Three Stages Of Marx's Thought

1746 Words 7 Pages
In Three Stages in Marx’s Thought, Wolfson will attempt to argue that Marx put forward “three disjoint but internally coherent philosophical and social systems of thought” (291).
In Marx the Individualist, Wolfson lays out the first system of thought. Marx starts with the axiom that “legitimacy flow from the people to the state” (296). Because of this, the state is the product of active subjects. For this reason, a state should be democratic with elected legislature (296). Marx reasons with Man being an individual governed by self-interest. This is apparent through Wolfson’s analysis of Marx’s thought that “Love … is restricted to love of self and family, not humanity” (301). Because of this, Marx argues only “against the specific inalienable
…show more content…
Marx starts out by endorsing a democratic form of government. In this form, individuals come together to form an aggregate government. This is also characterized by the right of private property. Marx only argued against inalienable ownership. This is a stark contrast to the next phase in Marx’s thought. After Feuerbach’s theme that Man is the universal (302), Marx switches the focus of his thought from the individual to the collective. Marx sees private ownership as a stain upon Man that rips Him from His universal, perfect nature. Marx suggests that evil will cease to exist with the removal of greed, one of it’s biggest causes. This leads Marx to suggest a communist form of government where there will be no private ownership. The change to Marx’s last stage is not one in object but in rational. Marx still advocates for a communist state, but he changes his view on private property. Marx now view production as the source of class relations. It is because of the bourgeoise owning the means of production that labor is exploited, and surplus is extracted. By moving the means of production to public property rather than private, Marx seeks to ensure that workers are compensated for the product of their labor. Wolfson does not provide a sufficient explanation to Marx’s change in mind. However, Wolfson does allude to Marx changing his view out of necessity to be able to recruit the proletariat to join in the revolution. Through Marx’s change in view of method of government and private property, we can see three distinct systems of thought. Another point of view that Marx changed was on the nature of Man. Marx initially follows the idea that Man is an individual. Nature exists solely for Man. In this way, thinking only of yourself and your immediate family is encouraged while acting on behalf of the collective is not the focus. Marx

Related Documents