New Resistance, Brazil – One point of tension between Nietzsche and some Marxists is – among others – Nietzsche’s belief that every civilization will always depend on the existence of an idle layer and a working layer, and that the former is fundamental to civilization, but for it to exist , it is necessary that the second also exist. In other words, it is the thesis that it will never be possible to transform the whole of society into a totality of people dedicated to the enjoyment of leisure.
However, it is an important point of some Marxist futurology that the development of sufficient productive forces will lead to the general possibility of idleness. Work will not be necessary, and not being necessary, it will be a pleasure and therefore will not be Labor. And this will be true for everyone – it will be a universal situation.
One problem with such futurology, however, is that it does not take into account the natural inequalities of the human being, apart from an undue faith in progress and technology, one of which is the vocation .
If it is true that man was not born to work 12 hours a day (and spend 2-3 hours a day going to and from work), it is also true that the human species as a whole was not born for creative / productive leisure. It demands, in fact, a time of leisure (of true leisure, which is something totally different from “leisure hours” as something already fully regimented by capitalism as “hours of consumption”), but a life of idleness and idleness is something inconceivable.
It is certainly true that man could work less than he works, be it with fewer hours of work per day or more vacation time and holidays throughout the year. But the notion that we could have a planet of philosophers is a utopia, a delusion.
In other words, to some extent, “division of labor” is something that will always exist as long as there is civilization. And if it is necessary to reject comparative valuations among the various types of vocations fulfilled in a society, it is not necessary to understand that the figure of the “idle” has an organic social function similar to that of the head for the human body.
Marx himself, however, understands that one of the virtues of communism would be to enable the emergence and development of the natural aptitudes of each. In this sense, Marx reveals himself to be a materialist Platonist. It must be acknowledged, however, that in this outpouring of post-capitalist man’s natural aptitudes, far from a utopia similar to Paradise designs from Jehovah’s Witnesses leaflets or Star Trek episodes, as some Marxists sell, what will actually be in fact, will be a great mass that will either receive a rigid social order with the proper allocation of each one to the work of his vocation (with the necessary social hierarchies and all the corresponding consequences) or the generalized chaos of suicide, crime and counterrevolution.
In this sense, Marxist critics did not understand that Nietzsche, referring to the necessity of the working / idle division, never spoke of any material need that could be overcome by the development of the productive forces, nor of any “social construction” that could be surpassed by tons of social engineering. He is dealing with issues that involve human nature, and how human nature itself, varies according to the Person.
Thus, in practice, there are more similarities between Plato, Marx and Nietzsche than most followers of any of the three would accept to conceive. But the differences are significant and important, and must be acknowledged and pointed out. Marxist criticism fails because of its superficiality, over reliance on historical and material explanations for human interactions – a common problem among materialists.