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Marxism is a method of
socioeconomic Socioeconomics (also known as social economics) is the social science that studies how economic activity affects and is shaped by social processes. In general it analyzes how modern society, societies social progress, progress, economic stagnation ...
analysis that uses a
materialist Materialism is a form of philosophical monism which holds matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. All everyday objects that can be touched are ultimatel ...
interpretation of historical development, better known as
historical materialism Historical materialism is a Historical method, methodology to understand human societies and their development throughout history, arguing that historical changes in social structure are ultimately driven by the struggles and conflicts unleashe ...
, to understand
class Class or The Class may refer to: Common uses not otherwise categorized * Class (biology), a taxonomic rank * Class (knowledge representation), a collection of individuals or objects * Class (philosophy), an analytical concept used differently f ...
relations and
social conflict Social conflict is the struggle for agency or power Power typically refers to: * Power (physics) In physics, power is the amount of energy transferred or converted per unit time. In the International System of Units, the unit of power is the ...
as well as a
dialectic Dialectic or dialectics ( grc-gre, διαλεκτική, ''dialektikḗ''; related to dialogue Dialogue (sometimes spelled dialog in American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States Engli ...
al perspective to view
social transformation Social transformation is a somewhat ambiguous term that has two broad definitions. One definition of social transformation is the process by which an individual ''alters'' the socially ascribed social status of their parents into a socially achieve ...
. It originates from the works of 19th-century German philosophers
Karl Marx Karl Heinrich Marx (; 5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) was a German philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, M ...

Karl Marx
and
Friedrich Engels Friedrich Engels ( ,"Engels"
''Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary''.
. As Marxism has developed over time into various branches and
schools of thought A school of thought, or intellectual tradition, is the perspective of a group of people who share common characteristics of opinion or outlook of a philosophy, List of academic disciplines, discipline, belief, social movement, Schools of economic ...
, currently no single, definitive
Marxist theory Marxist philosophy or Marxist theory are works in philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence Existence is the ability of an entity to interact with physical reality ...
exists. Some
Marxist schools of thought Marxism Marxism is a method of socioeconomic analysis that uses a materialist interpretation of historical development, better known as historical materialism, to understand Social class, class relations and social conflict as well as a dial ...
place greater emphasis on certain aspects of
classical Marxism Classical Marxism refers to the economic, philosophical and sociological theories expounded by Karl Marx Karl Heinrich Marx (; 5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) was a German philosopher, economist, historian, sociologist, political theorist, j ...
while rejecting or modifying other aspects. Some schools have sought to combine Marxian concepts and non-Marxian concepts which has then led to widely varying conclusions. Marxism has had a profound impact on global academia, having influenced many fields, including
anthropology Anthropology is the of ity, concerned with , , , and , in both the present and past, including . studies patterns of behaviour, while studies cultural meaning, including norms and values. studies how language influences social life. studi ...
,
archaeology Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis Analysis is the process of breaking a complexity, complex topic or Substance theory, substance into smaller parts in order to gain a better underst ...
,
art theory Aesthetics, or esthetics (), is a branch of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of ...
,
criminology Criminology (from Latin , "accusation", and Ancient Greek , ''-logia'', from λόγος ''logos'' meaning: "word, reason") is the study of crime and Deviance (sociology), deviant behaviour. Criminology is an interdisciplinary field in both t ...
,
cultural studies #REDIRECT Cultural studies#REDIRECT Cultural studies Cultural studies is a field of theoretically, politically, and empirically engaged cultural analysis that concentrates upon the political dynamics of contemporary culture, its historical founda ...
,
economics Economics () is a social science Social science is the branch A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a bran ...
,
education Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, value (ethics), values, morals, beliefs, habits, and personal development. Educational methods include teaching, training, storytelling, discussion ...

education
,
ethics Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy that "involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong action (philosophy), behavior".''Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy'"Ethics"/ref> The field of ethics, al ...
,
film theory Film theory is a set of scholarly approaches within the academic An academy (Attic Greek: Ἀκαδήμεια; Koine Greek Ἀκαδημία) is an institution of secondary education, secondary or tertiary education, tertiary higher education, hi ...
,
geography Geography (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10. ...
,
historiography Historiography is the study of the methods of historians in developing history as an academic discipline, and by extension is any body of historical work on a particular subject. The historiography of a specific topic covers how historians hav ...
,
literary criticism Literary criticism (or literary studies) is the study, evaluation, and interpretation of literature. Modern literary criticism is often influenced by literary theory, which is the philosophical analysis, philosophical discussion of literature ...
,
media studies Media studies is a discipline and field of study that deals with the content, history, and effects of various media; in particular, the mass media Mass media refers to a diverse array of media (communication), media technology, technologies ...
,
philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphysics, existence, reason, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, and Philosophy of language, language. Such questio ...
,
political science Political science is the scientific study of politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations between individuals, such as the distribution of ...
,
psychology Psychology is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is an occurrence in the real world. ...
,
science studies Science studies is an interdisciplinarity, interdisciplinary research area that seeks to situate scientific expertise in broad social, historical, and philosophical contexts. It uses various methods to analyze the production, representation and ...
,
sociology Sociology is a social science Social science is the branch The branches and leaves of a tree. A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the scie ...
,
urban planning Urban planning, also known as regional planning, town planning, city planning, or rural planning, is a technical and political process that is focused on the development and design A design is a plan or specification for the construction o ...
, and
theater Theatre or theater is a collaborative form of performing art The performing arts are arts such as music, dance, and drama which are performed for an audience. It is different from visual arts The visual arts are art forms such as pain ...

theater
.


Overview

Marxism seeks to explain
social phenomenaSocial phenomena or social phenomenon (singular) are any behaviours, actions, or events that takes place because of social influenceSocial influence comprises the ways in which individuals change their behavior to meet the demands of a social environ ...
within any given society by analyzing the material conditions and
economic activities Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with value; in particular, the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), distribution, and Consumption (economics), consumption of goods and services. ...

economic activities
required to fulfill human material needs. It assumes that the form of economic organization, or
mode of production In the writings of Karl Marx Karl Heinrich Marx (; 5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) was a German philosopher, economist, historian, sociologist, political theorist, journalist and socialist revolutionary. Born in Trier, German Confederation, ...
, influences all other social phenomena including wider social relations, political institutions, legal systems, cultural systems, aesthetics and ideologies. These social relations, together with the economic system, form a
base and superstructure In Marxist theory, society A society is a Social group, group of individuals involved in persistent Social relation, social interaction, or a large social group sharing the same spatial or social territory, typically subject to the same P ...
. As
forces of production Productive forces, productive powers, or forces of production ( German: ''Produktivkräfte'') is a central idea in Marxism and historical materialism. In Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels' own critique of political economy, it refers to the comb ...
(i.e.
technology Technology ("science of craft", from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. I ...

technology
) improve, existing forms of organizing production become obsolete and hinder further progress.
Karl Marx Karl Heinrich Marx (; 5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) was a German philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, M ...

Karl Marx
wrote: "At a certain stage of development, the material productive forces of society come into conflict with the existing relations of production or—this merely expresses the same thing in legal terms—with the property relations within the framework of which they have operated hitherto. From forms of development of the productive forces these relations turn into their fetters. Then begins an era of
social revolution Social revolutions are sudden changes in the Social structure, structure and nature of society. These revolutions are usually recognized as having transformed society, economy, culture, philosophy, and technology along with but more than just t ...

social revolution
." These inefficiencies manifest themselves as social contradictions in society which are, in turn, fought out at the level of
class struggle Class conflict, also referred to as class struggle and class warfare, is the political tension and economic antagonism that exists in society A society is a Social group, group of individuals involved in persistent Social relation, socia ...
.Gregory, Paul R., and Robert C. Stuart. 2003. "Marx's Theory of Change." In ''Comparing Economic Systems in the Twenty-First Century'' (7th ed.). . p. 62. Under the capitalist mode of production, this struggle materializes between the minority who own the
means of production The means of production is a concept that encompasses the social use and ownership Ownership is the state or fact of exclusive right In Anglo-Saxon law Anglo-Saxon law (Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest record ...
(the
bourgeoisie Bourgeoisie (; ) is a polysemous Polysemy ( or ; from grc-gre, πολύ-, , "many" and , , "sign") is the capacity for a word or phrase to have multiple meanings, usually related by contiguity of meaning within a semantic fieldIn linguisti ...

bourgeoisie
) and the vast majority of the population who produce goods and services (the
proletariat The proletariat (; ) is the social class of wage labor, wage-earners, those members of a society whose only possession of significant economic value is their labour power (their capacity to work). A member of such a class is a proletarian. Marx ...

proletariat
). Starting with the conjectural premise that
social change Social change involves alteration of the social order The term social order can be used in two senses: In the first sense, it refers to a particular system of social structures and institution Institutions, according to Samuel P. Huntingt ...
occurs as result of the struggle between different
classes Class or The Class may refer to: Common uses not otherwise categorized * Class (biology), a taxonomic rank * Class (knowledge representation), a collection of individuals or objects * Class (philosophy), an analytical concept used differently f ...
within society who contradict one another, a Marxist would conclude that
capitalism Capitalism is an economic system An economic system, or economic order, is a system A system is a group of interacting Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea o ...

capitalism
exploits and oppresses the proletariat, therefore capitalism will inevitably lead to a
proletarian revolution A proletarian revolution is a social revolution in which the working class attempts to overthrow the bourgeoisie. Proletarian revolutions are generally advocated by Socialism, socialists, Communism, communists and Anarchism, anarchists. The co ...
. In a
socialist Socialism is a political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions In psychology, decision-making (also spelled decision making and decisionmaking) is regarded as the Cognition, cognitive pr ...

socialist
society,
private property Private property is a legal designation for the ownership of property by non-governmental legal entities. Private property is distinguishable from public property Public property is property Property (''latin: Res Privata'') in the Abstract ...
—as the means of production—would be replaced by
co-operative A cooperative (also known as co-operative, co-op, or coop) is "an autonomous The federal subject The federal subjects of Russia, also referred to as the subjects of the Russian Federation (russian: субъекты Российск ...
ownership. A
socialist economy Socialist economics comprises the economic theories, practices and norms of hypothetical and existing socialist economic systems. A socialist economic system is characterized by social ownership and operation of the means of production that may t ...
would not base production on the creation of private profits, but on the criteria of satisfying human needs—that is,
production for use Production for use is a phrase referring to the principle of economic organization and production taken as a defining criterion for a Socialism, socialist economy. It is held in contrast to production for profit. This criterion is used to distinguis ...
.
Friedrich Engels Friedrich Engels ( ,"Engels"
''Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary''.
explained that "the capitalist mode of appropriation, in which the product enslaves first the producer, and then the appropriator, is replaced by the mode of appropriation of the products that is based upon the nature of the modern means of production; upon the one hand, direct social appropriation, as means to the maintenance and extension of production — on the other, direct individual appropriation, as means of subsistence and of enjoyment."
Marxian economics Marxian economics, or the Marxian school of economics, is a heterodox In religion, heterodoxy (from Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world f ...
and its proponents view capitalism as economically unsustainable and incapable of improving the
living standards Standard of living is the level of income, comforts and services available, generally applied to a society or location, rather than to an individual. Standard of living is relevant because it is considered to contribute to an individual's quality ...
of the population due to its need to compensate for
falling rate of profit The tendency of the rate of profit to fall (TRPF) is a hypothesis in the crisis theory of political economy, according to which the rate of profit—the ratio of the profit to the amount of invested Capital (economics), capital—decreases over ti ...
by cutting employees' wages and
social benefits Welfare is a type of government support intended to ensure that members of a society can meet basic human needs such as food and shelter. Social security may either be synonymous with welfare, or refer specifically to ''social insurance'' pro ...
while pursuing military aggression. The
socialist mode of production The socialist mode of production, also referred to as the communist mode of production, the lower-stage of communismMarx, Karl (1875) ''Critique of the Gotha Program The ''Critique of the Gotha Programme'' (german: Kritik des Gothaer Programms) ...
would succeed
capitalism Capitalism is an economic system An economic system, or economic order, is a system A system is a group of interacting Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea o ...
as humanity's
mode of production In the writings of Karl Marx Karl Heinrich Marx (; 5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) was a German philosopher, economist, historian, sociologist, political theorist, journalist and socialist revolutionary. Born in Trier, German Confederation, ...
through
revolution In political science Political science is the scientific study of politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations between individuals, suc ...

revolution
by workers. According to Marxian
crisis theory Crisis theory, concerning the causes and consequences of the tendency for the rate of profit to fall in a capitalist system, is associated with Marxian critique of political economy, and was further popularised through Marxian economics, Marxi ...
, socialism is not an inevitability but an economic necessity.


Etymology

The term ''Marxism'' was popularized by
Karl Kautsky Karl Johann Kautsky (; ; 16 October 1854 – 17 October 1938) was a Czech-Austrian philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term ''philosopher'' comes from the grc, φιλόσοφος, , translit=philosophos, meaning ...
, who considered himself an '' orthodox Marxist'' during the dispute between the orthodox and '' revisionist'' followers of Marx. Haupt, Georges, Peter Fawcett, and
Eric Hobsbawm Eric John Ernest Hobsbawm (; 9 June 1917 – 1 October 2012) was a British historian of the rise of industrial capitalism Capitalism is an economic system based on the private ownership Private property is a legal designation for ...

Eric Hobsbawm
. 2010. ''Aspects of International Socialism, 1871–1914: Essays by Georges Haupt'' (paperback ed.). Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press Cambridge University Press (CUP) is the publishing business of the University of Cambridge , mottoeng = Literal: From here, light and sacred draughts. Non literal: From this place, we gain enlightenment and precious knowled ...
.
Kautsky's revisionist rival
Eduard Bernstein Eduard Bernstein (; 6 January 1850 – 18 December 1932) was a German social democratic Social democracy is a political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social ...

Eduard Bernstein
also later adopted use of the term. Engels did not support the use of the term ''Marxism'' to describe either Marx's or his own views. He claimed that the term was being abusively used as a rhetorical qualifier by those attempting to cast themselves as real followers of Marx while casting others in different terms such as '' Lassallians''. In 1882, Engels claimed that Marx had criticized self-proclaimed Marxist
Paul Lafargue Paul Lafargue (; 15 January 1842 – 25 November 1911) was a Cuban Cuban may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Cuba, a country in the Caribbean * Cubans, people from Cuba, or of Cuban descent ** Cuban exile, a person who left Cu ...
by saying that if Lafargue's views were considered Marxist, then "one thing is certain and that is that I am not a Marxist."


Historical materialism

Marxism uses a
materialist Materialism is a form of philosophical monism which holds matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. All everyday objects that can be touched are ultimatel ...
methodology, referred to by Marx and Engels as the materialist conception of history and later better known as historical materialism, to analyse the underlying causes of societal development and change from the perspective of the collective ways in which humans make their living. Marx's account of the theory is in ''
The German Ideology ''The German Ideology'' (German: ''Die deutsche Ideologie'') is a set of manuscripts written by Karl Marx Karl Heinrich Marx (; 5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) was a German philosopher, economist, historian, sociologist, political theorist, j ...
'' (1845) and in the preface ''
A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy ''A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy'' (german: Zur Kritik der Politischen Ökonomie) is a book by Karl Marx, first published in 1859. The book is mainly an analysis of capitalism Capitalism is an economic system based on t ...
'' (1859). All constituent features of a society (
social class A social class is a set of concepts in the social sciences Social science is the Branches of science, branch of science devoted to the study of society, societies and the Social relation, relationships among individuals within those soc ...
es, political pyramid and
ideologies An ideology () is a set of belief A belief is an attitude Attitude may refer to: Philosophy and psychology * Attitude (psychology) In psychology Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of co ...
) are assumed to stem from economic activity, forming what is considered as the
base and superstructure In Marxist theory, society A society is a Social group, group of individuals involved in persistent Social relation, social interaction, or a large social group sharing the same spatial or social territory, typically subject to the same P ...
. The base and superstructure metaphor describes the totality of social relations by which humans produce and re-produce their social existence. According to Marx, the "sum total of the forces of production accessible to men determines the condition of society" and forms a society's economic base. The base includes the material
forces of production Productive forces, productive powers, or forces of production ( German: ''Produktivkräfte'') is a central idea in Marxism and historical materialism. In Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels' own critique of political economy, it refers to the comb ...
such as the
labour Labour or labor may refer to: * Childbirth Childbirth, also known as labour or delivery, is the ending of pregnancy where one or more babies leaves the uterus by passing through the vagina or by Caesarean section. In 2015, there were about 13 ...
,
means of production The means of production is a concept that encompasses the social use and ownership Ownership is the state or fact of exclusive right In Anglo-Saxon law Anglo-Saxon law (Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest record ...
and
relations of production Relations of production (german: Produktionsverhältnisse, links=no) is a concept frequently used by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in their theory of historical materialism and in '' Das Kapital''. It is first explicitly used in Marx's publi ...
, i.e. the social and political arrangements that regulate production and distribution. From this base rises a superstructure of legal and political "forms of
social consciousness Social consciousness is consciousness shared by individuals within a society.dominant ideology In Marxist philosophy Marxist philosophy or Marxist theory are works in philosophy that are strongly influenced by Karl Marx's Historical materialism, materialist approach to theory, or works written by Marxists. Marxist philosophy may be broadly ...
of a society. Conflicts between the development of material productive forces and the relations of production provokes
social revolution Social revolutions are sudden changes in the Social structure, structure and nature of society. These revolutions are usually recognized as having transformed society, economy, culture, philosophy, and technology along with but more than just t ...

social revolution
s, whereby changes to the economic base leads to the
social transformation Social transformation is a somewhat ambiguous term that has two broad definitions. One definition of social transformation is the process by which an individual ''alters'' the socially ascribed social status of their parents into a socially achieve ...
of the superstructure. This relationship is reflexive, in that the base initially gives rise to the superstructure and remains the foundation of a form of
social organization In sociology Sociology is a social science Social science is the Branches of science, branch of science devoted to the study of society, societies and the Social relation, relationships among individuals within those societies. The te ...
. Those newly formed social organizations can then act again upon both parts of the base and superstructure so that rather than being static, the relationship is
dialectic Dialectic or dialectics ( grc-gre, διαλεκτική, ''dialektikḗ''; related to dialogue Dialogue (sometimes spelled dialog in American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States Engli ...
, expressed and driven by conflicts and contradictions. Engels clarified: "The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.
Freeman Freeman, free men, or variant, may refer to: * a member of the Third Estate in medieval society (commoners), see estates of the realm * Freeman, an apprentice who has been granted freedom of the company, was a rank within Livery companies * Freema ...
and
slave Slavery and enslavement are both the state and the condition of being a slave, who is someone forbidden to quit their service for an enslaver, and who is treated by the enslaver as their property Property is a system of rights that gives ...
,
patrician Patrician may refer to: * Patrician (ancient Rome), the original aristocratic families of ancient Rome, and a synonym for "aristocratic" in modern English usage * Patrician (post-Roman Europe), the governing elites of cities in parts of medieval a ...
and
plebeian In ancient Rome, the plebeians (also called plebs) were the general body of free Roman citizenship, Roman citizens who were not Patrician (ancient Rome), patricians, as determined by the capite censi, census, or in other words "commoners". Both ...
,
lord Lord is an appellation for a person or deity who has authority, control, or power (social and political), power over others, acting as a master, a chief, or a ruler. The appellation can also denote certain persons who hold a title of the Peera ...
and
serf Serfdom was the status of many peasant A peasant is a pre-industrial farmhand, agricultural laborer or a farmer with limited land-ownership, especially one living in the Middle Ages under feudalism and tenant farmer, paying rent, tax, fee ...
,
guild A guild is an association of artisan Wood carver in Bali An artisan (from french: artisan, it, artigiano) is a skilled craft worker who makes or creates material objects partly or entirely by hand. These objects may be functiona ...
-master and
journeyman A journeyman is a worker, skilled in a given building trade or craft A craft or trade is a pastime or an occupation that requires particular skills and knowledge of skilled work. In a historical sense, particularly the Middle Ages ...

journeyman
, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended, either in a revolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes." Marx considered recurring class conflicts as the driving force of human history as such conflicts have manifested themselves as distinct transitional stages of development in
Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical r ...

Western Europe
. Accordingly, Marx designated human history as encompassing four stages of development in relations of production: #
Primitive communism Primitive communism is a way of describing the gift economies of hunter-gatherers throughout history, where resources and property hunted and gathered are shared with all members of a group, in accordance with individual needs. In political socio ...
: co-operative
tribal The term tribe is used in many different contexts to refer to a category of human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and intellig ...

tribal
societies. # Slave society: development of tribal to
city-state A city-state is an independent sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The word is borrowed from Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance la ...
in which
aristocracy Aristocracy ( grc-gre, ἀριστοκρατία , from 'excellent', and , 'rule') is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Ar ...
is born. #
Feudalism Feudalism, also known as the feudal system, was the combination of the legal, economic, military, and cultural customs that flourished in Medieval Europe In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the disc ...
: aristocrats are the
ruling class In sociology, the ruling class of a society is the social class A social class is a set of concepts in the social sciences and political theory Political philosophy is the philosophical study of government A government is the ...
while
merchant A merchant is a person who trades in commodities In economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with value; in particular, the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), distributi ...

merchant
s evolve into the
bourgeoisie Bourgeoisie (; ) is a polysemous Polysemy ( or ; from grc-gre, πολύ-, , "many" and , , "sign") is the capacity for a word or phrase to have multiple meanings, usually related by contiguity of meaning within a semantic fieldIn linguisti ...

bourgeoisie
. #
Capitalism Capitalism is an economic system An economic system, or economic order, is a system A system is a group of interacting Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea o ...

Capitalism
: capitalists are the ruling class, who create and employ the
proletariat The proletariat (; ) is the social class of wage labor, wage-earners, those members of a society whose only possession of significant economic value is their labour power (their capacity to work). A member of such a class is a proletarian. Marx ...

proletariat
. While historical materialism has been referred to as a materialist theory of history, Marx did not claim to have produced a master-key to history and that the materialist conception of history is not "an historico-philosophic theory of the ''marche générale'', imposed by fate upon every people, whatever the historic circumstances in which it finds itself." In a letter to editor of the Russian newspaper paper ''Otetchestvennye Zapiskym'' (1877), he explained that his ideas are based upon a concrete study of the actual conditions in Europe.


Criticism of capitalism

According to the Marxist theoretician and revolutionary socialist
Vladimir Lenin Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov. ( 1870 – 21 January 1924), better known by his alias Lenin,. was a Russian revolutionary, politician, and political theorist. He served as the first and founding head of government The head of government is e ...

Vladimir Lenin
, "the principal content of Marxism" was "Marx's economic doctrine." Marx believed that the capitalist
bourgeoisie Bourgeoisie (; ) is a polysemous Polysemy ( or ; from grc-gre, πολύ-, , "many" and , , "sign") is the capacity for a word or phrase to have multiple meanings, usually related by contiguity of meaning within a semantic fieldIn linguisti ...

bourgeoisie
and their economists were promoting what he saw as the lie that "the interests of the capitalist and of the worker are ... one and the same." He believed that they did this by purporting the concept that "the fastest possible growth of productive
capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller lowercase (or more formally ''minusc ...
" was best not only for the wealthy capitalists but also for the workers because it provided them with employment.
Exploitation Exploitation may refer to: *Exploitation of natural resources *Exploitation of labour *Exploitation fiction *Exploitation film *Exploitation (film), ''Exploitation'' (film), a 2012 film *Sexual slavery and other forms of slavery *Oppression See al ...
is a matter of
surplus labour Surplus labour (German: ''Mehrarbeit'') is a concept used by Karl Marx Karl Heinrich Marx (; 5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) was a German philosopher, economist, historian, sociologist, political theorist, journalist and socialist revolutionar ...
—the amount of labour performed beyond what is received in goods. Exploitation has been a
socioeconomic Socioeconomics (also known as social economics) is the social science that studies how economic activity affects and is shaped by social processes. In general it analyzes how modern society, societies social progress, progress, economic stagnation ...
feature of every
class society Class society or class-based society is an organizing principle society in which ownership of property, means of production, and wealth is the determining factor of the distribution of power, in which those with more property and wealth are strat ...
and is one of the principal features distinguishing the social classes. The power of one social class to control the
means of production The means of production is a concept that encompasses the social use and ownership Ownership is the state or fact of exclusive right In Anglo-Saxon law Anglo-Saxon law (Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest record ...
enables its exploitation of other classes. Under capitalism, the
labour theory of value The labor theory of value (LTV) is a theory of value that argues that the economic value In economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with value; in particular, the Production (economics), produc ...
is the operative concern, whereby the
value Value or values may refer to: * Value (ethics) In ethics Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphysics, existence, reason, E ...
of a
commodity In economics Economics () is a social science Social science is the branch A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plan ...
equals the socially necessary labour time required to produce it. Under such condition,
surplus value In Marxian economics Marxian economics, or the Marxian school of economics, is a Heterodox economics, heterodox school of political economic thought. Its foundations can be traced back to Karl Marx, Karl Marx's Critique of political economy#M ...
—the difference between the value produced and the value received by a labourer—is synonymous with the term ''surplus labour'' and capitalist exploitation is thus realised as deriving surplus value from the worker. In pre-capitalist economies, exploitation of the worker was achieved via physical
coercion Coercion () is compelling a party to act in an involuntary manner by use of threat A threat is a communication of intent to inflict harm or loss on another person. Intimidation is widely observed in animal behavior (particularly in a ritualiz ...
. Under the capitalist mode of production, those results are more subtly achieved because workers do not own the means of production and must "voluntarily" enter into an exploitive work relationship with a capitalist in order to earn the necessities of life. The worker's entry into such employment is voluntary in that they choose which capitalist to work for. However, the worker must work or starve, thus exploitation is inevitable and the voluntary nature of a worker participating in a capitalist society is illusory; it is production, not circulation, that causes exploitation. Marx emphasised that capitalism ''per se'' does not cheat the worker. Alienation (German: ''Entfremdung'') is the estrangement of people from their humanity, and a systematic result of capitalism. Under capitalism, the fruits of production belong to employers, who expropriate the surplus created by others and so generate alienated labourers. In Marx's view, alienation is an objective characterization of the worker's situation in capitalism—his or her self-awareness of this condition is not prerequisite.


Social classes

Marx distinguishes social classes on the basis of two criteria, i.e. ownership of means of production and control over the
labour power Labour power (in german: Arbeitskraft; in french: force de travail) is a key concept used by Karl Marx Karl Heinrich Marx (; 5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) was a German philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy ...
of others. Following this criterion of class based on property relations, Marx identified the
social stratification Social stratification refers to a society's categorization Categorization is the ability and activity to recognize shared features or similarities between the elements of the experience of the world (such as Object (philosophy), objects, ev ...
of the capitalist mode of production with the following social groups: *
Proletariat The proletariat (; ) is the social class of wage labor, wage-earners, those members of a society whose only possession of significant economic value is their labour power (their capacity to work). A member of such a class is a proletarian. Marx ...

Proletariat
: " e class of modern
wage labour Wage labour (also wage labor in American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. Curren ...

wage labour
ers who, having no means of production of their own, are reduced to selling their labour power in order to live." The capitalist mode of production establishes the conditions that enable the bourgeoisie to
exploit Exploit means to take advantage of something (a person, situation, etc.) for one's own end, especially unethically or unjustifiably. Exploit can mean: *Exploitation of natural resources The exploitation of natural resources is the use of natural ...
the proletariat as the worker's labour generates a
surplus value In Marxian economics Marxian economics, or the Marxian school of economics, is a Heterodox economics, heterodox school of political economic thought. Its foundations can be traced back to Karl Marx, Karl Marx's Critique of political economy#M ...
greater than the worker's
wage A wage is the distribution from an employer of a ''security'' (expected return or profits derived solely from others) paid to an employee. Like interest is paid out to an investor on his investments, a wage is paid (from company earnings) to t ...
. **
Lumpenproletariat ''Lumpenproletariat'' () refers – primarily in Marxist theory – to the underclass devoid of class consciousness. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels coined the word in the 1840s and used it to refer to the unthinking lower strata of society exp ...
: the outcasts of society, such as the criminals, vagabonds,
beggars Begging (also panhandling) is the practice of imploring others to grant a favor, often a gift of money, with little or no expectation of reciprocation. A person doing such is called a beggar or panhandler. Beggars may operate in public places s ...

beggars
, or
prostitutes Prostitution is the business or practice of engaging in sexual activity in exchange for payment. Prostitution is sometimes described as sexual services, commercial sex or, colloquially, hooking. It is sometimes referred to euphemistically ...
, without any
political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations between individuals, such as the distribution of res ...
or
class consciousness In political theory Political philosophy is the philosophical study of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polity), state. In the case of its broad associ ...
. Having no interest in national, let alone
international International is an adjective (also used as a noun) meaning "between nations". International may also refer to: Music Albums * ''International'' (Kevin Michael album), 2011 * ''International'' (New Order album), 2002 * ''International'' (The Th ...
, economic affairs, Marx claimed that this specific sub-division of the proletariat would play no part in the eventual social revolution. * Bourgeoisie: those who "own the means of production" and buy labour power from the proletariat, thus exploiting the proletariat. They subdivide as bourgeoisie and the petite bourgeoisie. **
Petite bourgeoisie ''Petite bourgeoisie'' (, literally small bourgeoisie), also ''petty bourgeoisie'', is a French term (sometimes derogatory) referring to a social class A social class is a set of concepts in the social sciences and political theory Polit ...
: those who work and can afford to buy little labour power (i.e. small business owners,
peasant A peasant is a pre-industrial Pre-industrial society refers to social attributes and forms of political and cultural organization that were prevalent before the advent of the Industrial Revolution The Industrial Revolution was the tra ...
s
landlord A landlord is the owner of a house A house is a single-unit residential building A building, or edifice, is a structure with a roof and walls standing more or less permanently in one place, such as a house or factory. Buildings come in a ...
s and trade workers). Marxism predicts that the continual reinvention of the means of production eventually would destroy the petite bourgeoisie, degrading them from the
middle class The middle class is a class Class or The Class may refer to: Common uses not otherwise categorized * Class (biology), a taxonomic rank * Class (knowledge representation), a collection of individuals or objects * Class (philosophy), an an ...
to the proletariat. *
Landlords A landlord is the owner of a house A house is a single-unit residential building, which may range in complexity from a rudimentary hut to a complex structure of wood, masonry, concrete or other material, outfitted with plumbing, electrical, ...
: a historically important social class who retain some wealth and power. *
Peasantry A peasant is a pre-industrial Pre-industrial society refers to social attributes and forms of political and cultural organization that were prevalent before the advent of the Industrial Revolution The Industrial Revolution was the tra ...
and farmers: a scattered class incapable of organizing and effecting
socio-economic Socioeconomics (also known as social economics) is the social science that studies how economic activity affects and is shaped by social processes. In general it analyzes how modern society, societies social progress, progress, economic stagnation ...
change, most of whom would enter the proletariat while some would become landlords. Class consciousness denotes the awareness—of itself and the social world—that a social class possesses as well as its capacity to rationally act in their best interests. Class consciousness is required before a social class can effect a successful revolution and thus the
dictatorship of the proletariat In Marxist philosophy Marxist philosophy or Marxist theory are works in philosophy that are strongly influenced by Karl Marx's Historical materialism, materialist approach to theory, or works written by Marxists. Marxist philosophy may be broadly ...
. Without defining ''
ideology An ideology () is a set of belief A belief is an attitude Attitude may refer to: Philosophy and psychology * Attitude (psychology) In psychology Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of ...
'', Marx used the term to describe the production of images of social reality. According to Engels, "ideology is a process accomplished by the so-called thinker consciously, it is true, but with a false consciousness. The real motive forces impelling him remain unknown to him; otherwise it simply would not be an ideological process. Hence he imagines false or seeming motive forces." Because the ruling class controls the society's means of production, the superstructure of society (i.e. the ruling social ideas), are determined by the best interests of the ruling class. In ''
The German Ideology ''The German Ideology'' (German: ''Die deutsche Ideologie'') is a set of manuscripts written by Karl Marx Karl Heinrich Marx (; 5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) was a German philosopher, economist, historian, sociologist, political theorist, j ...
'', Marx says that " e ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas, i.e. the class which is the ruling material force of society, is, at the same time, its ruling intellectual force." The term ''
political economy Political economy is the study of production Production may be: Economics and business * Production (economics) * Production, the act of manufacturing goods * Production, in the outline of industrial organization, the act of making products (g ...
'' initially referred to the study of the material conditions of economic production in the capitalist system. In Marxism, political economy is the study of the means of production, specifically of capital and how that manifests as economic activity. This new way of thinking was invented because
socialists Socialism is a political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions In psychology, decision-making (also spelled decision making and decisionmaking) is regarded as the Cognition, cognitive pr ...
believed that
common ownership Common ownership refers to holding the assets of an organization, enterprise Enterprise (or the archaic spelling Enterprize) may refer to: Business and economics Brands and enterprises * Enterprise GP Holdings Enterprise GP Holdings ...
of the means of production (i.e. the industries, land, wealth of nature, trade apparatus and wealth of the society) would abolish the exploitative working conditions experienced under capitalism. Through working class revolution, the
state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, Un ...
(which Marxists saw as a weapon for the subjugation of one class by another) is seized and used to suppress the hitherto ruling class of capitalists and (by implementing a commonly owned, democratically controlled workplace) create the society of
communism Communism (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Repu ...

communism
which Marxists see as true democracy. An economy based on co-operation on human need and social betterment, rather than competition for profit of many independently acting profit seekers, would also be the end of class society, which Marx saw as the fundamental division of all hitherto existing history. Marx saw work, the effort by humans to transform the environment for their needs, as a fundamental feature of human kind.
Capitalism Capitalism is an economic system An economic system, or economic order, is a system A system is a group of interacting Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea o ...

Capitalism
, in which the product of the worker's labour is taken from them and sold at market rather than being part of the worker's life, is therefore alienating to the worker. Additionally, the worker is compelled by various means (some nicer than others) to work harder, faster and for longer hours. While this is happening, the employer is constantly trying to save on labour costs by paying the workers less and figuring out how to use cheaper equipment. This allows the employer to extract the largest amount of work and therefore potential wealth from their workers. The fundamental nature of capitalist society is no different from that of slave society, in that one small group of society exploits the larger group. Through
common ownership Common ownership refers to holding the assets of an organization, enterprise Enterprise (or the archaic spelling Enterprize) may refer to: Business and economics Brands and enterprises * Enterprise GP Holdings Enterprise GP Holdings ...
of the means of production, the
profit motive In economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with value; in particular, the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), distribution, and Consumption (economics), consumption of goods a ...
is eliminated and the motive of furthering human flourishing is introduced. Because the surplus produced by the workers is the property of the society as a whole, there are no classes of producers and appropriators. Additionally, as the state has its origins in the bands of retainers hired by the first ruling classes to protect their economic privilege, it will wither away as its conditions of existence have disappeared.Kurian, George Thomas. 2011. "Withering Away of the State." P. 1776 in ''The Encyclopedia of Political Science''. Washington, DC:
CQ Press CQ Press, a division of '' SAGE Publishing,'' publishes books, directories, periodicals, and electronic products on American government and politics, with an expanding list in international affairs and journalism and mass communication. History ...
. .


Communism, revolution and socialism

According to ''The Oxford Handbook of Karl Marx'', "Marx used many terms to refer to a post-capitalist society—positive humanism, socialism, Communism, realm of free individuality, free association of producers, etc. He used these terms completely interchangeably. The notion that 'socialism' and 'Communism' are distinct historical stages is alien to his work and only entered the lexicon of Marxism after his death." According to orthodox Marxist theory, the overthrow of
capitalism Capitalism is an economic system An economic system, or economic order, is a system A system is a group of interacting Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea o ...

capitalism
by a
socialist revolution Revolutionary socialism is a political philosophy Political philosophy or political theory is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, existence, knowle ...
in contemporary society is inevitable. While the inevitability of an eventual socialist revolution is a controversial debate among many different Marxist schools of thought, all Marxists believe socialism is a necessity. Marxists argue that a
socialist Socialism is a political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions In psychology, decision-making (also spelled decision making and decisionmaking) is regarded as the Cognition, cognitive pr ...

socialist
society is far better for the majority of the populace than its capitalist counterpart. Prior to the
Russian Revolution The Russian Revolution was a period of political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relatio ...

Russian Revolution
,
Vladimir Lenin Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov. ( 1870 – 21 January 1924), better known by his alias Lenin,. was a Russian revolutionary, politician, and political theorist. He served as the first and founding head of government The head of government is e ...

Vladimir Lenin
wrote: "The socialization of production is bound to lead to the conversion of the means of production into the property of society. ... This conversion will directly result in an immense increase in productivity of labour, a reduction of working hours, and the replacement of the remnants, the ruins of small-scale, primitive, disunited production by collective and improved labour." The failure of the
1905 Russian Revolution The Russian Revolution of 1905,. also known as the First Russian Revolution,. was a wave of mass political and social unrest that spread through vast areas of the Russian Empire The Russian Empire, . commonly referred to as Imperial Russia, wa ...
, along with the failure of socialist movements to resist the outbreak of
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
, led to renewed theoretical effort and valuable contributions from Lenin and
Rosa Luxemburg Rosa Luxemburg (; pl, Róża Luksemburg; also ''Rozalia Luksenburg''; 5 March 1871 – 15 January 1919) was a Polish Marxism, Marxist, Philosophy, philosopher, economist, Anti-war movement, anti-war activist and Revolutionary socialism, revolut ...

Rosa Luxemburg
towards an appreciation of Marx's
crisis theory Crisis theory, concerning the causes and consequences of the tendency for the rate of profit to fall in a capitalist system, is associated with Marxian critique of political economy, and was further popularised through Marxian economics, Marxi ...
and efforts to formulate a
theory of imperialism The theory of imperialism refers to a range of theoretical approaches to understanding the expansion of capitalism Capitalism is an economic system An economic system, or economic order, is a system of Production (economics), productio ...
.


Schools of thought


Classical

Classical Marxism denotes the collection of socio-eco-political theories expounded by
Karl Marx Karl Heinrich Marx (; 5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) was a German philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, M ...

Karl Marx
and
Friedrich Engels Friedrich Engels ( ,"Engels"
''Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary''.
. As
Ernest Mandel Ernest Ezra Mandel (; also known by various pseudonyms such as Ernest Germain, Pierre Gousset, Henri Vallin, Walter; (5 April 1923 – 20 July 1995), was a Belgian Marxian economist and a Trotskyist activist and theorist. He fought in the und ...
remarked, "Marxism is always open, always critical, always self-critical." Classical Marxism distinguishes ''Marxism'' as broadly perceived from "what Marx believed." In 1883, Marx wrote to his son-in-law
Paul Lafargue Paul Lafargue (; 15 January 1842 – 25 November 1911) was a Cuban Cuban may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Cuba, a country in the Caribbean * Cubans, people from Cuba, or of Cuban descent ** Cuban exile, a person who left Cu ...
and French labour leader
Jules Guesde Jules Bazile, known as Jules Guesde (; 11 November 1845 – 28 July 1922) was a France, French socialist journalist and politician. Guesde was the inspiration for a famous quotation by Karl Marx. Shortly before Marx died in 1883, he wrote a ...

Jules Guesde
—both of whom claimed to represent Marxist principles—accusing them of "revolutionary phrase-mongering" and of denying the value of reformist struggle. From Marx's letter derives the paraphrase, "If that is Marxism, then I am not a Marxist." Accusing Guesde and Lafargue of "revolutionary phrase-mongering" and "of denying the value of reformist struggles, Marx made his famous remark that, if their politics represented Marxism, 'ce qu'il y a de certain c'est que moi, je ne suis pas Marxiste' ('what is certain is that I myself am not a Marxist')." American Marxist scholar
Hal Draper Hal Draper (born Harold Dubinsky; September 19, 1914 – January 26, 1990) was an American socialist Socialism is a political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social ...
responded to this comment by saying: "There are few thinkers in modern history whose thought has been so badly misrepresented, by Marxists and anti-Marxists alike."


Libertarian

Libertarian Marxism emphasizes the
anti-authoritarian Anti-authoritarianism is opposition to authoritarianism Authoritarianism is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, en ...
and
libertarian Libertarianism (from french: libertaire, "libertarian"; from la, libertas, "freedom") is a political philosophy Political philosophy or political theory is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and funda ...

libertarian
aspects of Marxism. Early currents of libertarian Marxism such as
left communism Left communism, or the communist left, is a position held by the left wing of communism, which criticises the political ideas and practices espoused by Marxism–Leninism, Marxist–Leninists and Social Democracy, social democrats. Left communi ...
emerged in opposition to Marxism–Leninism. Libertarian Marxism is often critical of reformist positions such as those held by social democrats. Libertarian Marxist currents often draw from
Karl Marx Karl Heinrich Marx (; 5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) was a German philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, M ...

Karl Marx
and
Friedrich Engels Friedrich Engels ( ,"Engels"
''Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary''.
' later works, specifically the ''Grundrisse'' and ''The Civil War in France''; emphasizing the Marxist belief in the ability of the working class to forge its own destiny without the need for a Vanguardism, vanguard party to mediate or aid its liberation. Along with anarchism, libertarian Marxism is one of the main currents of libertarian socialism. Libertarian Marxism includes currents such as autonomism, council communism, De Leonism, Letterist International, Lettrism, parts of the New Left, Situationism, Socialisme ou Barbarie and workerism. Libertarian Marxism has often had a strong influence on both Post-left anarchy, post-left and Social anarchism, social anarchists. Notable theorists of libertarian Marxism have included Maurice Brinton, Cornelius Castoriadis, Guy Debord, Raya Dunayevskaya, Daniel Guérin, C. L. R. James,
Rosa Luxemburg Rosa Luxemburg (; pl, Róża Luksemburg; also ''Rozalia Luksenburg''; 5 March 1871 – 15 January 1919) was a Polish Marxism, Marxist, Philosophy, philosopher, economist, Anti-war movement, anti-war activist and Revolutionary socialism, revolut ...

Rosa Luxemburg
, Antonio Negri, Anton Pannekoek, Fredy Perlman, Ernesto Screpanti, E. P. Thompson, Raoul Vaneigem, and Yanis Varoufakis, the latter claiming that Marx himself was a libertarian Marxist.


Humanist

Marxist humanism was born in 1932 with the publication of Marx's ''Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844'' and reached a degree of prominence in the 1950s and 1960s. Marxist humanists contend that there is continuity between the early philosophical writings of Marx, in which he develops his Marx's theory of alienation, theory of alienation, and the structural description of capitalist society found in his later works such as ''Das Kapital, Capital''. They hold that it is necessary to grasp Marx's philosophical foundations to understand his later works properly. Contrary to the official dialectical materialism of the Soviet Union and to interpretations of Marx rooted in the structural Marxism of Louis Althusser, Marxist humanists argue that Marx's work was an extension or transcendence of Age of Enlightenment, enlightenment humanism. Where other Marxist philosophies see Marxism as a natural science, Marxist humanism reaffirms the doctrine of "man is the measure of all things" – that humans are essentially different to the rest of the Natural order (philosophy), natural order and should be treated so by Marxist theory.


Academic

According to a 2007 survey of American professors by Neil Gross and Solon Simmons, 17.6% of social science professors and 5.0% of humanities professors identify as Marxists, while between 0 and 2% of professors in all other disciplines identify as Marxists.


Archaeology

The Archaeological theory, theoretical development of Marxist archaeology was first developed in the Soviet Union in 1929, when a young archaeologist named Vladislav I. Ravdonikas published a report entitled "For a Soviet history of material culture"; within this work, the very discipline of archaeology as it then stood was criticised as being inherently bourgeois, therefore anti-socialist and so, as a part of the academic reforms instituted in the Soviet Union under the administration of General Secretary Joseph Stalin, a great emphasis was placed on the adoption of Marxist archaeology throughout the country. These theoretical developments were subsequently adopted by archaeologists working in capitalist states outside of the Leninist bloc, most notably by the Australian academic V. Gordon Childe, who used Marxist theory in his understandings of the development of human society.


Sociology

Marxist sociology, as the study of sociology from a Marxist perspective,Johnson, Allan G. 2000. ''The Blackwell dictionary of sociology: a user's guide to sociological language'', Wiley-Blackwell.
pp. 183-84
is "a form of conflict theory associated with ... Marxism's objective of developing a Positivism (sociology), positive (empirical) science of capitalist society as part of the mobilization of a revolutionary working class."Marxist Sociology
" ''Encyclopedia of Sociology''. Gale (publisher), Macmillan Reference. 2006.
The American Sociological Association has a section dedicated to the issues of Marxist sociology that is "interested in examining how insights from Marxist methodology and Marxist analysis can help explain the complex dynamics of modern society."About the Section on Marxist Sociology
Influenced by the thought of
Karl Marx Karl Heinrich Marx (; 5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) was a German philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, M ...

Karl Marx
, Marxist sociology emerged in the late 19th and early 20th century. As well as Marx, Max Weber and Émile Durkheim are considered seminal influences in History of sociology, early sociology. The first Marxist school of sociology was known as Austro-Marxism, of which Carl Grünberg and Antonio Labriola were among its most notable members. During the 1940s, the Western Marxist school became accepted within Western academia, subsequently fracturing into several different perspectives such as the Frankfurt School or critical theory. Due to its former state-supported position, there has been a backlash against Marxist thought in post-communist states (see sociology in Poland) but it remains dominant in the sociological research sanctioned and supported by those communist states that remain (see sociology in China).


Economics

Marxian economics is a school of economic thought tracing its foundations to the critique of classical
political economy Political economy is the study of production Production may be: Economics and business * Production (economics) * Production, the act of manufacturing goods * Production, in the outline of industrial organization, the act of making products (g ...
first expounded upon by
Karl Marx Karl Heinrich Marx (; 5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) was a German philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, M ...

Karl Marx
and
Friedrich Engels Friedrich Engels ( ,"Engels"
''Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary''.
. Marxian economics concerns itself with the analysis of Crisis theory, crisis in
capitalism Capitalism is an economic system An economic system, or economic order, is a system A system is a group of interacting Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea o ...

capitalism
, the role and distribution of the surplus product and
surplus value In Marxian economics Marxian economics, or the Marxian school of economics, is a Heterodox economics, heterodox school of political economic thought. Its foundations can be traced back to Karl Marx, Karl Marx's Critique of political economy#M ...
in various types of economic systems, the nature and origin of Value (economics), economic value, the impact of class and class struggle on economic and political processes, and the process of Evolutionary economics, economic evolution. Although the Marxian school is considered heterodox economics, heterodox, ideas that have come out of Marxian economics have contributed to mainstream understanding of the global economy. Certain concepts of Marxian economics, especially those related to capital accumulation and the business cycle such as creative destruction have been fitted for use in capitalist systems.


Education

Marxist education develops Marx's works and those of the movements he influenced in various ways. In addition to the educational psychology of Lev Vygotsky and the pedagogy of Paulo Freire, Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis' ''Schooling in Capitalist America'' is a study of educational reform in the U.S. and its relationship to the reproduction of capitalism and the possibilities of utilizing its contradictions in the revolutionary movement. The work of Peter McLaren, especially since the turn of the 21st century, has further developed Marxist educational theory by developing revolutionary critical pedagogy, as has the work of Glenn Rikowski, Dave Hill, and Paula Allman. Other Marxists have analyzed the forms and pedagogical processes of capitalist and communist education, such as Tyson E. Lewis, Noah De Lissovoy, Gregory Bourassa, and Derek R. Ford. Curry Malott has developed a Marxist history of education in the U.S. and Marvin Gettleman's examined the history of communist education. Sandy Grande has synthesized Marxist educational theory with Indigenous pedagogy, while other's like John Holt analyze adult education from a Marxist perspective. Other developments include the educational aesthetics of Marxist education, Marxist analyses of the role of fixed capital in capitalist education, the educational psychology of capital, the educational theory of Lenin, and the pedagogical function of the Communist Party. The latest field of research examines and develops Marxist pedagogy in the postdigital era.


Historiography

Marxist historiography is a school of historiography influenced by Marxism, the chief tenets of which are the centrality of
social class A social class is a set of concepts in the social sciences Social science is the Branches of science, branch of science devoted to the study of society, societies and the Social relation, relationships among individuals within those soc ...
and economic constraints in determining historical outcomes. Marxist historiography has made contributions to the history of the working class, oppressed nationalities, and the methodology of People's history, history from below.
Friedrich Engels Friedrich Engels ( ,"Engels"
''Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary''.
' most important historical contribution was ''Der deutsche Bauernkrieg'' about the German Peasants' War which analysed social warfare in early Protestant Germany in terms of emerging capitalist classes. ''The German Peasants' War'' indicate the Marxist interest in People's history, history from below and class analysis, and attempts a dialectical analysis. Engels' short treatise ''The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844'' was salient in creating the
socialist Socialism is a political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions In psychology, decision-making (also spelled decision making and decisionmaking) is regarded as the Cognition, cognitive pr ...

socialist
impetus in British politics. Marx's most important works on social and political history include ''The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon'', ''The Communist Manifesto'', ''
The German Ideology ''The German Ideology'' (German: ''Die deutsche Ideologie'') is a set of manuscripts written by Karl Marx Karl Heinrich Marx (; 5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) was a German philosopher, economist, historian, sociologist, political theorist, j ...
'', and those chapters of ''Das Kapital'' dealing with the historical emergence of Capitalism, capitalists and Proletariat, proletarians from Pre-industrial society, pre-industrial English society. Marxist historiography suffered in the Soviet Union, as the government requested overdetermined historical writing. Notable histories include the ''History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Bolsheviks)'', published in the 1930s to justify the nature of Bolshevik party life under Joseph Stalin. A circle of historians inside the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) formed in 1946. While some members of the group, most notably Christopher Hill (historian), Christopher Hill and E. P. Thompson, left the CPGB after the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, the common points of British Marxist historiography continued in their works. Thompson's ''The Making of the English Working Class'' is one of the works commonly associated with this group.
Eric Hobsbawm Eric John Ernest Hobsbawm (; 9 June 1917 – 1 October 2012) was a British historian of the rise of industrial capitalism Capitalism is an economic system based on the private ownership Private property is a legal designation for ...

Eric Hobsbawm
's ''Bandits'' is another example of this group's work. C. L. R. James was also a great pioneer of the 'history from below' approach. Living in Britain when he wrote his most notable work ''The Black Jacobins'' (1938), he was an Anti-Stalinist left, anti-Stalinist Marxist and so outside of the CPGB. In India, B. N. Datta and Damodar Dharmananda Kosambi, D. D. Kosambi are considered the founding fathers of Marxist historiography. Today, the senior-most scholars of Marxist historiography are Ram Sharan Sharma, R. S. Sharma, Irfan Habib, Romila Thapar, D. N. Jha, and K. N. Panikkar, most of whom are now over 75 years old.


Literary criticism

Marxist literary criticism is a loose term describing literary criticism based on Socialism, socialist and
dialectic Dialectic or dialectics ( grc-gre, διαλεκτική, ''dialektikḗ''; related to dialogue Dialogue (sometimes spelled dialog in American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States Engli ...
theories. Marxist criticism views Literature, literary works as reflections of the Institution, social institutions from which they originate. According to Marxists, even literature itself is a social institution and has a specific ideological function, based on the background and ideology of the author. Notable Marxist literary critics include Mikhail Bakhtin, Walter Benjamin, Terry Eagleton, and Fredric Jameson.


Aesthetics

Marxist aesthetics is a theory of aesthetics based on, or derived from, the theories of
Karl Marx Karl Heinrich Marx (; 5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) was a German philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, M ...

Karl Marx
. It involves a dialectical and
materialist Materialism is a form of philosophical monism which holds matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. All everyday objects that can be touched are ultimatel ...
, or dialectical materialist, approach to the application of Marxism to the cultural sphere, specifically areas related to taste such as art and beauty, among others. Marxists believe that economic and social conditions, and especially the class relations that derive from them, affect every aspect of an individual's life, from religious beliefs to legal systems to cultural frameworks. Some notable Marxist aestheticians include Anatoly Lunacharsky, Mikhail Lifshitz, William Morris, Theodor W. Adorno, Bertolt Brecht, Herbert Marcuse, Walter Benjamin, Antonio Gramsci, Georg Lukács, Ernst Fischer (writer), Ernst Fischer, Louis Althusser, Jacques Rancière, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and Raymond Williams.


History


Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels

Marx addressed the matters of Marx's theory of alienation, alienation and Exploitation of labour, exploitation of the working class, the capitalist mode of production and historical materialism. He is famous for analysing history in terms of class struggle, summarised in the initial line introducing ''The Communist Manifesto'' (1848): "The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles." Together with Marx, Engels co-developed communist theory. Marx and Engels first met in September 1844. Discovering that they had similar views of philosophy and socialism, they collaborated and wrote works such as ''Die heilige Familie'' (''The Holy Family (book), The Holy Family''). After Marx was deported from France in January 1845, they moved to Belgium, which then permitted greater freedom of expression than other European countries. In January 1846, they returned to Brussels to establish the Communist Correspondence Committee. In 1847, they began writing ''The Communist Manifesto'' (1848), based on Engels' ''The Principles of Communism''. Six weeks later, they published the 12,000-word pamphlet in February 1848. In March, Belgium expelled them and they moved to Cologne, where they published the ''Neue Rheinische Zeitung'', a politically Political radicalism, radical newspaper. By 1849, they had to leave Cologne for London. The Prussian authorities pressured the British government to expel Marx and Engels, but Prime Minister Lord John Russell refused. After Marx's death in 1883, Engels became the editor and translator of Marx's writings. With his ''Origins of the Family, Private Property, and the State'' (1884)—analysing Monogamy, monogamous marriage as guaranteeing male social domination of women, a concept analogous, in communist theory, to the capitalist class's economic domination of the working class—Engels made intellectually significant contributions to feminist theory and Marxist feminism.


Russian Revolution and the Soviet Union

With the October Revolution in 1917 the Bolsheviks took power from the Russian Provisional Government. The Bolsheviks established the first socialist state based on the ideas of soviet democracy and Leninism. Their newly formed federal state promised to end Russian involvement in
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
and establish a revolutionary worker's state. Following the October Revolution the Soviet government was involved in a struggle with the White Movement and several independence movements in the Russian Civil War. This period is marked by the establishment of many socialist policies and the development of new socialist ideas mainly in the form of Marxism–Leninism. In 1919, the nascent Soviet Government established the Communist Academy and the Marx–Engels–Lenin Institute for doctrinal Marxist study as well as to publish official ideological and research documents for the Russian Communist Party. With Lenin's death in 1924, there was an internal struggle in the Soviet Communist movement, mainly between Joseph Stalin and Leon Trotsky in the form of the Right Opposition and Left Opposition respectively. These struggles were based on both sides different interpretations of Marxist and Leninist theory based on the situation of the Soviet Union at the time.


Chinese Revolution

At the end of the Second Sino-Japanese War and more widely World War II, the Chinese Communist Revolution took place within the context of the Chinese Civil War. The Chinese Communist Party, which was founded in 1921, was in conflict with the Kuomintang over the future of the country. Throughout the Civil War Mao Zedong developed a theory of Marxism for the Chinese historical context. Mao found a large base of support in the peasantry as opposed to the Russian Revolution which found its primary support in the urban centers of the Russian Empire. Some major ideas contributed by Mao were the ideas of New Democracy, mass line and people's war. The China, People's Republic of China (PRC) was declared in 1949. The new socialist state was to be founded on the ideas of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin. From Stalin's death until the late 1960s, there was increasing conflict between China and the Soviet Union. De-Stalinization, which first began under Nikita Khrushchev and the policy of detente, were seen as revisionist and insufficiently Marxist. This ideological confrontation spilled into a wider global crisis centered around which nation was to lead the international socialist movement. Following Mao's death and the ascendancy of Deng Xiaoping, Maoism and official Marxism in China was reworked. This new model was to be a newer dynamic form of Marxism–Leninism and Maoism in China. Commonly referred to as socialism with Chinese Characteristics this new path was centered around Deng's Four Cardinal Principles which sought to uphold the central role of the Chinese Communist Party and uphold the principle that China was in the primary stage of socialism and that it was still working to build a communist society based on Marxist principles.


Late 20th century

In 1959, the Cuban Revolution led to the victory of Fidel Castro and his July 26 Movement. Although the revolution was not explicitly socialist, upon victory Castro ascended to the position of prime minister and adopted the Leninist model of socialist development, forging an alliance with the Soviet Union. One of the leaders of the revolution, the Argentine Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara, subsequently went on to aid revolutionary socialist movements in Democratic Republic of the Congo, Congo-Kinshasa and Bolivia, eventually being killed by the Bolivian government, possibly on the orders of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), although the CIA agent sent to search for Guevara, Felix Rodriguez, expressed a desire to keep him alive as a possible bargaining tool with the Cuban government. He posthumously went on to become an internationally recognised icon. In the People's Republic of China, the Maoist government undertook the Cultural Revolution from 1966 through to 1976 to purge Chinese society of capitalist elements and achieve socialism. Upon Mao Zedong's death, his rivals seized political power and under the leadership of Deng Xiaoping, many of Mao's Cultural Revolution era policies were revised or abandoned and much of the state sector privatised. The late 1980s and early 1990s saw the collapse of most of those socialist states that had professed a Marxist–Leninist ideology. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the emergence of the New Right and neoliberal capitalism as the dominant ideological trends in Western politics championed by United States president Ronald Reagan and British prime minister Margaret Thatcher led the West to take a more aggressive stand towards the Soviet Union and its Leninist allies. Meanwhile, the reformist Mikhael Gorbachev became General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in March 1985 and sought to abandon Leninist models of development towards social democracy. Ultimately, Gorbachev's reforms, coupled with rising levels of popular ethnic nationalism, led to the dissolution of the Soviet Union in late 1991 into a series of constituent nations, all of which abandoned Marxist–Leninist models for socialism, with most converting to capitalist economies.


21st century

At the turn of the 21st century, China, Cuba, Laos, North Korea, and Vietnam remained the only officially Marxist–Leninist states remaining, although a Maoist government led by Prachanda was elected into power in Nepal in 2008 following a long guerrilla struggle. The early 21st century also saw the election of socialist governments in several Latin American nations, in what has come to be known as the "pink tide"; dominated by the Venezuelan government of Hugo Chávez, this trend also saw the election of Evo Morales in Bolivia, Rafael Correa in Ecuador, and Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua. Forging political and economic alliances through international organisations like the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas, these socialist governments allied themselves with Marxist–Leninist Cuba and although none of them espoused a Stalinist path directly, most admitted to being significantly influenced by Marxist theory. Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez declared himself to be a Trotskyist during his swearing-in of his cabinet, two days before his own inauguration on 10 January 2007. Venezuelan Trotskyist organizations do not regard Chávez as a Trotskyist, with some describing him as a bourgeois nationalist, while others consider him an honest revolutionary leader who made major mistakes due to him lacking a Marxist analysis. For Italian Marxist Gianni Vattimo and Santiago Zabala in their 2011 book ''Hermeneutic Communism'', "this new weak communism differs substantially from its previous Soviet (and current Chinese) realization, because the South American countries follow democratic electoral procedures and also manage to decentralize the state bureaucratic system through the Bolivarian missions. In sum, if weakened communism is felt as a specter in the West, it is not only because of media distortions but also for the alternative it represents through the same democratic procedures that the West constantly professes to cherish but is hesitant to apply." Chinese Communist Party General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, General Secretary Xi Jinping has announced a deepening commitment of the Chinese Communist Party to the ideas of Marx. At an event celebrating the 200th anniversary of Marx's birth, Xi said "We must win the advantages, win the initiative, and win the future. We must continuously improve the ability to use Marxism to analyse and solve practical problems", adding that Marxism is a "powerful ideological weapon for us to understand the world, grasp the law, seek the truth, and change the world." Xi has further stressed the importance of examining and continuing the tradition of the CPC and embrace its revolutionary past. The fidelity of those varied revolutionaries, leaders and parties to the work of
Karl Marx Karl Heinrich Marx (; 5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) was a German philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, M ...

Karl Marx
is highly contested and has been rejected by many Marxists and other socialists alike. Socialists in general and socialist writers, including Dimitri Volkogonov, acknowledge that the actions of authoritarian socialist leaders have damaged "the enormous appeal of socialism generated by the October Revolution."


Criticism

Criticism of Marxism has come from various political ideologies and academic disciplines. This includes general criticism about lack of internal consistency, criticisms related to historical materialism, that it is a type of historical determinism, the necessity of suppression of individual rights, issues with the implementation of communism and economic issues such as the distortion or absence of price signals and reduced incentives. In addition, empirical and epistemological problems are frequently identified. Some Marxists have criticised the academic institutionalisation of Marxism for being too shallow and detached from political action. Zimbabwean Trotskyist Alex Callinicos, himself a professional academic, stated: "Its practitioners remind one of Narcissus (mythology), Narcissus, who in the Greek legend fell in love with his own reflection. ... Sometimes it is necessary to devote time to clarifying and developing the concepts that we use, but indeed for Western Marxists this has become an end in itself. The result is a body of writings incomprehensible to all but a tiny minority of highly qualified scholars." Additionally, there are intellectual critiques of Marxism that contest certain assumptions prevalent in Marx's thought and Marxism after him, without exactly rejecting Marxist politics. Other contemporary supporters of Marxism argue that many aspects of Marxist thought are viable, but that the corpus is incomplete or outdated in regards to certain aspects of economic, political or social theory. They may combine some Marxist concepts with the ideas of other theorists such as Max Weber—the Frankfurt School is one example.


General

Philosopher and historian of ideas Leszek Kołakowski pointed out that "Marx's theory is incomplete or ambiguous in many places, and could be 'applied' in many contradictory ways without manifestly infringing its principles." Specifically, he considers "the laws of dialectics" as fundamentally erroneous, stating that some are "truisms with no specific Marxist content", others "philosophical dogmas that cannot be proved by scientific means" and some just "nonsense"; he believes that some Marxist laws can be interpreted differently, but that these interpretations still in general fall into one of the two categories of error. Okishio's theorem shows that if capitalists use cost-cutting techniques and real wages do not increase, the rate of profit must rise, which casts doubt on Marx's view that the rate of profit would tend to fall. The allegations of inconsistency have been a large part of Marxian economics and the debates around it since the 1970s. Andrew Kliman argues that this undermines Marx's critiques and the correction of the alleged inconsistencies, because internally inconsistent theories cannot be right by definition.Kliman states that "Marx’s value theory would be ''necessarily wrong'' if it were internally inconsistent. Internally inconsistent theories may be appealing, intuitively plausible and even obvious, and consistent with all available empirical evidence––but they cannot be right. It is necessary to reject them or correct them. Thus the alleged proofs of inconsistency trump all other considerations, disqualifying Marx’s theory at the starting gate. By doing so, they provide the principal justification for the suppression of this theory as well as the suppression of, and the denial of resources needed to carry out, present-day research based upon it. This greatly inhibits its further development. So does the very charge of inconsistency. What person of intellectual integrity would want to join a research program founded on (what he believes to be) a theory that is internally inconsistent and therefore false?" (Andrew Kliman, ''Reclaiming Marx's "Capital": A Refutation of the Myth of Inconsistency,'' Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2007, p. 3, emphasis in original). However, in his book, Kliman presents an interpretation where these inconsistencies can be eliminated. The connection between the inconsistency allegations and the lack of study of Marx’s theories was argued further by John Cassidy (journalist), John Cassidy ("The Return of Karl Marx," ''The New Yorker'', 20 & 27 Oct. 1997, p. 252): "His mathematical model of the economy, which depended on the idea that labor is the source of all value, was riven with internal inconsistencies and is rarely studied these days."


Epistemological and empirical

Marx's predictions have been criticized because they have allegedly failed, with some pointing towards the GDP per capita increasing generally in capitalist economies compared to less market oriented economics, the capitalist economies not suffering worsening economic crises leading to the overthrow of the capitalist system and communist revolutions not occurring in the most advanced capitalist nations, but instead in undeveloped regions. In his books ''The Poverty of Historicism'' and ''Conjectures and Refutations'', philosopher of science Karl Popper criticized the explanatory power and Validity (logic), validity of historical materialism. Popper believed that Marxism had been initially scientific, in that Marx had postulated a genuinely predictive theory. When these predictions were not in fact borne out, Popper argues that the theory avoided Falsifiability, falsification by the addition of ad hoc hypotheses that made it compatible with the facts. Because of this, Popper asserted, a theory that was initially genuinely scientific degenerated into pseudoscientific dogma.


Socialist

Democratic socialism, Democratic socialists and Social democracy, social democrats reject the idea that socialism can be accomplished only through extra-legal class conflict and a proletarian revolution. The relationship between Marx and other socialist thinkers and organizations—rooted in Marxism's "scientific" and anti-utopian socialism, among other factors—has divided Marxists from other socialists since Marx's life. After Marx's death and with the emergence of Marxism, there have also been dissensions within Marxism itself—a notable example is the splitting of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party into Bolsheviks and Mensheviks. Orthodox Marxists became opposed to a less dogmatic, more innovative, or even revisionist Marxism.


Anarchist and libertarian

Anarchism has had a strained relationship with Marxism since Marx's life. Anarchists and many non-Marxist libertarian socialists reject the need for a Dictatorship of the proletariat, transitory state phase, claiming that socialism can only be established through decentralized, non-coercive organization. Anarchist Mikhail Bakunin criticized Marx for his authoritarian bent. The phrases "barracks socialism" or "barracks communism" became a shorthand for this critique, evoking the image of citizens' lives being as regimented as the lives of conscripts in a barracks. Noam Chomsky is critical of Marxism's dogmatic strains and the idea of Marxism itself but still appreciates Marx's contributions to political thought. Unlike some anarchists, Chomsky does not consider Bolsheviks, Bolshevism "Marxism in practice", but he does recognize that Marx was a complicated figure who had conflicting ideas. While acknowledging the latent authoritarianism in Marx, Chomsky also points to the libertarian strains that developed into the council communism of
Rosa Luxemburg Rosa Luxemburg (; pl, Róża Luksemburg; also ''Rozalia Luksenburg''; 5 March 1871 – 15 January 1919) was a Polish Marxism, Marxist, Philosophy, philosopher, economist, Anti-war movement, anti-war activist and Revolutionary socialism, revolut ...

Rosa Luxemburg
and Anton Pannekoek. His commitment to libertarian socialism has led him to characterize himself as an anarchist with radical Marxist leanings.


Economic

Other critiques come from an economic standpoint. Vladimir Karpovich Dmitriev writing in 1898, Ladislaus Bortkiewicz, Ladislaus von Bortkiewicz writing in 1906–1907 and subsequent critics have alleged that Marx's value theory and law of the tendency of the rate of profit to fall are internally inconsistent. In other words, the critics allege that Marx drew conclusions that actually do not follow from his theoretical premises. Once these alleged errors are corrected, his conclusion that aggregate price and profit are determined by and equal to aggregate value and surplus value no longer holds true. This result calls into question his theory that the exploitation of workers is the sole source of profit. Both Marxism and socialism have received considerable critical analysis from multiple generations of Austrian School, Austrian economists in terms of scientific methodology, economic theory and political implications. During the Marginal utility#Marginal Revolution, marginal revolution, subjective value theory was rediscovered by Carl Menger, a development that fundamentally undermined the British cost theories of value. The restoration of subjectivism and praxeological methodology previously used by classical economists including Richard Cantillon, Anne-Robert-Jacques Turgot, Jean-Baptiste Say and Frédéric Bastiat led Menger to criticise historicist methodology in general. Second-generation Austrian economist Eugen Böhm von Bawerk used praxeological and subjectivist methodology to attack the law of value fundamentally. Gottfried Haberler has regarded his criticism as "definitive", arguing that Böhm-Bawerk's critique of Marx's economics was so "thorough and devastating" that he believes that as of the 1960s no Marxian scholar had conclusively refuted it. Third-generation Austrian Ludwig von Mises rekindled debate about the economic calculation problem by arguing that without price signals in capital goods, in his opinion all other aspects of the market economy are irrational. This led him to declare that "rational economic activity is impossible in a socialist commonwealth." Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson (economist), James A. Robinson argue that Marx's economic theory was fundamentally flawed because it attempted to simplify the economy into a few general laws that ignored the impact of institutions on the economy.


See also

* Communism * Analytical Marxism * Austromarxism * Democracy in Marxism * Freudo-Marxism * Hegelian Marxism * Influences on Karl Marx * Instrumental Marxism * Legal Marxism * Marx's notebooks on the history of technology * Marx's theory of human nature * Marxian class theory * Marxism and religion * Marxist international relations theory * Marxists Internet Archive * Open Marxism * Outline of Marxism * Post-Marxism * Pre-Marx socialists * Reification (Marxism) * ''Karl Marx's Theory of History: A Defence'' * ''The Marxism of Che Guevara'' * ''Marxism and Freedom: From 1776 Until Today'' * ''Marxism and the U.S.A.'' * ''Rethinking Marxism'' * ''Specters of Marx''


References


Citations


Bibliography

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Further reading

* Agar, Jolyon (2006), ''Rethinking Marxism: From Kant and Hegel to Marx and Engels'' (London and New York: Routledge) * * * Jon Elster, ''An Introduction to Karl Marx''. Cambridge, England, 1986. * Michael Evans, ''Karl Marx''. London, 1975. * * * Cedric Robinson, Robinson, Cedric J.: ''Black Marxism: The Making of the Black Radical Tradition'', 1983, Reissue: Univ North Carolina Press, 2000 * R. J. Rummel, Rummel, R.J. (1977)
Conflict In Perspective
' Chap. 5
Marxism, Class Conflict, and the Conflict Helix
' * * * Helena Sheehan, Sheehan, Helena (1985, 1993, 2017) ''Marxism and the Philosophy of Science: A Critical History'' London: Verso Books.


External links

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