The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx Essay
The Marxist representation of civilization is observed in the lead of disparities flanked by classes and spawned by financial objects. This essay scrutinizes the role played by the theory of Karl Marx of social stratification and its representation in ratifying social alteration in the course of group struggles.
Particularly, it examines Marx’s model of consumerist society and reviews what notion continues to be pertinent in the twenty-first century. The contemporary progress cannot deny any of the indispensable thoughts enclosed inside his proposal. Marx predicted the persistent demo of commoditization and additional escalating growth of the capitalist bazaar as one day pursuing the bourgeoisie above the facade of the world.
Marx was pragmatic in his reasoning because he postulated that the populace would be intelligent to put up a superior collective system that would credibly call for supplementary complex resources for preservation. He says that “…. the means of communication adapted themselves to the mode of production of large –scale industries.
In addition, it is a newly created connection with the world market” (Marx 1990 506).The dynamic ideas contained within the communist manifesto have had a lasting impact on the very foundations of modern society. Workers should determine their own destiny by collectivization of interests. Through this, they will realize collective bargaining in the world market. Their social welfare will get better and mistreatment will be no more.
Marx insisted on the divergence viewpoint structures that affirm all factions in a culture battle against one another for communal capital. This generates variation involving the factions making the society a ground for clash. The difference is considered to be initiated by profitable capital with groups declining into distinctive classes. The supremacy associations are based on the possession of assets. Consequently, private enterprise is not anything new than the lawful features of control of one class over the other.
The fortunate class exercises their monetary and opinionated influence over the workers by obtaining their labor on the liberated bazaar. According to Marx, a class is explained on the foundation of control over superfluous worth in manufacturing.
The owners of the means of production are referred to as Bourgeoisie, who has power over the allocation of extra worth. The owners of the means of production are in straight inconsistency with the industrial unit personnel who do not have any articulate control in the allotment of additional value yet they are the main manufacturers (Brumfiel 79).
Marx claimed that unrest of the subordinate class demands formation of a mutual awareness about their subjugation. Regrettably, the poorer class no longer subsists as he observed since the precedent class struggles have ended every moment with radical conversion of society as a whole, which can be attained now by the waged people captivating over accessible condition.
The growth of present core executive and fair occupation has broken the subordinate group and augmented the quantity of natives in the center class, which survive in the gap formed between the two classes that Marx had initially projected. The center classes are distinguished from others on the basis of ability hence they are improbable to apprehend their universal struggle and any optimism for unified working class accomplishment is unproductive (Barbera 129).
It is factual that to a convinced degree, classes still verifies voting structures but not to the level, that Marx thought of. Marx postulated that the waged people would develop from being a grouping of persons with universal welfare to an amalgamated set with general ambitions (Marx 26).
The workforce would draw closer to discover their familiar effort and employ the estrangement they experience in the industrious progression to confront the Bourgeoisie. Schism connecting the two classes would enlarge until finally the entire makeup of the public floor into the void. This would facilitate an egalitarian society, which apparently would then espouse collectivism/communism.
The philosophy of Marx does not pertain to the present epoch, as Marx’s explanation of class is not stylish sufficiently for the up to date society. Heilbroner discharge the likelihood of a free society absolutely though his analysis is tautological.
In the near future, there will be persistence of citizens in the central, who do not suit into either the authoritarian sort Marx anticipated as they are beyond the associations of fabrication but do not exert the control of superior class.
Interestingly, affairs do not subsist if there is no manufacturing going on and at the same time, manufacturing cannot survive lacking the resources of production, which remains under the control of Bourgeoisie (Heilbroner 56).
Introducing the employees in undeviating rivalry for the inadequate plunder they could receive ensure that the proletariat would be not gang up collectively and widen class perception in so doing maintain Capitalism.
Capitalism will subsist as long as the low class continue being ignorant of their mistreatment. Cynicism is rising amongst the populace and possibly a form of divergence is rising. The facet of Marx premise that stands pertinent will persist to do so as long as the corporations that abuse manual labor repress the working class.
Barbera, Jeans. (2009). The Cost of Capitalism: Understanding Market Mayhem and Stabilizing Our Economic Future, New York: McGraw-Hill Professional.
Brumfiel, Fox (2003) Factional competition and political development in the New World, London: Cambridge University Press.
Heilbroner, Rick. (1999). The Worldly Philosophers 7 Ed. New York, NY: Touchstone Books.
Marx, Karl. (1998). The Communist Manifesto: New Interpretations. M. Cowling, (Ed.). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Social Science Theorist: Karl Marx Research Paper
Karl Marx, born on May 5, 1818 In Trier in Prussia Germany, was one of the world’s reckoned sociologists, philosopher, political economist, historian, political theorist, communist and the pioneer of communism. He was a German but of Jewish origin because his father had converted to Christianity so that he could get an opportunity to practice law in the then racist German society.
He studied law and did a thesis of philosophy although he found himself in a group of Hegelian thinkers that dealt with political and social issues drawing him to communism. Marx was married to Jenny, a daughter of a Prussian baron, and had seven children but only three survived due to poverty and living conditions.
Marx worked as a journalist for a liberal newspaper in which he would publish his articles on economics leading to controversies and the paper was closed making Marx opt to move to Paris. While in Paris, he wrote an editorial that was about French socialism, and Hegelisim in Germany (Französische Jahrbücher).
He also wrote several manuscripts, such as the “Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts” (1844) which were published a century later. He also met his best friend Friedrich Engels (1820-1895) and even wrote a manuscript with him. Due to their views they were expelled from Paris, they found their way to Brussels where he published the manuscript “The German Ideology” which was about the “nature of individuals depends on the material conditions determining their production.”
Marx believed in criticizing just about everything that was in existence and in 1848, he published his most popular and most controversial book ‘the Communist Manifesto” and it was not long after its release that the German revolution started. Marx had summarized the book in one sentence “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles”.
This book led to his expulsion from Germany, and he went back to Paris where he was also expelled, and back to Germany again where he was charged for incitement and that was the routine of his life until 1849, when he decided to go to London. Due to the many revolutions that characterized that decade Marx decided to concentrate on understanding capitalism and economics (Cohen 1978).
By 1857 he had written over 800 pages of notes and short essays on capitalism, land, wage labor, the state, foreign trade and the world market but they were not published until 1941, under the title “Grundrisse”. In 1859, He published “The Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy”, his first major economic manuscript. Marx explained his labor theory of value, his understanding of surplus value and exploitation which he argued would ultimately lead to a falling rate of profit and the collapse of industrial capitalism.
Marx continued writing and in the last years of his life he fell sick and could no longer keep the pace but could only comment on Germany’s and Russia politics and economics. He even predicted that Russia might move into communism directly without getting into capitalism for he was convinced the end of capitalism was uniting the worker with the means of production and Russia had communal ownership of land but unfortunately Russia ended up embracing capitalism just like other nations (Marx & Engels 2008).
Marx in his writings was trying to explain why the society behaves the way it does by studying its economics politics and philosophy. He explained the cause of social conflict using economics and concluded that social conflict was as a result of resources whose distribution is controlled by the economic system of a society.
He also concluded that interaction and integration in a society is determined by resources since people can only interact with people of their social class. Marx view of an ideal society is that which people own property communally; there are no people that are superior to others in terms of wealth, and that way there would be no conflict.
Marx major contribution on social theories was the conflict theory which he developed. The theory argues that the society is divided according to material possessions hence creating classes in which superior classes exploit their subordinates. He argued the organization of work in society was a major determinant of its structure, its economics politics and social life.
According to Marx there are two major classes of people in a society; the ruling class and the subjects. The ruling class owns the means of production while the subordinates have the labor. The owners of capital who are the bourgeoisies buy labor from the workers, the proletariats, at very low prices that do not match the amount of work they do hence making the ruling class to gain huge profits that increase their wealth while the rest becomes poorer.
This kind of exploitation leads to political oppression since the ruling class use their resources to influence politics and laws made so that they would stay in their favor. They are also able to get as many contracts as possible for which the subjects do the work. The intellectuals are paid so that they would write publications justifying the system hence making all ideologies and morals to support the class structure (Blackledge 2006)
He argued that capitalism alienates the worker from the product he makes, since the product sometimes could be worthy than the worker, they feel used and view themselves as objects of oppression. They also view their fellow workers as objects of labor with no other destiny and all this will result to disappointment and anger.
There will be therefore a revolution as the workers try to unite with the means of production and due to this tension, capitalism will collapse and give birth to a new society. The society will be communistic, Marx says that “the development of Modern Industry, therefore, cuts from under its feet the very foundation on which the bourgeoisie produces and appropriates products.
What the bourgeoisie, therefore, produces, above all, are its own grave-diggers. Its fall and the victory of the proletariat are equally inevitable” (Avineri 1968). He also believed that new technologies would be invented leading to less man labor hence more cost and less profits and as a result there will be an economic crisis leading to the fall of major sectors and the development of others.
Marx also used capitalism to define and study history and he concluded that all social conflicts that have occurred have been due to resources and the forces of production. However, critiques have opposed this claiming that capitalism is the most effective and fair way of distributing resources.
Contrary, others argue that selfishness and the need to accumulate wealth is in the nature of man and that no economic system would change that Marx can be considered as the founder of modern sociology in collaboration with others social scientist like Emile Durkheim, and Max Weber. Marx died on March 1883, he was buried in London Highgate Cemetery, with only eleven people in attendance. He died stateless and his epitaph read “workers of all lands unite”.
Avineri, S. (1968). The Social and Political Thought of Karl Marx. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Blackledge, P. (2006). Reflections on the Marxist Theory of History. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
Cohen, G. A. (1978). Karl Marx’s Theory of History: A Defence. New Jersey: Princeton University Press.
Marx, K. & Engels, F. (2008). The Communist Manifesto. Rockville, MD: Wildside Press LLC, 2008
Karl Marx ideologies and His influence in the 21st century Essay
Political philosophy is a branch of knowledge that has its root in ethics and especially trying to figure out the kind of life that is good for all the human being. People are as expected social beings.
Various philosophers therefore come up with philosophical discourses that revolve around politics in order to establish and broaden various ethical underpinnings in order to enable human beings to improve their lives. More often in the political realm, taking a utilitarian approach, people need to erect leaders as well as support institutions that would elevate happiness to majority of the people.
Various philosophers have come up with various schools of thoughts with an aim of changing many facets of life in order to make the world a better place. These ideologies have been changing the world in one way or another. One of the most influential political philosophers whose ideas had taken a center stage for many decades is Karl Marx.
The German philosopher lived between 1818 and 1883 (Tucker, 2001). He is an individual who has developed various principles that have influenced political and economic endeavors of any countries. This paper sets to identify and evaluate Karl Marx’s ideas that have continued to influence the world for many decades.
School of thoughts
In 1867, Karl Marx published one of his most powerful ideas concerning the development of the human societies. For instance, his ideas concerning hierarchical nature of the society have been central in the formation of various institutions.
Marx influence on education
Although Karl Marx never wrote straightforwardly concerning education, his ideas influenced many people including writers, intellectuals as well as educators. Mostly, the power of Marx’s ideas has continued to change the world especially in his analysis of the society. His ideas are significant in education in that Marx clearly confirmed that life should not be determined by consciousness, rather, consciousness should be resolute to life.
In the in the 19th century and before that, human consciousness was centered on the human activities instead of anchoring human activities on the human thoughts. This means that the way people carried out their activities as well as organized their daily life reflected their thoughts and their ideas about their world.
People built institutions and adhered to the philosophies that were determined by the economic base. Political system, education system as well as the family were organized according to the nature of the class that people belong to which reflects the economic base of the people and it serves to produce it.
Marx felt that various institutions that include education usually reflect the world that is created by the human beings’ activities. He also felt that various ideas reflected the material states and situations in which they were generated (Tucker, 2001).
His ideas are very important in the world today. For sure, politicians who often make up rules usually determines the agenda, unfortunately, they reflects their desires and the focus seem to be a determination of a class rather than for the common good of everyone.
Considering the way education has been organized, there are so many schools that have been constructed which are expensive and can only be afforded by the rich. The idea of their construction is to fulfill the interest of the political class that want to maintain their interests as Marx had stressed.
Marxism, Revolution in countries and communist manifesto
This is one of the complex political doctrines that Marx came up with which has been central in many political arenas. Marxism embrace the idea that the society’s history can better be understood through the history of the struggle of that society.
In the 21st century, there have been many revolutions in various nations. It is paramount to recognize that Marx Ideas have been very helpful in describing various political aspects. Through Marx Ideas of the bourgeoisie as the owners of means of production, we clearly understand find the establishment of the proletariat.
Marx saw situation whereby workers are exploited. He also pointed out that a civil war would arise once the working group realized they have been exploited. Considering that many nations are facing civil war especially based on the means of production, it is very common tin the 21st century. People are becoming enlightened and the idea of class struggle is very dominant in the current world.
The history of class revolution has recently been evident in countries such as Egypt and Tunisia. For sure, Marxist humanism has been behind the revolution that are been seen currently. Marx’s idea about productive forces would create a national revolution that would ensure that the political institutions would be fair has been evident in the world today.
Britain has various socialists, USA has its socialists and from this situation, we can confidently predict that there will be dramatic events that will lead to overthrowing of the capitalists. In Tunisia, the elites have been joining hands and an uprising resulted in order to remove their president in power, Egypt followed and Libya has not be left behind, it planed an uprising that want to put Gaddafi out of power.
Tribalism and class struggle
Marx believed that all societies usually evolve due to pressures that result from economic forces. He postulated that he had encountered historical evolution since the societies were centered on primitive tribalism, all the way to feudalism as well as during an era of capitalism.
He contended that the next movement would be fair, since it would be based on socialism that would lead to an enlightened era called communism. In reality, capitalism has been encouraging tribalism up to now. This has led to a widened gap between the rich and the poor (Tucker, 2001).
Many people are struggling to fight capitalism and establish a government that would ensure equal distribution of resources which according to Marx, is the ideal institution by the communism. Capitalism is a form of political institutions that have been characterized by widespread tribalism since the basic idea of creation of these institutions is centered on the interest of a class; therefore, the focus is maintenance of the class’s interest.
Marx ideas about creation of an institution that would be centered on equality of economic resources has been experienced in the 21st century and many people movements have been created to fight for vices such as tribalism, racism, and fight for the equality of the people.
Many leaders who came after Marx including Mahatma Gandhi have continued to fight for equality of the people as well as fighting idea of class. Political institutions even in developed countries have now been focused on democracy, for instance USA which has been a capitalist country.
Class struggle has been very evident in the current world. Many workers are nowadays forming unions to fight for their interest. In addition, Trade unions have been established to represent the working class in many parliaments in the contemporary world.
Karl Marx can be seen to be one of the most influential personalities throughout history. His ideas have been very powerful an influential in the politics all around the globe. Class struggle has been evident in the whole globe. Revolution has taken a center stage in many countries aimed which can be attributed to Marx’s ideas. The elites have been keen on making reforms.
Tucker R.C. (2001). Philosophy and myth in Karl Marx. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers.
Assumptions of Herbert Spencer and Karl Marx Essay
Difference and similarity in Ontological view by Spencer and Herbert
Ontology is the study of objects and their ties. It gives criteria on how to differentiate objects which are real or non real, abstract or concrete with their ties. In short it is the study of reality. Marx idea on how human’s perception suggests that humans believe they see but they do not see (Allan, 2010). He says human nature is expressed in the work produced or created. The aftermath of the work should act as a mirror to the human being.
Marx ontological work is based on human’s material dialect. To Marx, reality is perceived in two ways; by idealism and materialism. He says that the world only exists in our idea. Marx believes that what exists to man in the world is only man’s idea. In his materialism aspect he argues that reality is similar to physical properties which are the simple reflections structured by the innate physical properties. Marx disregarded the idea of materialism but was in at least support of idealism (Allan, 2010).
Ontology in other words can be seen as what exactly occurs. Herbert on the other hand demonstrates the evolutionary theory to explain various phenomena. Herbert explains the aspect of organic and inorganic evolution. This he projects on human society, animal and the physical world at large. His work completely disregards the issue of idealism (Allan, 2010).In addition Herbert elaborates the issue of human liberty and moral rights.
To him a life projected by these two issues means an amazingly free and enjoyable life. Also in his discussions he reveals that, progress in a free environment enables man to use all his faculties. This implies that the government’s sole work is to protect man. Moral sentiments and social condition are inextricably connected, constantly interact. For Herbert moral habits are the primary motivators of man (Elwick, 2003).
Difference and similarity in Epistemological view by Spencer and Herbert
Epistemology is the study of knowledge and justified beliefs. Knowledge here includes; sufficient conditions, sources, structure and limits. It focuses on knowledge production and dissemination of that knowledge to areas that need clarification. Epistemology can be combined with ontology to form metaphysics.
To Karl Marx who is an idealist, knowledge is a product of the mind (Allan, 2010). The main concept of knowledge to him is to reason. On the other hand Spencer tries to inquire the basis of scientific study of education, psychology, sociology, and ethics of man from an evolutionary point of view (Alston, 1989).
His work although not valued in the present time brought out the distinguishing factor between sociology and social science. His work on evolutionary progress from a single unit of matter was justified. Spencer social philosophy dominated in the 19th century (Craig, 2002). The main ideas he coined were of free existence or laissez-faire and survival for the fittest. His work was against reform because this affected the balance between nature and human society.
Difference and similarity in Human nature view by Spencer and Herbert
Karl Marx idea on human nature is based on society as a key survival tactic of different species. His thoughts linked how the human species survive with human consciousness. In addition is survival by creative production. The human conscious therefore has evolved by economical changes.
Marx illustrates that through production and creation of products, man did form an intimate relation with his/her environment. Hence, products made by other human being were as if they were made by him, hence man viewed himself as a creative producer (Allan, 2010). This depicted a form of social relation since every human identified with the product made by other human beings. They did communicate by the world they created.
Marx believes in communism. He says the world has dictated the current attributes of man. He adds that for man to be a communist again, he will have to undergo a social restructuring process. Marx argues that every species is defined by the mode of its survival or existence. Marx says to understand a human being is to understand his alienation, ideology and false consciousness.
On the other hand Spencer argues that human nature is flexible and is in the process of advancement (Elwick, 2003). He says ancient man was very primitive, aggressive and irrational. He envisioned human beings to be perfect at the end of evolution, hence completely adapted to social life. This was due to the adaptations to the requirements of the society in future. His notion was based on generations passing quality trait mantles to the next generation.
He saw a society that would be living in balance, harmony, and peace because of the calm nature of environment they would live in (Allan, 2010). Hence, no one would inflict pain on the other. This of course would be from the idea of natural selection as new adaptation would create a perfect human being (Craig, 2002) .Spencer last years of writing depicted him as a pessisimst regarding human’s future.
Allan, K. (2010). Exploration in classical sociological theory. Seeing the social: London: Pine Forge Press. (2nd Edition).
Alston, W (1989). Epistimitic justification; Essays in the theory of knowledge. Ithaca: Conwell University Press.
Craig, J. (2002).Classical Sociological theory. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
Elwick, J. (2003). Herbert Spencer and the disunity of the social organism. History of science journal. 41, (pp, 35-72).
Karl Marx’s Theory of Alienation Essay
According to the theory of Karl Marx, alienation is aloss of the sense of existence in the process of working during the epoch of capitalism. The problem of alienation is based on the theoretical interest to one of the most essential topics of philosophical sociological thought (Ollman 131).
Nowadays, the problem of alienation is blended in the context of topical issues. Alienation goes as a separate theory existing on its own. We can observe the examples of this theory in the changing of the society and the transformation of life from the post communistic point of view. Alienation is the perception of reality in accordance with environmental factors.
Years back, the alienation of a man was understood as the prohibition of freedom, the absence of democracy and the low level of life. People were measured by strict rules and norms that’s why the right description of the society of those times was an absolute alienation but from the point of view of human’s rights.
John J. Macionis writes that in our modern society, the alienation can be observed in different forms of sociological problems and conflicts, various humanitarian disasters, interpersonal misunderstanding, terrorism, people’s apathy, criminal, problems of mentality and other form of the society’s destruction (Macionis 8).
Unfortunately, that is what people do not notice as we are used to it. Every day we are chanced to see more cases of domination of rich people over the poor ones, men over women, etc. It can all be taking into account when talking about the basis of alienation’s appearance and present existence.
The problem of the society’s development and the development of a person in particular is one of the actual issues to discuss at present times. It goes without saying that the general state of a man depends on one’s view of the world according to the determined norms of society and interpersonal relations with the world.
“Some modern theories of alienation appeared in European thought many centuries ago” (Mészáros 2). There are different forms of alienation according to the Karl Marx’s views: alienation of a man from a man, from the nature, from one’s entitles and from the society.
The society constantly changes and every day people have different priorities such as money, honor is changes for dishonor, truth for lies, etc. Pity to say, but people became the main way to achieve political and economic well-being. Nevertheless, there are more homeless people with each passing day. The amount of those who became poor having the most awful conditions in the living places hoping for the slightest lower of prices has greatly increased.
I think, the condition of alienation still exists in the contemporary world and there are a lot of examples for this. The alienation of a man from the society results in the individualism and selfishness (Ollman 132). The alienation of a man from a man is characterized by the crisis of interpersonal relationships and loneliness that becomes so common in the modern capitalistic world.
There is also the alienation of a man from the politics that causes indifference, political conformism or unthought compromise that makes a big step back in the development of humanity. I am used to notice examples of the alienation of a man from himself that leads from a human’s “I” and depersonalization of an individual. I think it is the most widespread type of alienation nowadays.
Generally, sociology is a very interesting topic to talk about. It is quite fascinating and educative to watch people’s behavior and to observe the constant changes in the attitude to the surrounding world. John J. Macionis, a college student, became fond of sociology after taking the corresponding course to study (9). Studying sociology makes one understand the world more clearly.
He created a book that shows students the brief description of people and life correlating with the sociology in particular. The book also serves as a guide to understand life situations and people’s behavior from the sociological point of view towards the society in the whole. It happens, when one is fond of some particular issue, he/she always correlates it to everyday life and the book by John J. Macionis teaches people how to do it and the ways of noticing the things that it has been impossible to notice before.
The concept of alienation is closely connected with word conditions, technology and excessive consumption pattern in our modern capitalistic society. Mészáros says there is also a possibility to observe it in the situations of the alienation of a man from the culture reflecting in the lack of spirituality and in the replacement of cultural for universal cultural and countercultural values (3).
Science converses from tool to target and works against itself that means the alienation of science from techniques. Environmental pollution may also be taken as an example of the alienation of a man from ecology being one of the most actual and crucial problems nowadays. I think the most crucial aspects of a man’s alienation is from moral and ideological points of view. High moral and true human values such as love, friendship and solidarity are subjected to evil, violence, selfishness and ruthlessness.
All types of alienation are displayed in the Karl Marx’s work of the theory of alienation as “the devastating effect of capitalist production on human beings, on the physical and mental states and on the social processes of which they are a part” Ollman 131). Ollman describes the ways of Marx’s seeing an individual’s acting, the contemporaries and conditions (131).
Generally speaking, the society’s state is in its active development. A person changes according to the conditions of the surrounding world and it may be observed in the relation of an individual with “activity and products, fellows, inanimate nature and the species” (Ollman 131).
The problem of a man is central in the outlook of Marx. The whole teaching is formed around a man as the main concept. According to Marx, a man is not just a part of the nature but the highest product of its development, the natural being of some kind. A man is a universal force of the nature and this opportunity lies in the physiological constitution of a man as an organism having such advantages as hands, brain, language, legs, etc.
“The concept of alienation belongs to a vast and complex problematic, with a long history of its own” (Mészáros 1). “Objective tends” of the development of the whole Europe and the transformation of the society from capitalistic to socialistic are described in different books starting “from the Bible to literary works“(Mészáros 1).
In order to understand a position of a man in the capitalistic society, the “constituent elements” should be definitely taking into account “(Ollman 131). John J. Macionis got deep into the issue of alienation and created graphs and tables, data and relevant Census, video clips and many other materials to portray the society of the past with the present and the future one.
The Marx’s theory of alienation may not be vividly discussed any longer at present times but its manifestation can be observed in every day life in different spheres and various situations. People are affected by the surrounding. The result of a man’s activities and attitude to the word, of general points of view and behavior in the aspect of interpersonal relationships totally depends on the sociological and philosophical development of the world in particular.
Macionis, John. Sociology, Census Update. Harlow: Pearson Education, Limited, 2011.
Mészáros, István. Marx’s Theory of Alienation. New York: Merlin Pr., 1986.
Ollman, Bertell. Alienation: Marx’s Conception of Man in Capitalist Society. Cambridge University Press. England: Cambridge, 1971.
Marx’s Theory on Exploitation-Critical Analysis Critical Essay
Many scholarly observations have been made by various scholars regarding macroeconomic exploitation and capitalism with regards to labor. Among such scholars is Karl Marx who, in spite of many criticisms, has been able to have an enormous impact on the world of economic with his theoretical assertions on various issues. However, in this paper, major concentration is going be to on Marx’s theory on exploitation in regards to labor and its impact on economy, capitalism and labor.
In essence, doing a critical analysis on Marx’s theory on exploitation is not only important in giving us in-depth information into Marx’s ideologies but it is also vital in helping us reduce the devastating effects of market exploitation.
According to Marx exploitation theory, the diversifications and intricacies of the need to amass economic power has led to a situation whereby some individuals or personalities take advantage of the labor/effort of other people and benefit from it thus continually gaining more economic power while the exploited individuals continue to languish in abject powerlessness and poverty (Marx 70-74).
Critical Evaluation of Marx’s theory on exploitation
Karl Marx’s theory acknowledges the fundamental role played by the labor—especially by the technicians and the supervisors, as well as that of ordinary workers (Best). Marx points out that emphasis should be made on the different superiority of individuals in terms of their physical and mental capabilities when it comes to labor issues. Moreover, he says that the rights of the workers, in regards to labor, tend to be unequal especially in communist societies. Therefore, such discriminations in labor should be duly considered.
Marx, being a renowned economic analyst, extensively argues against economic injustice. He campaigns for an atmosphere that promotes an equal amount of labor for whatever product given. Unlike many socialists who do believe exploitation occurs in economic environments, Marx’s subjective value theory implies that “a transaction will only occur when both parties prefer the benefits of the exchange over the costs” (Best).
A capitalist exploiting his/her power is normally reflected directly by the misfortune of the workers. To Marx, in any civilized society, there should be a variety of options to deal with any nature of problem unlike socialists who feels one is entirely at the mercy of the power of the state (Marx 75-77). To support this, Marx states most studies indicate that a free economy offers freedom for creativity and innovation thus creating better chances for economic progress and productivity when compared to centralized economies.
Psychologically, it has also been proven that exploitation has emotional effects on individuals. The so-called boss takes the overall charge and gives orders which eventually favor him/her to great deal. On the other hand, workers tend to be neglected with very little attention being paid to their needs.
This is more-or-less similar to the vocalizations of Adam Smith’s argument that, in rigid centralized societies; citizens are exploited severally when foreigners extract and export natural resources at the expense of local labor just because they have more capital. Effectually, the locals become demoralized and thus making the country lag behind in terms of economic prosperity.
According to Marx, exploitation is also based on the ownership of private property. Any investment made on a private property simply means responsibility by the investors. The owner knows the risk of investments and will try possible ways to protect these investments while trying to maximize the business outputs. However, Marx notes that private ownership of property in communal arenas tends to be wasteful and exploitative since several people with various ideologies want to capitalize on the same business venture (Conway).
Critical analysis also indicates that exploitation is evident amongst gender—with most women being exploited by the men folk. Physically, men are believed to be stronger than women. Consequently division of labor is mostly done such that women engage in relatively light chores (which mostly do not pay much) while men engage in tough jobs (which mostly pay more); something which some scholars view as discrimination. Nonetheless, modernization and technology have, to great extent, helped in reducing this nature of labor discrimination.
Speculations from various quarters are that women are the mostly exploited sexually as the community regards them as sexual beings. Most women are held home by their husbands who fear their wives may be exposed to sexual violation by their male counter parts at work place.
Employers are to a larger extent blamed on various occasions for exploiting their female employees in the form of pornography, strip dancing and prostitution with threats of being sacked if they do not do so. Such issues are among the key reasons why both Marx and Smith opposed work discrimination.
Generally it is considered in the views of the majority that the higher the liberty of a market, the more chances it as in exploiting people while amassing great strength in terms of capitals. The most outstanding factor here is that, in as much as workers may genuinely increase their efforts towards economic prosperity of any field of production; their interests, needs and expectations should be greatly be considered and looked upon as an incentive of motivating them to enjoy their duties and responsibilities.
Another aspect observed and further criticized is the issue of workers being overworked for longer hours as stipulated in work codes yet the extended hours are poorly or not remunerated at all. This, he says, is a crime against humanity not far from slavery. As a recommendation, he opines clear guidelines rules and regulations should not only be put in place but also strictly observed to ensure that safety of each individual employee is safeguarded.
A strong indication of unfairness in the distribution of income resources was strongly opposed by Marx who pin-pointed this economic areas as being vastly exploitative. Notably, prior to Marx assertions, most economists rarely paid attention to such injustices and disputed them as baseless with no specific impact to the economy. However, great concern has, since then, been witnessed on such issues.
Another strong ideology on exploitation and economy, by Marx, explains that any ideal economy can actually produce excess goods and services compared to what is needed to for real social cost of production. According to Marx, real costs should include both labor and capital costs hence the question arises as per which appropriate way is to be adopted in to socially distribute the produced surplus amongst the relevant individuals in the society.
Proper rules and regulation should be clearly stipulated in order to safeguard the rights of every individual worker in regards to equal wage for the labor, good working conditions and over exploitation by their employers. Moreover, these labor laws should be put in black and white and fully implemented by the government to ensure maximum protection of its citizens against any form of discrimination (Conway).
Another elemental ideology in Marx’s theory of exploitation was that a good economy of any capacity can provide enough goods and services that may directly or indirectly be required to run the whole actual social cost of production.
An important suggestion made by Marx was in regard to the equitable or rather considerate way in which these resourceful outcomes of the produce can benefit the genuine and real stakeholders who positively endure the participation towards the achievement of set expectations and goals. However, some political and economic analysts also raise major protests in this argument saying that it is evaluated as the root cause of disintegration, political anxieties and civil wars.
To a larger extent, this has brought adverse consequences to the civil societies as a result of many individuals being displaced, total destruction to properties human, livestock, disrupted labor patterns and flow, among many others . Resultantly, the economy will be duly affected and may take a while to resuscitate and grow again eventually.
Direct relationship between the worker and production brings a major concern in the discussion. Here, it is said that labor produces wonderful things but, to workers, it can only be enjoyable if their efforts are equally rewarded for the labor input. The worker is to enjoy the work and not becoming a physical subject that he/she is just a worker and nothing more.
Moreover, man is separately considered as an actual living species therefore a free being man regards one another in terms of the nature of work or activity one does in the current society making work an essential part of human being that must be fully exploited (Marx 78-80).
Alternatively, work is believed to be the source of livelihood that any responsible citizen must pursue formally or informally to make a positive contribution to his/her country’s economy. In this essence, any serious nation should at least try as much as possible to create adequate provisions to its citizens to secure a chance in either private or public sectors.
Finally, it would be important to note that, in as much as an individual may be hired for his labor, considerations should be put in place to equivalently determine the amount of work in relation to the wages to be paid. Justice of this nature to workers surprisingly increases their performance and as an incentive it boosts the levels of productions and morale of the entire workforce. Gender discrimination especially to the womenfolk should be discouraged if special and amazing talents are to be natured across all the gender.
From the discussions above, it is evident that proper establishment s of labor laws should be put in place to extensively cater for any form of injustice or exploitation to workers and that an equal payment should equivalently be rewarded to an equal amount of labor. Condemnation is strongly made against the overall personal relationship between the capitalists and those of their workers.
Finally, gender is generally viewed in the sense that it should not be used as strength by the male to exploit their female counterparts as each individual has basic rights as stipulated in the labor by laws. Instead, the differences in physical or mental capabilities of people based on gender should be channeled in a way that all genders work together towards the ultimate goal of ensuring progress.
Best, Ben. Thoughts on Exploitation Theory. 2010. Web. <http://www.benbest.com/polecon/exploit.html>.
Conway, David. A Farewell to Marx: An Outline and Appraisal of His Theories. Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin Books, 1987.98-124. Print.
Marx, Karl. Capital: An Abridged Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999. Print.
Karl Marx and George Shaw Essay
Karl Marx’s article was essential in explaining how the working class and the elite relate to one another through the capitalist machinery, while the play ‘Mrs. Warren’s Profession’ confirms Marx’s assertions by portraying the effects of an exploitative system of labor. The paper will start with the basics of Marx’s theory in the book and relate them to its manifestations in Shaw’s play. Thereafter, the report will identify commonalities between these two writer’s schools of thought and make a conclusion.
Karl Marx argues that the failures of capitalism will eventually lead to its destruction because it is self contradictory. Marx affirms that wages are what a laborer receives for his work; it is thus a commodity like the equipment that the employer uses to get work done or the lease agreement that he pays in order to open shop.
Therefore, labor may be regarded as an investment in production. A worker has the option of selling his labor (commodity) to any investor he chooses at any time. However, he has no right to refrain from selling it at all as he will have no earnings and no means to sustain himself; as the author eloquently puts it “he works in order to live” (Marx 204). A laborer’s life is all about selling his labor for sustenance. In other words, capitalism has minimized his choices and forced him to contend with this scheme of things.
The same concepts prevail in George Bernard Shaw’s play – Mrs. Warren’s profession. In this Victorian society, men have no option but to sell their labor. However, women experience even worse predicaments than their male counterparts. They can only sell their labor if they are as highly educated as Vivie.
Most of them do not even have the option of exchanging labor for wages. They must reduce themselves to prostitutes or unhappy wives. Capitalism is inherently exploitative in the play because it gives male workers minimal choices and women even worse alternatives.
Karl Marx explains that capitalism is exploitative because employers steal the actual value of worker’s input for benefits. When a laborer works for the capitalist, his pay is equivalent to his value as a commodity. The wage is what is necessary to create the laborer as the employer must train and prepare him for the job (Marx 207). However, Marx notes that laborers produce more value than they consume, and this makes the employer-employee relationship unequal.
In order to get profit, capitalists take advantage of the surplus value that a worker produces. For instance, if a worker need to give 6 hours of his time in order to match his sustenance, then any extra hours will be a surplus that exceeds the value of what it took to produce the worker. The stolen excess of a laborer’s worth is an employer’s gain (Marx 208). Therefore, no equal exchange takes place between workers and employers; cheap labor is the means with which the ruling class attains its status.
These sentiments echo throughout George Bernard Shaw’s play. Vivie learns about Mrs. Warren’s profession from her mother. When Mrs. Warren defends her profession, she says “How could you keep your self respect in such starvation and slavery? And what’s a woman’s worth? What’s life worth? Without self respect! Where would we be now if we minded the clergyman’s foolishness? Scrubbing floors for one and six pence a day and nothing to look forward to but the workhouse infirmary” (Shaw 219).
Mrs. Warren was conscious of the unequal exchange that takes place in most conventional professions for women. The worth that women, in particular, provided their employers were in no way related to the meager earnings the got. These exploitative conditions were similar to the ones that slaves experienced.
It should be noted that although George Shaw’s play appears to support prostitution, the industry is still just as exploitative as other conventional ones. This proves Karl Marx’s point that no matter how promising a certain industry may seem workers have no choice but to remain buyers of the capitalist class. The aristocrat Croft explains that he regarded the industry of prostitution as a highly profitable one. He asserted that if he turned away from this opportunity, then he would be behaving like an insensible man.
Other people were seizing opportunities to make money in various industries so this should come as no surprise. The callousness inherent in the business world was evident in the profession of prostitution, as well. Mrs. Warren objects to the exploitative nature of the business world; consequently, she chooses to become a prostitute (Shaw 260).
However, she contradicts these objections by perpetuating the same level of exploitation against innocent girls. Mrs. Warren rose to the rank of madam by first starting as a conventional prostitute and then climbing the ranks. By running brothels in different parts of Europe, she is doing the same thing that caused her to become a prostitute in the first place. Just like capitalists who cannot survive with exploiting workers, Mrs. Warren could not become a madam without exploiting other women.
Marx believed that workers have the freedom to move from one employer to another but never from one class to another. There were structures that kept the working class in their place. The meager wages that they derived from their work was never sufficient to remove them from this cycle; it was only enough to feed them or meet their basic needs. Likewise, in the case of prostitutes in George Bernard Shaw’s play, they had wealth but no virtue; consequently, society never accepted them.
One can see this when the Reverend hosts an event in which he finds it appalling that Mrs. Warren is attending it. Society was limiting their choices and ensuring that women always result to an underpaid and overworked position by frowning upon other alternatives to wealth creation. Capitalists make certain that they always have a constant supply of workers by minimizing their options and keeping them in lack.
Karl Marx notes that the interests of the working class will always antagonize those of the elite. Eventually, this may lead to the demise of the capitalist system as it will implode (Marx 209). When workers appear to be getting more wages as a result of growth in their places of work, this is equivalent to getting more crumbs from the rich man’s table as he is enjoying the lion’s share of those rising profits.
Therefore, capitalism operates in a mutually exclusive way; one group will always benefit at the expense of another. Likewise in the play, Mrs. Warren chooses to become a prostitute because of her discontent with the exploitative nature of work.
Many others like her enter this secret profession because their needs antagonize those of their employers. In essence, an implosion occurred in this society because capitalism had failed to live up to its promise. Prostitution was the unnatural response to a system of work that undermines the same people it depends on for survival.
The author of the play – Mrs. Warren’s Profession – clearly indicates that he is a socialist and a firm supporter of Karl Marx’s principles in the book “Wage, labor and Capitalism”. One can determine this by the playwright’s choice of characters. Mr. Croft is a shrewd capitalist who does not even conceal the unethical nature of his business practices. In one situation, Croft even boasts about his business. He compares himself to his brother who is in charge of a factory that hires 600 girls.
Croft believes that prostitution is far superior because even though his brother gets 22% from the factory, none of the girls earn enough to live comfortably. The audience reacts to this self righteousness by disliking Croft. George Bernard Shaw wanted to show that capitalists are often morally repugnant. Vivie’s response to Croft’s assertions enforces these sentiments. She explains that his words are quite offensive and polluting. One can, therefore, realize that the playwright was speaking out against injustices inherent in a capitalist world.
In Karl Marx’s writing, he talks about the notion of the alienated worker. Since members of the working class have no choice but to keep selling their labor power to capitalists, most of them must contend with this role exclusively (Marx 206). They focus so much on creation of value for the employer that they even lose their humanity. Such people misplace their individualism and uniqueness thus becoming like machines.
The same thing is evident in the play – Mrs. Warren’s profession. The women in this play have lost their sense of humanity as society assesses their worth by how much they can clean or scrub (Shaw 66). Those who choose a daring path such as Mrs. Warren have also reduced their humanity to their secularity. Consequently, one can see that capitalism alienates workers and transforms them into machines.
Employers and many capitalists have created a lot of mystery concerning the way they do business as well as in the value of the things that they create. Karl Marx explains that commodities reflect the social relations and the labor that people put into them. The price of the item often obscures this fact (Marx 209). Capitalists have given money a mythical significance in order to neutralize their effects.
Even bourgeois economists minimize the exchange of commodities to financial patterns alone. These individuals do not look at what happens in terms of the social aspects of money. Members of the lower class may, therefore, not be aware of the exploitative nature of wage labor. The shift away from the social relations of labor thus protects the proletariat from potential inquisitions and protests from the working class.
Similarly, the same issue of deflecting the real value of commodities exists in the play – Mrs. Warren’s Profession. Croft chose not to focus on the exploitative nature of his work and instead extolled the profits earned from the trade (Shaw 150). He was justifying his actions by talking about the amount of money made from the trade. However, prostitution still uses vulnerable girls to make profits; this case was not an exception.
Capitalism promotes class conflicts as explained by Karl Marx, which can only lead to undesirable consequences. George Bernard Shaw’s Victorian society exploits workers and gives females extraordinarily few choices for sustenance. As a result, some of them have lashed out against this exploitation through immoral acts such as prostitution.
Marx, Karl. “Wage Labor and Capital.” Literary Theory: An Anthology. Ed. Julie Rivkin & Michael Ryan. MA: Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2004. 201-210. Print.
Shaw, Bernard George. Mrs. Warren’s profession, NY: Broadview, 1902. Print.
Marx’s Anticipation of the Nationalism and Imperialism of the Second Half of the 19th Century Essay
Marx has interesting views on nationalism and imperialism during the second half of the 19th century. Indeed, most of his sentiments on these highlighted issues have been widely discussed in the current society. Karl Marx’s “communist manifesto” demonstrates a variety of critical issues that were eminent during the second of the nineteenth century. In these statements, it is evident that Karl Marx did not like the idea of nationalism and imperialism.
According to him, imperialism led to the development of a biased nationalism (Kinzer 11). Therefore, nationalism is born from the much destructive theme of imperialism. He elucidated the fact that the developing nations must stay away from the detrimental impacts and manipulations of imperialism. As he indicates, imperialism is the basic means through which the western nations propagate their capitalistic and materialistic ideologies.
The ideological influence from the developed nations compromised the effective advancement of the budding countries. In addition, Marx is of the opinion that imperialism contributes to the emergence of a false single identity (Kinzer 21). Consequently, this falsehood identity or tag destroyed the capacity of victim nations to develop self-realization. His basic perception is that the west have assumed greater advantages and reaped potential benefits from the less developed states.
He justifies the fact that the Chinese have been secluded from the western society due to intense imperialism from the western nations. The imperialists forced their pattern of life and societal norms on the emergent nations. Karl Marx categorically highlights the fundamental objectives of the imperialists in his philosophical arguments. He denotes that they have a potential aspiration to curtail and regulate the developing nations. However, they yearn to attain this under the pretext of westernization of civilization.
The process of civilization is nothing other than a typical and complete adoption or duplication of the injurious culture of the west. The developing nations are deprived of their vital natural and manmade resources. Karl Marx identifies all the negative implications associated with this practice. Brain drain and over-reliance on the western beliefs and way of life include some of the negative implications cited by Karl Marx.
Generally, the philosopher noted that imperialism and nationalism impeded individuality and self-reliance (Kinzer 26). These in turn derail the self-esteem of individuals. Therefore, such nations produce citizens with typical lifestyles. They fail to think at individual level. Moreover, they also lack creativity and innovation. There is less internal development but more dependence on the imperials due to their financial and knowledge power.
Analysis of Imperialism
The human nature requires a lot of freedom. This is eminent within all sectors of life. Business and resource exploitation include some of the potential areas that call for maximum human freedom.
Karl Marx observed the significance of this freedom. Particularly, Marx developed the laissez-faire philosophy to enhance this belief (Kinzer 31). Generally, there is a philosophical belief that the freedom enhances the capacity of man’s engagement in business. However, there are further philosophical beliefs that denote significant critics on this perception.
For instance, the fact that human beings must be controlled or monitored led to the development of imperialism. Even Karl Marx recognizes the importance of regulation and control within any free market. This is applicable within all fields of human operation. Therefore, it is imperative to indicate that human beings only thrive well when curtailed. However, the regulations must not be punitive and demeaning to the persons involved.
Regulations must respect human dignity and reduce the instances of indoctrination and proscription. These views expressed by Karl Marx and other potential philosophers led to the emergence of imperialism. Principally, the need to gather and control key players and people within the society arose in most developing nations. Through colonialism, the imperialists introduced their themes of nationalism with an aim to assume total dominion over these subjects.
In the process of introducing nationalism, imperialism and other related practices emanated (Kinzer 39). Excessive capitalism and increased liberty catapulted the rate of imperialism. Due to massive accumulated wealth, the richer few started to ape the practices of the westernized world. This habit created a gradual process of initiation into the ideological principles of imperialism. The demonstrations and views of the classical liberal best potentiate and explain this gradual but indicative process.
Human beings like to curve their identities through the adoption and practice of unique cultures. This attribute played a crucial role in speeding up the process of civilization and imperialism. It is specified that those with higher ambitions to affiliate and associate with the western culture helped in spreading the concept of imperialism (Kinzer 45).
The western nations slowly took advantage of the readily charged group. The final impact has been the total adoption of imperialism, packed in form of civilization and nationalism. These critical elements have contributed to making imperialism an inevitable practice in the entire world. There is need for further examination and study of the human factors that have led to the development of imperialism.
Racism Evident in Western Imperialism
It is evident that ideological views based on classical liberal theories had vital influences in the development of imperialism. It is also noteworthy to analyze the impacts of these ideologies on the issue of racism during this period. While trying to ape civilization and the western culture, most Africans remained alienated.
It is observable that the more the developing nations aped this system of life, the more they remained alienated. The westerners cut out their niche as an elusive group with adorable culture and beliefs (Kinzer 50). The continuous intrusion of the western culture in the African communities led to the emergence of negligence and potential discrimination.
It is evident that this pattern was not only observed within the white and black communities. It is trend that cut across nearly all the racial classes. A systematic process of social stratification based on tribal and racial orientation developed. The pattern remains evident globally even within the present society. The classical liberals argued held antagonizing viewpoints regarding the origin of specific cultures (Kinzer 56).
These disparities were also eminent in the perceptions of how certain culture influenced and shaped the life of personalities. However, these opinions were placed on major cultures. Therefore, people from minority races and less recognized cultures suffered severe discrimination. Apart from this, they were also secluded from the mainstream. Instead, a stream of dominant and oppressive culture emerged and prevailed upon the global community.
Conclusively, the classical liberal thoughts had immense contributions in the development and emancipation of racism. This observation has been noted several times within the western imperialism. A critical investigation and study of the phenomenon reveals that the trend is still eminent and ongoing within most communities. Eradication of racism shall take a long time given its philosophical and social complexities.
The Economic Problem for Marx Essay
Karl Marx made several contributions in the field of economics making him become one of the renowned economists. Among the many contributions he made, Marx developed the theory of surplus-value. He noted that this was the greatest contribution he had made in economic analysis.
This theory gave Marx the ability to introduce the capitalist’s mode of production and find the relationship between production and laws of motion. According to the theory of surplus-value, it was established that there were different classes in the society and the ruling class produced a social surplus product.
The surplus product however takes three different forms which include unpaid surplus labor, feudalism, and the form of goods reserved for the ruling class. In other instances, the three forms could be combined to form one group. When the surplus product in the different social classes is converted to money form, it becomes surplus-value. Hence, it amounts to the surplus labor in money terms which could still be referred to as unpaid labor.
Capitalism on the other hand is an economic system in which the resources of a nation are geared towards wealth creation of individuals instead of the society like in socialism. As such, Marx noted that capitalism was a contributing factor to the problem of surplus labor. Given the fact that capitalists are self-centered and neglect the poor, it leads to the problem of unemployment hence surplus labor. Even after the developing his theory, Marx had the problem of reconciling the surplus labor derived from capitalism with law of value.
In a bid to solve the reconciliation problem, Marx indicates that each of the individual commodities is to be considered as the mean sample of the class it belongs to. This means that commodities that have been produced using the same quantity of labor within the same duration will have the same value.
Thus, according to Marx, the labor used in the production of each product could be quantified. Nevertheless, this is not ideal in a normal economy because it is difficult to treat labor independently given the prevailing economic and social conditions. The dynamism experienced in the economy leading to changing labor expenditures does not give room for the reconciliation of surplus labor with the law of value.
In addition to this, Marx explains that profits derived from production face enormous competition thus being constrained by the law of value. He further notes that competition is a problem brought about by capitalism. “In this, Marx concludes that production under capitalism cannot be directly regulated by the law of value” (Rooney par. 3).
Instead, the law of value had some influence on the prices of production especially the cost of labor time. Marx answer to the problem of surplus labor and the law of value was not sufficient since he failed to answer several issues and assumptions that arose. For instance, “Marx did not indicate how production capital would be raised, how factories would be built and how the projects would be coordinated by the management without leading to surplus value” (Rooney par. 3).
The aforementioned items have to be created to enable the worker do his job without interruption. Part of the profits of the firm must be used in management, research, and distribution in order to facilitate continuous production. However, according to Marx this was like ‘stealing’ the firm’s money since all profit was targeted to belong to the firm owners only.
Rooney, Sean. Marxism, Surplus Labor, and Surplus Value. 2008. Web.
Socialism and Communism after Marx Research Paper
The following essay examines the Socialism and Communism after Marx. Socialism and Communism are two main approaches of the political theory. Karl Marx is among the modern political thinkers whose concepts have continued to have a special meaning as far as political theory is concerned. It is important to first consider the life and works of Marx before examining the socialism and communism after him.
Karl Max was one of the most renown scholar and theorist who lived between 1818 and 1883.The work of Karl Marx played an important role of changing the manner in which individuals operates. Marx theoretical works was based on social sciences, history, economics and philosophy. For a couple of years, the political and economic theories by Karl Marx were linked with several key political movements around the world.
For instance, the theory of Marxism was the official theory that guided Germany before the First World War.Also; Marxim theory was the official theory that guided Soviet Union and other nations in Eastern Europe for 72 years. Karl Marx in his theory enabled the majority poor people to triumph over the upper class.However; Karl Marx failed in his Marxism theory as a result of the establishment of the middle class.
Even though he failed, Karl Marx was a respected philosopher as he was the man behind communism in many countries of the world such as Russia. His life and works played an important role of changing the way individual’s reason in the modern world. As a result of his works, people became approachable and also quick-thinkers as far as creating thoughts on politics are concerned.
Karl Marx spent a large proportion of his life criticizing capitalism system. He participated in radical activities and wrote trenchant critiques that showed capitalism as a means of exploiting human beings. He therefore emphasized on socialism and communism. Karl Marx worked hand in hand with Friedrich Engels and the two men maintained a long lasting collaboration until the time when Marx died in 1844 (Rockmore 55).
Socialism and Communism after Marx
Following Karl Marx’s demise in 1844, Friedrich Engels who was became the narrator of the Marxism theory that was developed by Karl Marx.
Engels approached an easy literary style and also had a tendency of offering simple answers with regards to complex philosophical issues. For instance,Engels answered the philosophical question of the relationship between thought and being in a very simple way which has been discussed for many years.
Engels played an important role of setting the tone for the future political Marxists i.e. he enabled the future Marxists to decide philosophical questions in an easy manner.
Engels also reinterpreted the Marxism theory by simplifying it in that where Karl Marx had given emphasis on preference and alternatives,Engels emphasized on needs and requirements. Where Karl Marx had emphasized on the importance of studying social process regarding extraction and production, Engels on the other hand emphasized on materialism as the guiding principle (Carver 37).
Friedrich Engels died on 1895 and a different analysis of the Marxian theory took shape. The interpretation of the Marxism theory after Engels was later done by Eduard Bernstein in Germany who held the view that the theory required to be modified as it was old fashioned. Bernstein argued that nonviolent political as well as economic development of capitalism system to socialism system was the most ideal way of dealing with unnecessary revolutionary struggles.
As Bernstein interpretation of Marxism theory among Germans’ socialists, another diverse variant was taking shape in Russia. During this period, Russia was a medium sized economy and the Marxism theory was not much popular. Agriculture was the main economic activity and the farmers were mainly small-scale farmers.
Karl Marx had commented about the condition of rural life in his theory whereby he held the view that the communities who practice agriculture have much lower prospects for progressing as compared to the urban communities.However, some Russians criticized these remarks and in turn believed that Russia was capable of changing. Among the Russian revolutionalists who believed in change was George Plekhanov who in turn influenced an adolescent male by the name Lenin (Ball and Farr 57).
Lenin on his part agreed that Russia was not yet ready for the revolutions due to various reasons such as the fact that Russian workforce was largely composed of agricultural laborers instead of industrial laborers. Lenin thus held the view that there was need to educate the laborers so that they can fit into their respective class. Lenin during his life emphasized on communism and he criticized imperialism for he believed that it was the main reason behind the outbreak of the First World War.
Lenin howenr died inn 1924 and afterwards another revolutionalists by the name Joseph Stalin emerged .Joseph Stalin emphasized on the law of the dialect i.e. the revolution from old into new society. Stalin also went further to argue that this law was ideal in case of a society that is divided into several hostile classes. Stalin also held the view that socialism requires to be practiced in Soviet Union prior to being practiced in any nation around the world.
Stalin passed away in 1953 and fifty years from then, Soviet Union does not exist.However, some countries including Russia still exercises his views. On the other hand, communism is still being practiced in China.
The main theorist behind communism in China was Mao Zedong. Mao just like his predecessor i.e. Engels, Lenin, Beinstein and Stalin made various amendments with regards to the Marxian theory. Mao brought about several ideologies among them proposing that the city will guide the village. He also warned that city life is dangerous since it could hinder the revolutionary efforts by the communist and also cause ideological decay amongst the party carders.
There were scholars who criticized socialism and communism by Karl Marx.The critics held the view that the government should not exist and that it should be brought to an end as it is a means of oppressing the citizens. These critics argued that vesting power in only a few communists is a means of promoting corruption. Among the scholars whom criticized socialism and communism by Karl Marx were Kropotkin and Bakunin (Rejai 78).
Following the death of Karl Marx, there have been many socialists and communists who have altered the original Marxism theory. Among the socialists and communists after Karl Marx includes Engels, Lenin, Bernstein, Stalin and Mao Zedong .There has also been scholars who have criticized the philosophical work of Karl Marx among them Kropotkin and Bakunin. Karl Marx’s theoretical work has been changed and misinterpreted since his death by his predecessors.
Ball,Terence and Farr, James. After Marx. California: CUP Archive, 1984.
Carver, Terrell. Engels after Marx. Manchester: Manchester University Press ND, 1999.
Rejai, Mostafa. Political ideologies: a comparative approach. London: M.E. Sharpe, 1995.
Rockmore, Tom. Marx after Marxism: the philosophy of Karl Marx. Hoboken: John Wiley and Sons, 2002.