own personal desires before others. This is the life of a ‘free-rider’, one who receives “the benefits of [others] generosity without
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