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

Topics: Marxism, Karl Marx, Political philosophy Pages: 3 (1158 words) Published: March 24, 2013
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 mediates my life for me, also mediates the existence of other people for me.” (page 136 Economic And Philosophic Manuscripts) Here he is saying that in this peculiar political economy, money is the only universal means of actualizing the needs and means of life for man. Money is so eminent and necessary that it not only mediates if or when your needs are meant, but it influences the way you see others and the way others see you. Marx goes on to say, “That which is for me through the medium of money-that for which I can pay…-that am I, the possessor of the money.” (page 137 Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts) Basically money has the unnatural effect of creating an authentic mirage of someone through its buying power. Marx goes on to list ways in which money can nullify natural deficiencies of a certain person, and thus contrary to human nature. Throughout the rest of the passage, [The Power of Money in Bourgeois Society], Marx cites similar examples that all lead to the conclusion that money “is the general confounding and compounding of all things.” (page 140 Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts) That is to say, the ability of money to act on “all natural and human qualities” in two incompatible ways, that is compounding and...
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