Comparing and Contrasting Machiavelli's Ideas on Power with Karl Marx's Ideas on Money

1166 Words Apr 1st, 2013 5 Pages
Question: Two
Word Count: 1000

Karl Marx and Niccolo Machiavelli are interested in two completely different forms of government. Yet both philosophers share many of the same key terms. They both understand the power and importance of deceit, and how it is gained. They also are equally opinionated when it comes to the subject of property and money. This essay will seek to explain, compare, and contrast Machiavelli’s ideas on power with Karl Marx’s ideas on Money. Marx believes that money has a misused transformative power in Bourgeois society, one which he argues, that we are currently subjected to. He claims that, “Money is the pimp between man’s need and the object, between his life and his means of life. But that which
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Machiavelli wishes to utilize this power in accord with dishonest characteristics to keep his subjects pacified. Marx wishes to point out this most unnatural power and free the Proletariat from its grasp. Niccolo Machiavelli also understands the power of money, when it comes to the conservation of power. Both political philosophers agree that the best government should not be rapacious. This perceived agreement is actually in stark contrast. Machiavelli believes that a prince should not, “burden his subjects with extraordinary taxes, and to resort to confiscations and all the other shifts whereby money is raised”, (page 41 The Prince) because rapacity “breeds hate as well as ignominy.” (page 42 The Prince) To avoid this type of public condemnation Machiavelli proposes that a prince should be surreptitiously miserly and avoid “interfering with the property… of his subjects, than in any other way.” (page 47 The Prince) Machiavelli is saying that the less a prince interferes with his subject’s money and property, the more likely his reign will succeed. As I have said, Karl Marx disagrees with Machiavelli’s ideas on what the best government should be restrictive of. In the first two measures of the Manifesto of the Communist Party Frederick Engels and Marx state that one, “Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes”, and two, “A heavy progressive or graduated income tax”, (page 230 Economic and

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