Socialism and Communism after Marx Research Paper

September 21, 2021 by Essay Writer


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.

Works Cited

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.

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