Communism: Existing Economic System of Capitalism
The Industrial Revolution in western Europe provided the context for economists and political writers of the 19th century to promote three different economic plans designed to meet the needs of workers and entrepreneurs. Communism was first proposed by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels as a reform plan for the existing economic system of capitalism. The major tenets of communism include economic determinism, proletariat revolution, and a classless society with no need for government.
Although there were many advantages including benefits and economic prosperity, there were also disadvantages including the lack of motivation and slow development.. The economic system of communism was first implemented in Russia in 1917. It was unsuccessful because there was never a withering away of the state. The economic system of communism did not address the needs of both entrepreneurs and workers because while it promised equality under the state, it disregarded human nature.
The Industrial Revolution provided the historical context for a new economic plan, communism, which was promoted by Karl Marx. The Industrial Revolution started in England around 1750. This completely changed the method of production with the domestic system. The domestic system was the widespread method of production during the 17th century. They created goods by hand as they travelled from home to home, slowly coming together along the way. After that they had the factory system. The factory system was when the use of machinery relieved the amount of time for the production of a product. The use of these two systems took place in Britain in the 18th century (“Industrial Revolution” par. 1). Britain had a head start on the whole industries and tried to keep there monopoly, they forbade the export of skilled workers, machinery, and manufacturing techniques. But the spread of ideas eventually going to happen and there ideas would appear around the world. (“Industrial Revolution” par. 4). During this time period there were many technology advancements. They started using iron and steel, which was used in many of the new inventions. These became good resources and they relied on them a lot. They used new energy sources like coal, steam, electricity and petroleum made things better. The steam engine was one of these inventions that helped dramatically. The steam engine was a vehicle in the creation of the steam locomotive and steamboat; two very influential means of transportation. The creations of power loom and spinning jenny both helped production of weaving. These few intentions helped a lot and also increased the production rate of the goods and were cheaper because there was more of it (“Industrial Revolution” par. 2). Without these creations it’s clear that productions rates and everything else would have been slowed down during this era.
With all the development of all these inventions it has decreased the amount of people in the rural community, and brought them to the city to work. With this now there has been more people in the cities and now women and children have been implemented in the factories for poor wages (“Industrial Revolution” par. 2). With the urbanization of all of these people to the rural to the cities became overpopulated. The cities turned into the slums. It had poor living conditions, it was over crowded, and they didn’t have a sewage system. This brought disease to city. They had all the factories in the city so they also polluted the air. Then the crime rate wet up in the cities (“Industrial Revolution” par. 2). The workers were being abused in the factories and it has changed their lives. “At the time when you were beaten for not keeping up with your work, were you anxious to have done it if you possibly could? — Yes; the dread of being beaten if we could not keep up with our work was a sufficient impulse to keep us to it if we could” (The Sadler Committee, Mr. Matthew Crabtree). This is what one of the workers said, it was like he was scared to go to work because he was beaten if he couldn’t keep up and that should never happen. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels were working on reforming previous economy of capitalism. The key characteristics of communism included the ideas of economic determinism, a proletariat revolution, and a classless society with no need for government. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels were viewed as the founders of this economic system. They developed ideas on society in response to the abuse of workers under capitalism. Karl was a German revolutionary philosopher and theorist who developed his ideas through influential writings. Friedrich was a friend of Marxs and helped him a lot during his life, and is most known for helping Marx in the creation of The Communist Manifesto in 1848 (“Friedrich Engels” par. 11). In this they talked about their views on society, and how to get the best outcome. Starting with socioeconomic theory of economic determinism, they talked about the idea that societies are divided into competing economic classes whose influence in politics is determined by their ranking. Marx was concerned because he believed it locked the proletariat in an endless class struggle. This would lead to the capitalist system being overthrown to break free of the abuse. “We have seen above, that the first step in the revolution by the working class, is to raise the proletariat to the position of ruling as to win the battle of democracy” (Marx 622). Violence will always happen and you can’t stop it once the government is gone, communism will replace it. Marx’s also had another major idea for communism to establish a classless society with no need for government. The class structure leaving was was going to get rid of the abuse and the revolts that occur under capitalism. If all of the people were equal they wouldn’t need to be a government because the power is the people that work. This would make people that don’t work to work because the workers would want the best for the everyone. While Engels and Marx believed this would have ended up good, they ended up being bad. The advantages of communism did not outweigh the disadvantages because communism fails to address human nature.
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