Karl Marx argued that the Free Enterprise system is evil because the common worker who is employed by private business is deprived of the true value of his work . The question that this claim immediately raises is why workers years ago would have migrated en masse from rural areas to industrial areas when they could have remained where they were and received the full value of their work? At this point Marxism will concede that the tools of production provided by the private companies adds greater value to the labor of workers, and that is exactly why they came. But it insists that the worker is still cheated out of the true value of his work. The remedy we are told, is the “government ownership of the means of production”.
The most revealing word in that phrase is “the”. What Marx means is that he wants control of the specific means of production that are presently before his eyes i.e. the means of production that have been tried and proven within the free market; that are a product of that market. Is Marx arguing that workers would have been better off without a system that improved their lives because it has not given them even more of the value that it created? The logic of that statement is patently absurd. The system could not have given them any of its value if it had not created that value through the competitive market. Furthermore Marx will never see any of the new means of production that the free market system comes up with in the future because he wishes to discard of the system presently. He is apparently content to allow the people to go without those potential future advantages. If he is going to do that, why arbitrarily accept what the Free Enterprise system has furnished so far? Why not go back to an agrarian existence?