Marx and Egoism

SCIABRRC at acfcluster.nyu.edu SCIABRRC at acfcluster.nyu.edu
Sat Dec 31 12:38:10 MST 1994


	I agree that Marx was not an advocate of "altruist" morality.
Interestingly, in his early works, one can find an almost "egoistic" humanism.
He decries the labor process in capitalism as one "of self-sacrifice" and
"mortification."  He writes that human labor is properly, an objectification of
individuality and sociality... "in my individual human activity I would have
immediately confirmed and realized my true human and social nature."

	(Ironically, among modern egoists, it is in fact, Ayn Rand who most
closely resembles Marx in this view.  Rand rejected Stirner; her intellectual
methodology is, in my view, much closer to Marx and dialectics than either her
fans or her critics have recognized.)

	Marx and Engels, of course, take a more historical view of both egoism
and altruism.  They recognize that both are appropriate moral expressions
within an historically specific context.  This is in keeping with the broader
materialist view of history.

						- Chris
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Dr. Chris M. Sciabarra
Visiting Scholar, N.Y.U. Department of Politics
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