MARXISM is a form of socioeconomic analysis that analyses class
relations and societal conflict using a materialist interpretation of
historical development and a dialectical view of social
transformation. It originates from the mid-to-late 19th century works
of German philosophers
Marxist methodology originally used a method of economic and sociopolitical inquiry known as historical materialism to analyze and critique the development of capitalism and the role of class struggle in systemic economic change. According to Marxist perspective, class conflict within capitalism arises due to intensifying contradictions between the highly productive mechanized and socialized production performed by the proletariat , and the private ownership and appropriation of the surplus product (profit) by a small minority of the population who are private owners called the bourgeoisie . The contradiction, between the forces and relations of production intensifies leading to crisis. The haute bourgeoisie and its managerial proxies are unable to manage the intensifying alienation of labor which the proletariat experiences, albeit with varying degrees of class consciousness , until social revolution ultimately results. The eventual long-term outcome of this revolution would be the establishment of socialism – a socioeconomic system based on social ownership of the means of production, distribution based on one\'s contribution , and production organized directly for use . As the productive forces and technology continued to advance, Marx hypothesized that socialism would eventually give way to a communist stage of social development, which would be a classless, stateless, humane society erected on common ownership and the principle of "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs ".
Marxist analyses and methodologies have influenced multiple political ideologies and social movements, and Marxist understandings of history and society have been adopted by some academics in the disciplines of archaeology , anthropology , media studies , political science , theater , history , sociology , art history and theory , cultural studies , education , economics , geography , literary criticism , aesthetics , critical psychology , and philosophy .
* 1 Overview
* 2 Concepts
* 3 Relation with industrial revolution * 4 Revolution, socialism, and communism
* 5.1 Criticism
* 6 Academic
* 8.2 Late 20th century
* 8.2.1 Political
* 8.3 21st century
* 8.3.1 Political
* 9 Criticisms
* 10 See also
* 11 References
* 11.1 Footnotes * 11.2 Bibliography
* 12 External links
The Marxian analysis begins with an analysis of the material
conditions and the economic activities required to satisfy society's
material needs. It is assumed that the form of economic organization,
or mode of production , gives rise to, or at least directly
influences, most other social phenomena – including social
relations, political and legal systems, moral codes and ideology. The
economic system and these social relations form a base and
superstructure . As forces of production , most notably technology ,
improve, existing forms of social organization become inefficient and
stifle further progress. As
Capitalism (according to Marxist theory) can no longer sustain the living standards of the population due to its need to compensate for falling rates of profit by driving down wages, cutting social benefits and pursuing military aggression. The socialist system would succeed capitalism as humanity's mode of production through workers' revolution . According to Marxism, especially arising from crisis theory , socialism is a historical necessity (but not an inevitability).
In a socialist society private property , in the form of the means of production , would be replaced by co-operative ownership. A socialist economy would not base production on the creation of private profits, but on the criteria of satisfying human needs – that is, production would be carried out directly for use . As Engels said: "Then the capitalist mode of appropriation in which the product enslaves first the producer, and then appropriator, is replaced by the mode of appropriation of the product 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."
Main article: Historical materialism "The discovery of the materialist conception of history, or rather, the consistent continuation and extension of materialism into the domain of social phenomenon, removed two chief defects of earlier historical theories. In the first place, they at best examined only the ideological motives of the historical activity of human beings, without grasping the objective laws governing the development of the system of social relations ... in the second place, the earlier theories did not cover the activities of the _masses_ of the population, whereas historical materialism made it possible for the first time to study with the accuracy of the natural sciences the social conditions of the life of the masses and the changes in these conditions." Russian Marxist theoretician and revolutionary Vladimir Lenin , 1913.
The historical materialist theory of history analyses the underlying causes of societal development and change from the perspective of the collective ways that humans make their living. All constituent features of a society (social classes, political pyramid, ideologies) are assumed to stem from economic activity, an idea often portrayed with the metaphor of the base and superstructure .
The base and superstructure metaphor portrays 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, that is, the labour and material means of
production, and relations of production, 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" of political and legal institutions that derive from
the economic base which conditions the superstructure and a society's
dominant ideology. Conflicts between the development of material
productive forces and the relations of production provokes social
revolutions, and thus, the resultant changes to the economic base will
lead to the transformation of the superstructure. This relationship
is reflexive; at first the base gives rise to the superstructure and
remains the foundation of a form of social organization. Hence, that
formed social organization can act again upon both parts of the base
and superstructure, so, that relationship not one-way but a dialogue
(a dialectic ), expressed and driven by conflicts and contradictions.
Marx considered these socio-economic conflicts as the driving force of human history since these recurring conflicts have manifested themselves as distinct transitional stages of development in Western Europe. Accordingly, Marx designated human history as encompassing four stages of development in relations of production.
CRITICISM OF CAPITALISM
According to the Marxist theoretician and revolutionary Vladimir
Exploitation is a matter of surplus labour – the amount of labour one performs beyond what one receives in goods. Exploitation has been a socioeconomic feature of every class society, and is one of the principal features distinguishing the social classes. The power of one social class to control the means of production enables its exploitation of the other classes.
In capitalism, the labour theory of value is the operative concern; the value of a commodity equals the socially necessary labour time required to produce it. Under that condition, surplus value (the difference between the value produced and the value received by a labourer) is synonymous with the term "surplus labour"; thus, capitalist exploitation is realised as deriving surplus value from the worker.
In pre-capitalist economies, exploitation of the worker was achieved via physical coercion. In the capitalist mode of production, that result is more subtly achieved; because the worker does not own the means of production, he or she 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 he or she chooses 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.
Alienation is the estrangement of people from their humanity (German: _Gattungswesen_, "species-essence", "species-being"), which is a systematic result of capitalism. Under capitalism, the fruits of production belong to the 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.
The identity of a social class derives from its relationship to the means of production ; Marx describes the social classes in capitalist societies:
* 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 are those who work and can afford to buy little
labour power i.e. small business owners, peasant landlords, trade
workers et al.
Class consciousness denotes the awareness – of itself and the social world – that a social class possesses, and its capacity to rationally act in their best interests; hence, class consciousness is required _before_ they can effect a successful revolution.
Without defining ideology , Marx used the term to denote 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 (the ruling social ideas), are determined by the best interests of the ruling class. In _The German Ideology_, "the 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 " originally denoted the study of the
conditions under which economic production was organised 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. "
RELATION WITH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION
This new way of thinking was invented because socialists believed that common ownership of the "means of production," (that is the industries, the land, the wealth of nature, the trade apparatus, the wealth of the society, etc.) will abolish the exploitative working conditions experienced under capitalism. Through working class revolution, the State (which Marxists see 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, 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, in which the product of the worker's labor 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, for longer hours. While this is happening, the employer is constantly trying to save on labor costs: pay the workers less, figure out how to use cheaper equipment, etc. This allows the employer to extract the largest mount of work (and therefore potential wealth) from their workers. The fundamental nature of capitalist society is no different from that of slave society: one small group of society exploiting the larger group.
Through common ownership of the means of production, the profit motive is eliminated and the motive of furthering human flourishing is introduced. Because the surplus produced by the workers is property of the society as whole, there are no classes of producers and appropriators. Additionally, the State, which has its origins in the bands of retainers hired by the first ruling classes to protect their economic privilege, will disappear, as its conditions of existence have disappeared.
REVOLUTION, SOCIALISM, AND COMMUNISM
Marxists believe that the transition from capitalism to socialism is an inevitable part of the development of human society; as Lenin stated, "it is evident that Marx deduces the inevitability of the transformation of capitalist society wholly and exclusively from the economic law of motion of contemporary society."
Marxists believe that a socialist society will be far better for the
majority of the populace than its capitalist counterpart. Prior to the
Russian revolution of 1917,
The failure of the 1905 revolution and the failure of socialist
movements to resist the outbreak of World War 1 led to renewed
theoretical effort and valuable contributions from
Main article: Classical Marxism
Classical Marxism denotes the collection of
socio-eco-political theories expounded by
Main article: Criticisms of Marxism
Some Marxists have criticised the academic institutionalisation of
One of the 20th century's most prominent Marxist academics; the Australian archaeologist V. Gordon Childe
The theoretical development of Marxist archaeology was first developed in the Soviet Union in 1929, when a young archaeologist named Vladislav I. Ravdonikas (1894–1976) 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 bourgeoisie and therefore anti-socialist, and so, as a part of the academic reforms instituted in the Soviet Union under the administration of Premier 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 (1892–1957), who used Marxist theory in his understandings of the development of human society.
The term "Marxism" was popularized by Karl Kautsky who considered himself an "orthodox" Marxist during the dispute between the orthodox and revisionist followers of Marx. Kautsky's revisionist rival 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 views. Engels 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 , by saying that if Lafargue's views were considered "Marxist", then "ne thing is certain and that is that I am not a Marxist".
KARL MARX AND FRIEDRICH ENGELS
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
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 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
LATE 20TH CENTURY
In 1959, the Cuban
In the People's Republic of China, the Maoist government undertook
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 1980s, the emergence of the
New Right and
neoliberal capitalism as the dominant ideological trends in western
politics – championed by U.S. President
At the turn of the 21st century, China, Cuba, Laos and Vietnam remained the only officially Marxist–Leninist states remaining, although a Maoist government led by Prachanda (1954–) 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
For Italian Marxist Gianni Vattimo in his 2011 book _Hermeneutic
Main article: Criticisms of Marxism
Criticisms of Marxism have come from various political ideologies.
Additionally, there are intellectual critiques of
Philosopher and historian of ideas Leszek Kołakowski criticizes 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 has to rise which casts doubt about Marx's view that the rate of profit would tend to fail.
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.
Chomsky is critical of Marxism's dogmatic strains, and the idea of
EPISTEMOLOGICAL AND EMPIRICAL CRITIQUES
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.
Philosopher of science
Democratic socialists and 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. Also, after
Marx's death, and with the emergence of Marxism, there have been
ANARCHIST AND LIBERTARIAN CRITIQUES
Main article: Libertarian socialism
Anarchism has had a strained relationship with
Other critiques come from an economic standpoint. V. K. Dmitriev, writing in 1898, Ladislaus von Bortkiewicz , writing in 1906–07, 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.
Democracy in Marxism
* ^ Wolff and Resnick, Richard and Stephen (August 1987). _Economics: Marxian versus Neoclassical_. The Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 130. ISBN 0-8018-3480-5 . The German Marxists extended the theory to groups and issues Marx had barely touched. Marxian analyses of the legal system, of the social role of women, of foreign trade, of international rivalries among capitalist nations, and the role of parliamentary democracy in the transition to socialism drew animated debates ... Marxian theory (singular) gave way to Marxian theories (plural). * ^ O'Hara, Phillip (September 2003). _Encyclopedia of Political Economy, Volume 2_. Routledge . p. 107. ISBN 0-415-24187-1 . Marxist political economists differ over their definitions of capitalism, socialism and communism. These differences are so fundamental, the arguments among differently persuaded Marxist political economists have sometimes been as intense as their oppositions to political economies that celebrate capitalism. * ^ Ermak, Gennady (2016). _Communism: The Great Misunderstanding_. ISBN 1533082898 .
* ^ Bridget O'Laughlin (1975) _Marxist Approaches in Anthropology_
Annual Review of
* ^ Andrew Kliman, _Reclaiming Marx's "Capital"_, Lanham, MD:
Lexington Books, p. 208, emphases in original.
* ^ "GDP per capita growth (annual %)". World Bank. 2016. Retrieved
May 22, 2016.
* ^ Popper, Sir Karl (1963). "Science as Falsification".
_www.stephenjaygould.org_. Retrieved 2015-11-22.
* ^ Popper, Sir Karl (2002). _Conjectures and Refutations: The
Growth of Scientific Knowledge_. Routledge. p. 449. ISBN 0-415-28594-1
* ^ Bakunin, Mikhail (5 October 1872), _Letter to_ La Liberté_,
quoted in_ Bakunin on Anarchy_, translated and edited by Sam Dolgoff,
* ^ Sperber, Jonathan (2013), _Karl Marx: A Nineteenth-Century
Life_, W.W. Norton & Co.
* ^ V. K. Dmitriev, 1974 (1898), _
* Bourne, Peter (1986). _Fidel: A Biography of Fidel Castro_. New
York: Dodd, Mead & Company.
* Callinicos, Alex (2010) . _The
* Agar, Jolyon (2006), _Rethinking Marxism: From Kant and Hegel to
Marx and Engels_ (London and New York: Routledge) ISBN 041541119X
* Avineri, Shlomo (1968). _The Social and Political Thought of Karl
Marx_. Cambridge University Press.
* Dahrendorf, Ralf (1959). _Class and Class Conflict in Industrial
Society_. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
Jon Elster , _An Introduction to Karl Marx_. Cambridge, England,
* Michael Evans, _Karl Marx_. London, 1975.
* Kołakowski, Leszek (1976). _Main Currents of Marxism_. Oxford
* Parkes, Henry Bamford (1939). _Marxism: An Autopsy_. Boston:
* Robinson, Cedric J. : _Black Marxism: The Making of the Black
Radical Tradition_, 1983, Reissue: Univ North Carolina Press, 2000
* Rummel, R.J. (1977) _Conflict In Perspective_ Chap. 5 _Marxism,
Class Conflict, and the Conflict Helix_
* Screpanti, E; S. Zamagna (1993). _An Outline of the
Library resources about MARXISM -------------------------
* Resources in your library *