Sunday, April 14, 2024

What is ‘Marxism

Marxism is one of the most significant theories and a philosophy that has contributed much to the modern world. German Philosopher Karl Marx helped the working class to question the injustice enforced upon them through their wages, life style and oppression. Marxism, for many, is a beginning of progress and evolution. Marx believed that instilling his ideology in the minds of people like him, would one day make the world, an ideal classless society.

What is Marxism?
Marxism is a social, economic and political philosophy that analyses the impact of the ruling class on the laborers, leading to uneven distribution of wealth and privileges in the society. It stimulates the workers to protest the injustice. The theory was formulated by Karl Marx and Fredrich Engels in their work, ‘The Communist Manifesto’. it was a pamphlet they created during the age of Imperialism, rooting from their own struggles as members of the proletariat lot. According to Marx, History demonstrates the existence of class struggle centuries earlier. He explains the struggle through five stages.

  • Primitive Communism, the age of Hunter-gatherers where every human was treated equally hence, there was an absence of class.
  • The Age of Slavery where there was class distinction between the aristocrats and the slaves.
  • Feudalism where the struggle was between Landlords, owners and the people who rented or used their lands for agriculture.
  • Capitalism, where the labor community (Proletariat) worked their lives off only for the ruling class (Bourgeoisie) to profit from them. This is the stage where Mark and Engels compile ‘Communist manifesto’ from their plight as workers for the British Factory owners.
  • Socialism is the phase that Marx believed the proletariats would revolt for their justice and eventually form a communist society, free of class distinctions and equal wealth.

Key Principles of Marxism
There are two obvious divisions in the Capitalist society – the Bourgeoisie and the Proletariats. The exploitation of the latter is the essence of Marxist ideology.

The Bourgeoisie enjoyed the power to control the toiling masses’ wages and work, leaving them vulnerable to even replacements in the future. The former had access to modern equipment and tools to make work easier and quicker, leaving the laborer with low wages and adding more profits to themselves.

The never-ending heavy labor left the workforce with a feeling of alienation from the task (Estranged Labor) and even humanity, focusing only on the yields.

The Capitalists used every medium – be it religious, educational or financial to its favor to maintain power. This means every action and need of the laborers are dependent on the power of the Capitalists.

Capitalism made man prioritize money over love and other emotions. Karl Marx calls this False Consciousness where people are made to believe money and materials are the ultimate.

Such inequalities will eventually infuriate the proletariats and lead them to a revolution, in the view of abolishing Capitalism. The outcome of the retaliation, according to Marx, would be a classless and equal society.

Marxism, Socialism and Communism
The three terms often cause confusions among people, though they are similar in some of their views. Marxism, along with socialism and Communism were formulated to put an end to the Capitalist ideologies. Socialism insists on common ownership of wealth and land while still allowing individuals to own assets privately. The main idea of this philosophy is to ensure equal distribution of wealth and reward people based on the level of contribution an individual extends to the economy of the country. Whereas Communism means the absence of private property. It insists the control of such assets be only in the hands of the Government. The government shall provide the people with all the necessities like education, medical aids and housing.

Though an absolute socialist or communist country or democracy is still impossible, some countries have managed to set up such governments using maximum efforts. Some of the countries that follow Communism are China, Cuba and North Korea. And the most Socialist countries are Norway, Sweden and Denmark.

Criticisms on Marxism Theory
There have always been debates and controversies around Marxism. Experts criticize the state of certain principles of Marx not coming true.

For example, there has been no socialist revolution against the Capitalist community as Marx predicted. In fact, the few countries that did face socialist protests were still poor and not capitalist countries as Marx expected.

Karl Marx also stated that more and more competitions in the industries would lead to unemployment. But on the contrary, there are surplus workforce to fulfil the competitions. They have only been advantageous in widening the employment opportunities.

Regardless of the criticism that the philosophy has been receiving, there is a truth to it – Marxism has definitely made us think and question more on what we deserve and what we receive.

What are Marxism examples?
The work scenario where the laborers earn in peanuts whereas the owner of the same organization takes the profit without investing much of his manual efforts is an example of theories dealt in Marxism definition.

Why is Marxism important in modern world?
Marxism theory encourages one to question the ideologies of a Capitalistic society and understand the link between what we deserve and what we receive as rewards for our labor.

What is Marxism- Leninism?
Marxism- Leninism is Vladimir Lenin’s version of Marxism that led him to revolt against Russian Capitalism. Though the ideology was formed by neither of them, it became popular after the death of Lenin.

What is Neo Marxism?
Neo Marxism is a development of Marxist ideologies combined with those of Max Weber considering the changes of the 20th Century society.

What is the difference between Marxism and Communism?
Simply put, Marxism is a theory and an ideology whereas Communism is an implementation of Marxist ideologies in a political system.

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