Karl Marx and John Stuart Mill - Book Report/Review Example

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Karl Marx and John Stuart Mill

In Part II of The Communist Manifesto (II - Proletarians and Communists), Marx gets down to the brass tacks, as it were, of Communism's intentions and, in doing so, blows the lid off of much that societies and individuals have traditionally admired, even revered. If the liberation of the individual is a part of Marx's world view, one is hard pressed to locate it.
In demonizing capitalists - the bourgeois - Marx is clearly willing to deny an individual their rights or at least their preferences by giving those entitlements to a group, i.e. robbing Peter to pay the Proletariat. His concept of liberation is critically narrow to avoid philosophical messiness, for the only freedoms he stresses are those antithetical to Communism's a priori assumption that Property is the root of societal evil. On page [pt II, paragraph 27] he specifies that the freedom he refers to is "free trade, free selling and buying," as if those evils of capitalism constitute the extent that freedom needs to be discussed or valued.
1) Abolition of property; 2) Progressive or graduated income tax; 3) Abolition of inheritance rights; 4) Confiscation of emigrant and rebel property [which would certainly leave German-born Karl with even less than he had!]; 5) State monopoly of banking; 6) State monopoly of communication and transportat ...Show more

Summary

In The Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx seeks to liberate the proletariat from economic and cultural constraints placed upon it by bourgeoisie capitalism while John Stuart Mill in On Liberty seeks to define a justification for individual liberties which is distinct from government and societal constraints…
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