Karl Marx and Frederick Engels
Karl Marx and Frederic Engels were two very liberal, politically left, philosophers. This means that they were in favor of a large government that is comprised of the people, and involved in the lives of these people. One may reflect that this does not sound very different from the influence the United States government has on the lives of its citizens, a large providing government that acts on the will of the people. In both situations the government is aware of the citizens and aims to instill equality into the societies, but this equality is to be obtained by different means and to different extents.
In response to the industrial revolution, which not only made our modes of production better and faster, but also changed a person’s individual choices and responsibilities to the government, Karl Marx and Frederic Engels were compelled to write the Manifesto of the Communist Party.[iii] Marx and Engels were disturbed by the way the working class was being exploited in this capitalistic time, and their liberal viewpoints of how a man should be treated were included in this document. One concept that Marx mentions in this Manifesto is the autonomy and responsibility each person has to a government and to what extent these concepts should be practiced in one’s own home.[iv] Although the involvement of the citizen in the government is quite similar to the U.S., this Manifesto puts much more control in the hands of the people than in the U.S.. In terms of the governments involvement in personal affairs, the Manifesto creates much more political control over the personal lives to try and insure equality when the U.S. allows capitalism to decide the success of one’s personal life. Both the differences and similarities between Marx’s views of the involvement of the people and the U.S.’s present definition are important to notice.
The society defined by Marx and Engel in the Communist Manifesto and the U.S. society overlap in many of their ideas. Marx begins the Manifesto by declaring the proletariats responsibility to overthrow the current government.[v] Similarly, the U.S. declares that it “is the right of the people to alter or abolish” any government that is abusing its power.[vi] This similar responsibility of the people to see that their rights are not being abused and that if the government is abusing their power they should be overthrown shows a similar undertone of a right to self govern to different extents. Within these government’s autonomy, the ability to participate and act within the government, is very prevalent.[vii]
Declaration of Independence[viii]
Marxism puts the responsibility of governing into the hands of every person, a hope of absolute equality. It aims to create a society that does not just allow the people to choose those that govern but in actually running the communities, the workplaces, and the society.[ix] This...