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Marx' Understanding of Freedom - Essay Example

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This paper "Marx’ Understanding of Freedom" presents the study of contemporary societies conceived by Karl Marx that provides an innovative example of social theory and allows for intellectual insights into social conflicts and societal structures…
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Marx Understanding of Freedom
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Download file to see previous pages Marx’s conception is that if society transitioned from capitalist to socialist thought, this would result in a higher form of civilization. The citizenry should be able to control their own destiny and the morality of others should not be legislated or otherwise controlled by an entity other than the citizenry themselves. Regulations, the lack of personal freedoms, in the name of morality restrict individual and societal sovereignty.

Marx was born a German Jew but lived most of his life in England and France. In these countries, the prevailing liberal political philosophy viewed the concept of freedom as the right for people to make their own choices regarding their lives and property. In today’s terms, this philosophy closer resembles the libertarian rather than liberal position which generally is referring to personal freedoms rather than conjoining its property when speaking of liberty. The liberal minds of Marx’s time tended to think in terms of a person owning themselves much as they would their house, lands, and even their labor. Englishman John Locke’s writings were the foundation for the Declaration of Independence and his ideas were revered by the Founding Fathers. According to Locke, “every man has a property in his own person. This nobody has any right to but himself. The labor of his body and the work of his hands, we may say, are properly his. Whatsoever then he removes out of the state that nature hath provided, and left it in, he hath mixed his labor with, and joined to it something that is his own, and thereby makes it his property” (Locke, 1980). Marx acknowledged the intimate nature that existed between property rights and personal freedoms but condemned both as expressions of what he termed ‘bourgeois freedom.’ However, Marx believed this entire premise of freedom was flawed. Addressing the liberal thinking philosophers of the time Marx said their “ideas are but the outgrowth of the conditions of your bourgeois production and bourgeois property, just as your jurisprudence is but the will of your class made into a law for all, a will, whose essential character and direction are determined by the economical conditions of existence of your class” (Marx, Engels, 1968). ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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