From Gonzalo Fernandez de la Mora’s Egalitarian Envy: The Political Foundations of Social Justice:
Marxist egalitarianism is not only political and economic (“to each one according to his needs”) it is anthropological. The subject of the communist society is not the individual, but generic man. This is the famous text: “When the real, individual man will retake possession of the abstract citizen, when in his empirical life, in his individual work, and in his individual relations he becomes transformed into generic being; when man recognizes his own strength as the strength of society…only then will he attain human emancipation.” This is, therefore, almost a metaphysical egalitarianism, where man becomes a species, a universal concept, and acquires that property which belongs to the beings of reason, absolute equality. This thesis carries with it another subordinate egalitarianism: labor. This is a theory of work that claims to be a “means, homogeneous and abstract.” For Marx the worth of merchandise depends on the amount of necessary work required to produce it; not any one particular form of work, but only the abstract, standard work of a worker as a mean: “with a degree of ability and intensity within determined social conditions.” Work, as it becomes something statistical and anonymous, may be perfectly divided into equal parts. This is the suppression of all laboral differences. “The total laboral strength of a society, observable in the total value of all the merchandises, though embracing innumerable individual unities of work, amounts to as much as an undifferentiated mass of human work; each of these individual units is equal to the rest.” This type of “abstract” work corresponds to the “generic” man. In this manner, workers as much as their efforts are interchangeable and equal among themselves. In its ﬁnal phase, communist society would provide total equality to all subjects – generic man – and the total equality of the patrimony: everything according to the quota or collective (capital, power, work, and income). Marxist egalitarianism, despite its protestations of materialism and empiricism, is the most speculative and metaphysical of all: generic man and abstract work are two over-reﬁned abstractions of reason.