Marx And Mill
It has long been argued which social structure and government is right for a
society. The philosopher Karl Marx argues that Communism is the best choice for
government for a society while philosopher John Stuart Mill argues that the best choice
for government is democracy. They both make strong arguments for their choices of
government, but they both share a common theme and that is that their form of
government is designed to help the people of the society. Marx views Communism
as a form of equality for all the people of a society, everyone makes sacrifices in order to
achieve the greater good. Mill views Democracy as a form of government in which the
people run the society and their needs are met because they are the ones making the
decisions. The two philosophers differ on the issue of which government is better for a
society because they are at opposite ends of where the power lies in the government. In
Marx's Communism he shows that the decision making power lies with the government
not with the people, as is the case in Mill's democracy.
Communism as Marx describes it, is based on equality, that all people in a
society are equal in wealth, healthcare, education, etc. and most of all quality of life. That
everyone has the same living standard, there is no rich, there is no poor, and everyone is
simply equal. These are the basic principles that Communism is based on. In Marx's
dialogue about Communism he talks about social classes and how they ultimately will lead to social conflict. What he was saying was that if there is a rich and a poor the poor will ultimately be jealous of the rich, and lash out against them because of it. However if there were no classes as Marx suggests then there would never be a conflict because no one would have any reason to be jealous of anyone else. For this to succeed it would require that the government be fair to the people and make sure that everyone is equal in their quality of life. This would require the government to create programs to make sure that no one is taking advantage of the system and to make sure that people stay equal once equality is achieved. Marx laid out the plans of this system and said that if these plans were followed it would create a perfect almost utopian society in which there is no conflict and everyone in the society is happy. This is of course is easier said then done as some societies have attempted to use Communism but have not followed Marx's directions and have not succeeded in creating the perfect society (Example Russia and modern day China). On the issue of government and what would be best for a society, Marx believes Communism is the answer. This society would be one without social conflict and jealously between classes, because equality is the number one principle in Communism. The rich and poor would be put together in what some would like to call the middle class and would live in harmony, if it truly worked and it was done correctly.
Democracy as it is described by Mill, is that the power of the government lies
with the people. The people make the decisions in the society and thus through design the
people's needs should be meet. The basis of democracy is based on the individual, instead of the group. Mill says in his dialogue about Democracy that control and compulsion lies with the people and that the government is an instrument of the society, it does what the society wants and needs.(What the people want) In a democracy, individuality is placed on a very high pedestal, according to Mill, individuality is what matters most in a Democracy. An individual's opinions are what are important to the whole, so if an individual has a problem the government can take care of it. This form of a social structure usually promotes a capitalistic economy. In order for this government and economy to work there must be a rich and a poor. However there is no class conflict because many of the poor believe they can be rich someday so they are not jealous of what the rich individuals have. On issue of what government is best for
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