Did Karl Marx support classical liberalism?

What is freedom?

Is it freedom from something, or freedom to do something? There is a difference.

Classical Liberals speak of rights, and equality of rights.

Reform Liberals speak of equality of opportunity, consider state education and labour laws.

Marx and Socialist thinkers speak of an equality of outcome, from each according to his ability to each according to his need.

Building from that, Marx would see the sale of wage labour under capitalism (consider Classical Liberals such as John Locke or modern Libertarians) as intrinsically inequal, placing power in the hands of the capitalists. A worker has the right to chose who he works for, but if he must choose between working for an oppressive factory owner or another oppressive factory owner or being unemployed and starving, then is this actually freedom?

Try taking a look further at 'The German Ideology' and 'Wage Labour and Capital' and consider Marx's critique of the capitalist system advocated by Classical Liberals, like John Locke and his emphasis on property. Good luck.


I am in my third year of undergraduate studies in Sociology and Political Science.