Ernest Gellner gör en mycket fascinerande analys av Marx och marxismen:
Karl Marx himself, be it noted, was the bourgeois to end all bourgeois. […] [He] wanted to absolutize and universalize the work ethic, by finally separating work from any reward and turning it into an end in itself, the ultimate fulfilment: ”. . . in communist society, where nobody has one exclusive sphere of activity but each can become accomplished in any branch he wishes, society regulates the general production and thus makes it possible for me. . . . to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticize after dinner . . . without ever becoming hunter, fisherman, shepherd or critic”. […]
The idea of work as its own reward is of course the very essence of the bourgeois spirit. We work because we like it, and despise those who work as means only, or are constrained to perform work which means nothing to them, or do not work at all. Basically, Marxism is a bourgeois wish-fulfilment fantasy: work is to be its own reward, life really is about work and finds its meaning in work, and the secret of history is that, appearances notwithstanding, it is determined, not by the patterns of coercion, but by those of production. That is where the action really is. It is only the faulty organization of work which engenders antagonistic relations between men, and their corollaries, coercion and socially instituted delusion. Work-oriented middle-class producers always wished all this to be true, but only Marx dared say that it actually was true. Production was always primary, even if producers themselves knew it not. The time would come when they would be alone with their freely chosen creative activity, and all constraints, coercive or superstitious, would be gone. Man would be alone with his work and at peace with his fellows. The destiny of the proletariat was to fulfil the bourgeois ideal of peaceful, self-rewarding and unconstrained productivity.
Ernest Gellner (1989), Plough, Sword, and Book. The Structure of Human History (Chicago: University of Chicago Press), s. 34-35.