Marx+Mill Final1 - Matt Brickell Dissent and Resistance One...

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March 19, 2008 Matt Brickell Dissent and Resistance One of the greatest issues for political thinkers is the proper relationship between the individual and the state. Karl Marx and J.S. Mill are no exceptions, as they have comparable beliefs on the matter. Although both theorists believed that dissent and resistance of their governments were necessary, Marx and Mill differed on how far an individual should go in opposition to the government. This difference of opinion is found primarily in each man’s goal for society [what is it?, what are they] and in how each interprets the relationship between the government, society, and individuals in that society. Where is the government headed how does it get there. This paper has both ideas in it somewhat. But this paragraph is talking about capitalism. Because capitalist society is flawed for reasons I may state he wants to achieve a communist state that has benefits I might identify, he thinks revolution is the only way to get there. Go to p. 538. Marx believes that a proletarian revolution is necessary to create a communist society. In “On the Jewish Question,” and “Critique of the Gotha Program” Marx prepares his argument for political, followed by social revolution. This is the endgame for each point he makes, as he argues for a different government. Marx defines states as “government machines,” run by the bourgeoisie primarily through economic measures(Marx, p. 539). Based on Marx’s writing, this is not what the state should be. He argues instead for a government founded upon the proletariat, the focus of many of his arguments on government and society. “The state can be nothing but the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat”(Marx, p 538). This idea shows the desire for extreme dissention in the form of revolution; whether a dictatorship of the masses would work, however, is another matter. Ultimately, Marx contends that the state must answer to the people rather than the people to it. “Freedom consists in converting the state from an organ superimposed upon society into one completely subordinate to it”(Marx, p. 537). Marx goes on to connect politics and civil society, believing that “political life declares itself to be only a means, whose end is the life of civil society”(Marx, p. 44). Mill does not believe revolution is necessary for the needs of the individual to be met[case not proved in this graph]. In “On Liberty,” Mill lays out his case for a government whose purpose is to protect the liberty of its citizens. A tyrannical sovereign is inadequate to this purpose. Mill argues that when people created governments they intended to restrict government power, “the aim… was to set limits to the power which the ruler should be suffered to exercise over the community; and this limitation was what they meant by liberty”(Mill, p.2). Mill contends that an individual’s liberty is his free will, “a person should be free to do as he likes in his own concerns, but he ought not to be
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