: No Marxist has ever claimed (as enthusiastic utopian socialists, such as Robert Owen did) that all individuals are equal in aptitude, intelligence, or physical strength.
Marx gets my 'reality' vote over Owen on this then.
: Speaking of the socialist principle, 'from each according to ability, to each according to work,' Marx clearly acknowledges unequal abilities:
I think that the more popular "from each according to ability, to each according to need" needs to be addressed and differentiated from the above. Its *very* different from the above. It reminds me of a friend in the UK who was there in the 60's and 70's during their 'socialist' governments. She said something like "socialism isn't about handouts, they've (UK Govts) got it all wrong".
:" The abolition of classes means placing all citizens on an equal footing with regard to the means of production belonging to society as a whole."
: This is the equality Marxists speak of when they speak of equality.
What if those of greater than average ability wish to retain value equal to that they've produced? what is to be done with them / to them?
: There is no doubt that a doctor (the popular example of exceptional individual ability), if required to perform unskilled jobs as well as perform medical duties, would be required to do less of the work he / she does best.
Would it not be in the interest of patients to have the doctor there all the time? To have the best and most medical care possible all the time without the doctors efforts being diverted from medical care. Is there not the great danger that rotation decided by the public (all are potential patients) will decide to spare doctors from job rotation so as to ensure the best uncompromised treatment for themselves? Over time would they not also want the best bridge engineers, the best train drivers, the best everything to remain at their roles supplying the maximum service of the highest quality and safety wihout compromise? How is that to be managed? The result of it would be very similar to the action of the free market (albeit the latter is based upon the medium of ability to exchange wealth rather than 'democracy').