Mill and Marx Comparison.doc

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Political Science
POL 1201
Elizabeth Beaumont

Mill vs Marx The Liberal Utilitarian Reformer John Stuart Mill vs. The Revolutionary Communist Karl Marx Two different streams of thought • Both streams of political thought developed as responses to social conditions created by the Industrial Revolution ◦ a new class of workers whose jobs were poorly paid, repetitious and mechanical, and often dangerous or unhealthy ◦ as masses sought work in urban areas, large slums emerge where workers often lived in cramped quarters or multiple families to an apartment • Both streams of though recognized these as serious problems, and as degrading and dehumanizing to individuals • But they adopted very different analyses of the root sources of these problems and how to address them • "The condition of the working-class is the real basis and point of departure of all social movements of the present because it is the highest and most unconcealed pinnacle of the social misery existing in our day" - Engels, The Condition of the Working Class in England Competing Approaches to Social Reform in the 19th Century The approach of Mill and liberal utilitarians: Social criticism and "reasonable" reforms • Criticize elites for pursuing their narrow, socially detrimental goals, instead of pursing happiness for all;persuade them to support socially beneficial goals and reforms • Further democratize by extending suffrage, so tha
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