John Stuart Mill And Marx's Views Of Utilitarianism

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In 1848, German philosopher Karl Marx published The Communist Manifesto, a political pamphlet which went on to be recognized as one of the world’s most influential political manuscripts. Indeed, The Communist Manifesto was an attempt at explaining the underlying goals of communism, an ideology that contrasts heavily with the utilitarian views of English philosopher John Stuart Mill, who in 1859, published On Liberty, an application of utilitarianism to society and state. Evidently, Marx’s and Mill’s views leaned towards different ends of the political spectrum, although their opposing viewpoints did hold underlying similarities. To that effect, the two thinkers’ contrasting worldviews will be studied through an analysis of their outlooks on …show more content…
Mill, for instance, supported government, however, expressly stating that the power of government should be limited to prevent the government from “preying on the flock.” He believed that there needed to be certain political rights or liberties which would be regarded as a “breach of duty” if the government in place were to violate it. In fact, Mill felt that a rebellion was a justifiable response to such breaches of liberty akin to Marx’s belief that a proletariat revolution was necessary for progress. Such breaches may include the removal of certain freedoms such as the freedom of speech, which Mill believed was necessary for the advancement of society. Moreover, Mill believed in the establishment of “constitutional checks,” in which the community or its representatives gained some power of consent in important acts of the governing power. Marx on the other hand, believed in the notion of class struggle. He believed that “political power is merely the organised power of one class for oppressing another.” Following a Proletariat Revolution, the proletariat would organize a temporary government and would employ ten measures which included the abolition of private property and free education for all. Once such programs resolved class disparities, the power of the proletariat would no longer be political as there would no longer be any …show more content…
Indeed, both Marx and Mill felt that freedom or the struggle for it played a part in societal progress. Furthermore, while Mill had no qualms against the government, they both believed that excessive government intervention did not benefit society. Indeed, Marx believed that violence was necessary for a societal transition to occur and Mill also justified violence in the name of liberty. Moreover, while Marx was critical of Mill’s views on the distribution of wealth, they were both against the concept of trickle-down economics (even if the descriptive term had not existed at the

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