Both Marx and Plato’s utopias offer a vision of a society where citizens are not relegated to certain class roles just because of the level of wealth into which they are born. Their visions lead, however, in very different directions. Compare Marx and Plato’s notion of equality as laid out and practiced in their utopias. MARX-
According to Marx humanity evidences two species characteristics: the capacity for harmonious society with others and the capacity for free, conscious and universal labor. Marx was one of the first to put socialism on a real-world, scientific basis. His starting point was reality. Marx believe that humans come into the world with a clean slate, and what is subsequently written on that slate is determined by society rather than genetic inheritance. He believed we should eliminate private property and the division of labor, and you eliminate social inequality. If you eliminate that and you eliminate the cause of armed conflict then no class struggle is possible when classes no longer exist. He believed that society would be able to decide what do to with its resources and capabilities. We should make our own history. (Pages 65-67) Marx was most famous for his analysis of history in terms of class struggles. Marx believed that doing and becoming is achieved through creativity and inventing. PLATO-
Plato said the best political order: a society devoid of all tension between philosphers and rulers. Plato’s is made up of a class of farmers and artisans, a class of warrior-auxiliaries, and a class of philosopher-guardians. Each class embodies one essential virtue. Workers and artisans poses moderation. Warrior-auxiliaries poses courage. Philosophers poses wisdom. Only philosophers poses a completely excellent soul. Each component of the republic does it’s job well. (Pages 59-62)
How do their differing notions of equality play out in any twentieth- or twenty-first century regimes or societies?
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