in the end the Libertarian vision and the Marxist vision share a common teleology in terms of their vision for the future. Both envision the eventual withering away of the State. The Marxists envision it happening by way of abolishing private property. The Libertarians envisions it happening by exalting the ownership of property to the Highest good of politics. The Marxists envisions it happening by absolutizing the State so as to deny private property. The Libertarians envision it happening by completely eliminating the State so as eliminate the commons. However, each vision is pursued to the end of some fanciful Utopia.
Both Libertarianianism and Marxism articulate a anthropology that reduces man to homo econonomicus. Both view man as the sum of his economic decisions.
Both Libertarianism and Marxism get the One and the Many wrong. The Libertarian extinguishes the One in favor of the Many and the Marxist extinguishes the Many in favor of the One. Taken together they are Van Til’s “Rational” and “Irrational” wash women taking in each others laundry.
Libertarianism is all particulars and no Universals. Marxism is all Universals and no particulars. Libertarianism gives us beads without holes. Marxism gives us strings that have no ends.
Further, both Liberrtarianism and Marxism lose the idea of the Transcendent Objective. This is seen most clearly in ethics for the Marxism, while for the Libertarians the absence of the Objective transcendent is seen most clearly in the absence of any objective standard of a just price or wage. Both Libertarianism and Marxism suffer from the subjectivity of Monism that always affects those who do not have a vigorous understanding of Transcendence.
One solves ABSOLUTELY NOTHING by championing Libertariansim over Marxism.
5 thoughts on “Marxism and Libertarianism; Cinderella’s Two Ugly Stepsisters”
Though I’m no Marxist, it’s not true that Marxism reduced man to homo economicus. While Marx focused on economics as the key to power, he wanted the ideal man of the future to be liberated from economics and have plenty of time for the arts and sciences.
Marx used economics to interpret all reality. His vision of being done with economics was kept for some La La land that would never exist.
Adolf Hitler himself could indulge in some idle “after the end of history” speculations:
“In actual fact the pacifistic-humane idea is perfectly all right perhaps when the highest type of man has previously conquered and subjected the world to an extent that makes him the sole ruler of this earth… Therefore, first struggle and then perhaps pacifism.”
— Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, p. 288
This position could be quite compatible with the Bolshevik theory – “first struggle and then perhaps pacifism”. Lenin denounced the pacifistic ideas, while class warfare is still raging, as misguided sentimentalism or sheer bourgeois hypocrisy. Only after the Proletariat had pounded its enemies into oblivion could there be talk about real peace.
Though there are many schools of libertarianism, the Ayn Rand school was really about the geniuses and visionaries. She didn’t care about most people. She valued freedom as all-important because it provided great individuals with the power to fulfill their destiny.
I don’t much care for her, but economics was not the main motive in her thinking. It was the great man’s potential to be god.
Freedom can only be understood in the context of God’s Law Word. Since Rand was an Atheist she was NOT interested in Freedom as that truth is defined Biblically.
In the words of Rushdoony
“Man’s only Freedom is under law; his only possible power and liberty are limited liberty and limited power. Roots, pg. 672