History paper, Marxism theory Essay

October 14, 2020 by Essay Writer


The mid 19th century was a period of great political revolutions where most of the political philosophies were established. Maxim defined imperialism as the unequal relationship between capitalism and non-capitalism. Capitalism is the situation whereby the means of production of goods and services for profit are owned by the private sector. It involves capital accrual, competitive markets, and the price system (Fernandez-Armesto 15).

These controls are the dynamics that the Marxism theorist used to develop their theories based on material possessions. In the 19th century, there were revolutionary movements that opposed the capitalist model of governance replacing it with other systems that were acceptable to the people. This paper will discuss Marxism theories to establish how he anticipated nationalism and imperialism as well as the ideological views of the classical liberalism.

Imperialism theory

Imperialism theory is the formation of a disproportionate economic, cultural territorial rapport between countries (Fernandez-Armesto 15). This relationship is normally based on empire domination and subordination of other states (Fernandez-Armesto 11). Imperialism exploits the native people with the aim of enriching a few influential people in the political class. There are two types of imperialism, which are the regressive imperialism and the progressive imperialism.

The regressive imperialism is based on pure conquest where undesired people are removed from the territory (Fernandez-Armesto 16). In the case, the desired people are settled in the vacancies created by the mass eviction of the perceived adversaries. The progressive imperialism on the other hand is based on the cosmopolitan principle. In this case, individuals are not evicted but the living standards of the natives as well as their cultural practices are replaced by imperial civilization (Fernandez-Armesto 9).


A social class called the bourgeoisie characterizes the Marxist theory of imperialism. The term describes the scopes of social classes based on economic and materialistic possessions. Marxist philosophy describes bourgeoisies as the individuals who control and own the means of production and who are only concerned with the value of property and maintaining capital (Fernandez-Armesto 9).

They were the intermediaries between the peasants and the property owners and they controlled the money market. The bourgeoisie emerged as a political and social phenomenon during the period when Europe developed into commercially focused cities enhancing urban expansion (Fernandez-Armesto 9).

The bourgeoisie social class was seen as a progressive social class because of its support for a constitutional model of governance. This model replaced the traditional laws of privilege and the ultimate rule by divine right of the nobles.

Their support was influenced by the need to limit government involvement that was interfering with their rights and mostly their commercial rights. Ownership of property was also a problem that the bourgeoisie class attributed to federal interference which directly affected their ability to control the means of production.

This class of the wealthy controlled the economic elements in the society and consequently the industrial revolution in the 1750-1850 (Fernandez-Armesto 9). They controlled and influenced the business activities and all economic functions and they became very influential in the political directions taken by the governments. The formation of this class, which controlled the wealth of the entire community, formed the basis of Marxism theory of the minority wealthy individuals at the expense of the majority poor people.

Marxist theories of imperialism, the evolution of a concept

Marxism was based on materialistic interpretation of the historical political development and the view of social interactions in the 19th century (Fernandez-Armesto 12). Marxist interpretations have shaped quite a number of political ideologies in the past.

According to the Marxists, the means of production are the component of social interaction and social development primarily depends on them (Fernandez-Armesto 12). It is through the means of production that social phenomena such as social development, political and legal systems, ethical and moral obligations are formed (Fernandez-Armesto 19).

Marxists view capitalism as the imbalance between appropriations of the means of production where the small minority political class controls the largest share (Fernandez-Armesto 12). These minority private owners of the means of production are called the bourgeoisie.

These imbalances led to the social revolution as the conflict between the two antagonistic social classes intensified (Fernandez-Armesto 11). The conflict eventually resulted into a new system of ownership that was more inclusive compared to the imperial model. The people enforced through revolution the model of cumulatively owning the means of production termed as cooperative ownership.

Distribution of profits and benefits in cooperatives was based on personal contribution. Marx however theorized that as this new model of ownership advanced, there was a possibility that the society was taking a communist direction where the means of production will be under common ownership (Fernandez-Armesto 11). This meant that there will be no class and the society will be living in a principle of ‘from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs’ (Kinzer 14).

Dependency theory and World Systems theory

Dependency theory is a good interpretation of imperialism. In this theory, the wealthy states exploit resources from the poor resources. This enriches the former at the expense of the former creating a huge economic disparity (Kinzer 23). This theory explains why the rich and wealthy states continue to flourish while the poor states remain poor or even worse. This theory was developed in response to the modernization theory that argued that all states go through similar stages of development.

The developed countries argued that their responsibility in helping the underdeveloped world was in investments and technology transfer. The dependency theory disapproved this view arguing that the wealthy countries are not helping the undeveloped ones rather they are putting them in a defenseless position economically (Fernandez-Armesto 11).

The world system theory similarly is a modern imperialistic tactic. This theory divides the entire world into three worlds. They include the core countries, the semi-peripheral countries, and the peripheral countries (Kinzer 23).

The core states are the developed countries, which deals with the high skill capital-intensive production (Kinzer 20). The other two worlds are left with the low-skill labor-intensive production, which include the mining of raw resources (Kinzer 20). These two theories, which are based on Marxism theory, have contributed to making imperialism inevitable.


Marxism theory has defined and influenced most of the existing political philosophies all over the world. Maxim theories greatly foretold the inevitability of the imperial and capitalist models of governance which are still experienced today especially within the developing worlds. The view of the wealthy dominating the poor as well as wealthy nations enforcing their culture and civilization of the poorest countries is a good example of progressive imperialism which is evident to date.

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