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
Karl Marx and
Friedrich Engels .
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 ".
Marxism has since developed into different branches and schools of
thought, and there is now no single definitive Marxist theory.
Different Marxian schools place a greater emphasis on certain aspects
Marxism while de-emphasizing or rejecting other aspects,
and sometimes combine Marxist analysis with non-Marxian concepts; as a
result, they might reach contradictory conclusions from each other.
Lately, however, there is movement toward the recognition that the
main aspect of
Marxism is philosophy of dialectical materialism and
historicism, which should result in more agreement between different
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
Criticism of capitalism
* 2.3 Social classes
* 3 Relation with industrial revolution
* 4 Revolution, socialism, and communism
* 5.1 Criticism
* 6 Academic
* 7 Etymology
Karl Marx and
* 8.2 Late 20th century
* 8.2.1 Political
* 8.3 21st century
* 8.3.1 Political
* 9 Criticisms
* 9.1 General criticisms
* 9.3 Epistemological and empirical critiques
* 9.4 Socialist critiques
* 9.5 Anarchist and libertarian critiques
* 10 See also
* 11 References
* 11.1 Footnotes
* 11.2 Bibliography
* 12 External links
Karl Marx (1818–1883)
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
Karl Marx observed: "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."
These inefficiencies manifest themselves as social contradictions in
society in the form of class struggle . Under the capitalist mode of
production , this struggle materializes between the minority (the
bourgeoisie ) who own the means of production , and the vast majority
of the population (the proletariat ) who produce goods and services.
Starting with the assumption that social change occurs because of the
struggle between different classes within society who are under
contradiction against each other, a Marxist analyst would summarize by
saying that capitalism exploits and oppresses the proletariat, which
leads to a proletarian revolution .
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
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."
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.
Society does not consist of individuals, but expresses the sum of
interrelations, the relations within which these individuals stand.
Karl Marx ,
Grundrisse , 1858
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.
Friedrich Engels clarified: "The history of all hitherto existing
society is the history of class struggles. Freeman and slave,
patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guild-master and 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 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.
Communism : as in co-operative tribal societies.
Slave Society: a development of tribal to city-state; aristocracy
Feudalism : aristocrats are the ruling class; merchants evolve
Capitalism : capitalists are the ruling class, who create and
employ the proletariat.
CRITICISM OF CAPITALISM
According to the Marxist theoretician and revolutionary Vladimir
Lenin , "the principal content of Marxism" was "Marx's economic
doctrine". Marx believed that the capitalist bourgeois 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 " was best not only for
the wealthy capitalists but also for the workers because it provided
them with employment.
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
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
Proletariat : "the class of modern wage labourers who, having no
means of production of their own, are reduced to selling their labour
power in order to live". As Andrei Platonov expressed "The working
class is my home country and my future is linked with the
proletariat." The capitalist mode of production establishes the
conditions enabling the bourgeoisie to exploit the proletariat because
the workers' labour generates a surplus value greater than the
workers' wages .
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.
Marxism predicts that the continual reinvention of the
means of production eventually would destroy the petite bourgeoisie,
degrading them from the middle class to the proletariat.
Lumpenproletariat : the outcasts of society such as criminals,
vagabonds, beggars, prostitutes, et al., who have no stake in the
economy and no mind of their own and so are decoyed by every bidder.
Landlords : a historically important social class whose members
retain some wealth and power.
Peasantry and farmers : a scattered class incapable of organizing
and effecting socio-economic change, most of whom would enter the
proletariat while some became landlords.
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. "
Marxism taught me what society was. I was
like a blindfolded man in a forest, who doesn't even know where north
or south is. If you don't eventually come to truly understand the
history of the class struggle, or at least have a clear idea that
society is divided between the rich and the poor, and that some people
subjugate and exploit other people, you're lost in a forest, not
knowing anything." Cuban revolutionary and Marxist-Leninist
Fidel Castro on discovering Marxism, 2009.
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
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
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,
Lenin wrote that "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 revolution and the failure of socialist
movements to resist the outbreak of World War 1 led to renewed
theoretical effort and valuable contributions from
Lenin and Rosa
Luxemburg towards an appreciation of Marx's crisis theory and efforts
to formulate a theory of imperialism.
Classical Marxism denotes the collection of
socio-eco-political theories expounded by
Karl Marx and Friedrich
Engels. "Marxism," as
Ernest Mandel remarked, "is always open, always
critical, always self-critical." As such, Classical Marxism
distinguishes between "Marxism" as broadly perceived, and "what Marx
believed;" thus, in 1883, Marx wrote to the French labour leader Jules
Guesde and to
Paul Lafargue (Marx's son-in-law) – 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." American Marxist scholar Hal
Draper 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." On the other hand, the book
Communism: The Great Misunderstanding argues that the source of such
misrepresentations lies in ignoring the philosophy of Marxism, which
is dialectical materialism. In large, this was due to the fact that
The German Ideology, in which Marx and Engels developed this
philosophy, did not find a publisher for almost one hundred years.
Criticisms of Marxism
Some Marxists have criticised the academic institutionalisation of
Marxism for being too shallow and detached from political action. For
instance, Zimbabwean Trotskyist
Alex Callinicos , himself a
professional academic, stated that "Its practitioners remind one of
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
One of the 20th century's most prominent Marxist academics; the
V. Gordon Childe
Marxism has been adopted by a large number of academics and other
scholars working in various disciplines.
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
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
Karl Marx and
Karl Marx (5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) was a German philosopher ,
political economist, and socialist revolutionary, who addressed the
matters of alienation and 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
Friedrich Engels (28 November 1820 – 5 August 1895) was a German
political philosopher who together with Marx 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 ). 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
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 radical newspaper. Again, 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 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 .
LATE 20TH CENTURY
In 1959, the Cuban
Revolution led to the victory of
Fidel Castro and
July 26 Movement . Although the revolution had not been explicitly
socialist, upon victory Castro ascended to the position of Prime
Minister and eventually 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 (1928–1967), subsequently went on to aid revolutionary
socialist movements in Congo-Kinshasa and Bolivia, eventually being
killed by the Bolivian government, possibly on the orders of the CIA,
though 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 would posthumously go on to become an
internationally recognised icon.
In the People's Republic of China, the Maoist government undertook
Revolution from 1966 through to 1976 in order to purge
capitalist elements from Chinese society and entrench socialism.
However, upon Mao's death, his rivals seized political power and under
the Premiership of
Deng Xiaoping (1978–1992), 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 1980s, the emergence of the
New Right and
neoliberal capitalism as the dominant ideological trends in western
politics – championed by U.S. President
Ronald Reagan and U.K. Prime
Margaret Thatcher – led the west to take a more aggressive
stand against the Soviet Union and its Leninist allies. Meanwhile, in
the Soviet Union, the reformist
Mikhael Gorbachev (1931–) became
Premier in March 1985, and began to move away from Leninist-based
models of development towards social democracy. Ultimately,
Gorbachev's reforms, coupled with rising levels of popular ethnic
nationalism in the Soviet Union, led to the state's dissolution in
late 1991 into a series of constituent nations, all of which abandoned
Marxist–Leninist models for socialism, with most converting to
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
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
Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas , these socialist governments
allied themselves with Marxist–Leninist Cuba, and although none of
them espoused a Leninist path directly, most admitted to being
significantly influenced by Marxist theory.
For Italian Marxist Gianni Vattimo in his 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
misiones (social missions for community projects) . 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"
Criticisms of Marxism
Criticisms of Marxism have come from various political ideologies.
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
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
therefore combine some Marxist concepts with the ideas of other
theorists such as
Max Weber : the
Frankfurt school is one example.
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
Marxism itself, but still appreciates Marx's contributions to
political thought. Unlike some anarchists, Chomsky does not consider
Marxism in practice", but he does recognize that Marx was
a complicated figure who had conflicting ideas; while he acknowledges
the latent authoritarianism in Marx he also points to the libertarian
strains which developed into the council communism of Rosa Luxembourg
and Pannekoek . His commitment to libertarian socialism however has
led him to characterize himself as an anarchist with radical Marxist
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
Karl Popper has argued that historical
materialism is not falsifiable and therefore, pseudoscience. Popper
Marxism was originally scientific, in that it was a
theory that was genuinely predictive. When these predictions did not
happen, Popper argues that the theory avoided falsification by ad hoc
hypotheses which make it fit with the facts. Because of this, Popper
believes it had degenerated into pseudoscientific dogma from a genuine
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
Marxism itself; a notable example is the splitting
Russian Social Democratic Labour Party
Russian Social Democratic Labour Party into
Orthodox Marxism became counterposed to a less dogmatic,
more innovative, or even revisionist Marxism.
ANARCHIST AND LIBERTARIAN CRITIQUES
Anarchism has had a strained relationship with
Marxism since Marx's
life. Anarchists and libertarian socialists reject the need for a
transitory state phase , claiming that socialism can only be
established through decentralized, non-coercive organization.
Individualist anarchists , who are often neither socialists nor
Marxism as a statist ideology. 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 .
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
Marxism and socialism have received considerable critical
analysis from multiple generations of Austrian economists in terms of
scientific methodology, economic theory, and political implications.
During the marginal revolution , subjective value theory was
Carl Menger , a development which 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
Jean-Baptiste Say , and
Frédéric Bastiat led Menger to
criticise historicist methodology in general. Second-generation
Eugen Böhm von Bawerk used praxeological and
subjectivist methodology to attack the law of value fundamentally.
Non-Marxist economists have regarded his criticism as definitive, with
Gottfried Haberler arguing that Böhm-Bawerk's critique of Marx's
economics was so thorough and devastating that as of the 1960s no
Marxian scholar had conclusively refuted it. Third-generation
Ludwig von Mises
Ludwig von Mises rekindled the economic calculation debate by
identifying that without price signals in capital goods, all other
aspects of the market economy are irrational. This led him to declare
"... that rational economic activity is impossible in a socialist
Democracy in Marxism
Karl Marx House
Karl Marx in film
* Karl Marx\'s Theory of
Marxian Class Theory
Marxism and religion
Marxism and Freedom
Marxism and the U.S.A.
Marxist film theory
* Marxist hip hop
Marxist international relations theory
* Marxist Workers\' League (US)
Marxists Internet Archive
Marxists Internet Archive
Marx Memorial Library
* Marx\'s notebooks on technology
* Marx\'s theory of human nature
Revolutionary Marxist League
Specters of Marx
* ^ 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
* ^ 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
Anthropology Vol. 4: pp. 341–70 (October 1975) doi
William Roseberry (1997) Marx and
Anthropology Annual Review of
Anthropology, Vol. 26: pp. 25–46 (October 1997) doi
:10.1146/annurev.anthro.26.1.25 * ^ S. L. Becker (1984) "Marxist
Approaches to Media Studies: The British Experience", Critical Studies
in Mass Communication, 1(1): pp. 66–80.
* ^ See
Manuel Alvarado , Robin Gutch, and Tana Wollen (1987)
Learning the Media: Introduction to Media Teaching, Palgrave
* ^ A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy,
* ^ Comparing
Economic Systems in the Twenty-First Century, 2003,
by Gregory and Stuart. P.62, Marx's Theory of Change. ISBN
* ^ Free will, non-predestination and non-determinism are
emphasized in Marx's famous quote "Men make their own history ..." The
Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte,
Karl Marx 1852.
* ^ Socialism, Utopian and Scientific, Chapter three 1882
Lenin 1967 (1913) . p. 15.
* ^ Grundrisse: Foundations of the Critique of Political Economy,
Karl Marx Marx's account of the theory is the Preface to A
Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy (1859). . Another
exposition of the theory is in The German Ideology. It, too, is
available online from marxists.org.
* ^ See
A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy (1859),
Preface, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1977, with some notes by R.
Rojas, and Engels:
Anti-Dühring (1877), Introduction General
* ^ Communist manifesto, chapter one 1847
* ^ Marx does not claim to have produced a master-key to history.
Historical materialism is not "an historico-philosophic theory of the
marche generale, imposed by fate upon every people, whatever the
historic circumstances in which it finds itself", K. Marx, Letter to
editor of the Russian newspaper paper Otetchestvennye Zapiskym, 1877.
He explains that his ideas are based upon a concrete study of the
actual conditions in Europe.
Lenin 1967 (1913) . p. 7.
* ^ Marx 1849 .
* ^ "Alienation" entry, A Dictionary of Sociology
* ^ Engels, Friedrich (1888). Manifesto of the Communist Party.
London. pp. Footnote. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
* ^ Andrei Platonov, the 20th-century Russian writer
* ^ Joseph McCarney: Ideology and False Consciousness, April 2005
* ^ Engels: Letter to
Franz Mehring , (London 14 July 1893), Donna
Torr, translator, in Marx and Engels Correspondence, International
* ^ "
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The German Ideology".
* ^ Castro and Ramonet 2009 . p. 100.
Lenin 1967 (1913) . p. 35.
Lenin 1967 (1913) . p. 35–36.
* ^ Samezo Kuruma (September 1929). "An Introduction to the Theory
of Crisis." At Marxists.org, trans. Michael Schauerte. Originally from
the Journal of the Ohara Institute for Social Research, vol. 4, no. 1.
* ^ "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')." See:
* ^ Hall, Stuart; Dave Morely; Kuan-Hsing Chen (1996). Stuart Hall:
Critical Dialogues in Cultural Studies. London: Routledge. p. 418.
ISBN 978-0-415-08803-9 . Retrieved 4 March 2013. I have no hesitation
in saying that this represents a gigantic crudification and
simplification of Marx's work – the kind of simplification and
reductionism which once led him, in despair, to say "if that is
marxism, then I am not a marxist"
* ^ Not found in search function at Draper Arkiv
* ^ Callinicos 2010 . p. 12.
* ^ Trigger 2007 . pp. 326–40.
* ^ Green 1981 . p. 79.
* ^ A B Georges Haupt, Peter Fawcett, Eric Hobsbawm. Aspects of
International Socialism, 1871–1914: Essays by Georges Haupt.
Paperback Edition. Cambridge, England, UK: Cambridge University Press,
2010. pp. 18–19.
* ^ A B C Georges Haupt, Peter Fawcett, Eric Hobsbawm. Aspects of
International Socialism, 1871–1914: Essays by Georges Haupt.
Paperback Edition. Cambridge, England, UK: Cambridge University Press,
2010. pp. 12.
* ^ See Coltman 2003 and Bourne 1986 .
* ^ Gianni Vattimo and Santiago Zabala. Hermeneutic Communism: From
Heidegger to Marx Columbia University Press. 2011. p. 122
* ^ For example, Baudrillard, Jean (1973). The Mirror of
* ^ Kołakowski, Leszek (2005). Main Currents of Marxism. New York:
W. W. Norton and Company. p. 909. ISBN 9780393329438 .
* ^ M. C. Howard and J. E. King. (1992) A
History of Marxian
Economics: Volume II, 1929–1990, chapter 7, sects. II–IV.
Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press.
* ^ See M. C. Howard and J. E. King, 1992, A
History of Marxian
Economics: Volume II, 1929–1990. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ.
* ^ 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 ("The Return of Karl
Marx," The New Yorker, Oct. 20 & 27, 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."
* ^ "Political positions of Noam Chomsky".. 2017-06-15.
* ^ 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),
Economic Essays on Value,
Competition and Utility. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press
* ^ Ladislaus von Bortkiewicz, 1952 (1906–1907), "Value and Price
in the Marxian System", International
Economic Papers 2, 5–60;
Ladislaus von Bortkiewicz, 1984 (1907), "On the Correction of Marx's
Fundamental Theoretical Construction in the Third Volume of Capital".
In Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk 1984 (1896),
Karl Marx and the Close of his
System, Philadelphia: Orion Editions.
* ^ M. C. Howard and J. E. King. (1992) A
History of Marxian
Economics: Volume II, 1929–1990, chapter 12, sect. III. Princeton,
NJ: Princeton Univ. Press.
* ^ What We Can Know About The World. Hans F. Sennholz.
* ^ Omnipotent Government. Ludwig Von Mises
Gottfried Haberler in
Milorad M. Drachkovitch (ed.), Marxist
Ideology in the Contemporary World – Its Appeals and Paradoxes (New
York: Praeger, 1966), p. 124
* ^ Von Mises, Ludwig (1990).
Economic calculation in the Socialist
Ludwig von Mises
Ludwig von Mises Institute . Retrieved 2008-09-08.
* Bourne, Peter (1986). Fidel: A Biography of Fidel Castro. New
York: Dodd, Mead & Company.
* Callinicos, Alex (2010) . The
Revolutionary Ideas of Karl Marx.
Bloomsbury, London: Bookmarks. ISBN 978-1-905192-68-7 .
* Castro, Fidel ; Ramonet, Ignacio (interviewer) (2009). My Life: A
Spoken Autobiography. New York: Scribner. ISBN 978-1-4165-6233-7 .
* Coltman, Leycester (2003). The Real Fidel Castro. New Haven and
London: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-10760-9 .
* Green, Sally (1981). Prehistorian: A Biography of V. Gordon
Childe. Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire: Moonraker Press. ISBN
* Lenin, Vladimir (1967) . Karl Marx: A Brief Biographical Sketch
with an Exposition of Marxism. Peking: Foreign Languages Press.
* Marx, Karl (1849). Wage Labour and Capital. Germany: Neue
Rheinische Zeitung. Retrieved 2014-06-17.
* Trigger, Bruce G. (2007). A
History of Archaeological Thought (2nd
ed.). New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-60049-1 .
* 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