Exposing the Private Property Myth

One thing I’ve noticed among non-Marxists is the tendency to fall into a certain trap regarding Marx’s teachings. This is a trap I’ve also fallen into, meaning that, for a long while, my perception of what communism would actually look like was flawed; I believed that under a communist system, the abolition of private property would mean the abolition of individual ownership altogether.

The concept of private property is one easily mistaken, but actually refers to ownership of something that can generate capital, such as a workforce. This means that nobody would be permitted to own a source of profit, rendering both profit and exploitation obsolete concepts.

Personal property, on the other hand, refers to items for individual  use, such as a house, a phone or a musical instrument. None of these, according to Karl Marx would be abolished by the revolutionary movement, as they do not contribute to exploitation, capitalism, or the accumulation of profit.

Are you a little more sympathetic yet?