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How is Marxism different than Objectivism?

How is Marxism different than Objectivism?

William Thomas

2 Mins
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April 14, 2010


Q: How is Marxisim different than Objectivism?

A: Marxism and Objectivism are similar in very few respects:

—They are systems of thought. But Marxism is primarily a political and economic outlook. Objectivism is broader.
—They are both atheistic.
—They see human happiness as a good thing (though what they think happiness consists in is quite different).
—They were founded by secular intellectuals of Jewish extraction.

Otherwise, they differ on most points. Here are just a few:

Objectivism is for property rights. Marxism is against them.
—Marxism is egalitarian. Objectivism is not.
—Objectivism regards each human as an individual. Marxism defines each by his group, especially his economic class background.
—Objectivism is pro-capitalism, Marxism is obviously not.
—Marxism holds that profit is evil. Objectivism holds that profit is usually highly honorable.
—Marxism is indifferent or even opposed to restricting the powers of government. It provided the basis for totalitarianism in many countries. Objectivism holds that government must be strictly limited, and that everyone should be free to enjoy liberty.

And so on.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

William Thomas

William R Thomas writes about and teaches Objectivist ideas. He is the editor of The Literary Art of Ayn Rand and of Ethics at Work, both published by The Atlas Society. He is also an economist, teaching occasionally at a variety of universities.