HomeLUMINAvol. 22 no. 1 (2011)

When Society Meets the Individual, Marx Contra Nietzsche: Antipodal Views on Society, Morality, and Religion

Menelito P. Mansueto

Discipline: Philosophy, Social Science, Religion, Theology



Karl Marx and Friedrich Nietzsche would certainly have a lot of things in common. At first glance, one would think that both of them are looking at a similar direction. They seemed to quarrel on the same side against morality and religion. Indeed, both of them rejected morality and religion. They can both be considered as “immoralists” in the same manner as they proclaim to be unbelievers. 

Both Marx and Nietzsche had their own taste of a sordid attack against Christianity, and recognized it as a religion of the suffering. And, thus both of them call to abolish religion.

Although at first glance, they appear similar in the sense that both of them revolted against morality and religion, and made a distinction of society into opposing classes. But, in truth, they are worlds apart. They lived on two opposite worlds. Nietzsche is from the start an antipode of Marx. Aside from presenting a clear contrast of these two thinkers, here I also come up with a Nietzschean critique on the Marxian thought. But before that, I am going to present their respective views on society, morality, and religion. I’ll start with Marx, then, Nietzsche.