Social Theory Karl Marx

Marxism meaning

A social, political, and economic ideology bearing Karl Marx’s name is known as Marxism. It looks at how capitalism affects labour, productivity, and economic growth and makes the case for a worker revolution to depose capitalism and replace it with communists. According to the theory of Marxism, the conflict between social classes—more particularly, between the bourgeoisie, or capitalists, and the proletariat, or workers—defines economic relations in a capitalist economy and will inevitably result in revolutionary communism.

Important points of Marxism

  • Marxism is a social, political, and economic ideology that emphasizes the conflict between capitalists and the working class. It was developed by Karl Marx.
  • Marx believed that because of the inherent exploitation of workers by capitalists, there would necessarily be class warfare.
  • The working class would eventually topple the capitalist class and gain control of the money supply as a result of this fight.

Marxism is a social and political ideology that includes Marxian economics and the notion of class struggle. The Communist Manifesto, a booklet by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels that outlines the idea of class conflict and revolution, was the first work to openly articulate Marxism. The foundations of Marxian economics are centered on the critiques of capitalism that Karl Marx made in his 1867 book, Das Kapital.

Class conflict in Marxism

According to Marx’s theory of classes, “capitalism is just one of a number of economic systems that have developed historically and in a logical order.” He asserted that they are motivated by huge, impersonal historical factors that manifest themselves in social class struggle and conduct. Every society, according to Marx, is split into social classes whose members are more similar to one another than they are to those of other social classes.

Elements of Marxist theory of society

Marx’s views on how class struggle will manifest itself in a capitalist economy include the following components.

  • The bourgeoisie, or owners, who control the money, and the proletariat, or workers, whose labor converts raw materials into finished goods and commercial goods, are the two groups that make up a capitalist society.
  • Ordinary workers have limited influence in the capitalist economic system since they do not control the factories, structures, or materials that are used in production. In times of high unemployment, employees are also easily replaceable, thus diminishing their perceived value.
  • Business owners are motivated to get the most effort out of their employees while paying them the lowest salaries feasible in order to increase profits. As a result, there is an unjust disparity between employers and employees, whose labor employers take advantage of for their personal benefit.
  • Marx felt that because employees have no personal investment in the production process, they will grow estranged from it and from their morality and they will become hostile to corporate owners.
  • In order to retain its privileged position and authority, the bourgeoisie also uses social institutions, such as the administration, press, universities, organized religion, and financial and banking institutions, as tools and weapons against the proletariat.
  • In the end, the economic relations of exploitation and inherent inequality between these two classes will spark a revolution in which the working class overthrows the bourgeoisie, seizes the productive resources, and ends capitalism.

Marx, therefore, believed that the capitalist system had the makings of its own demise. The working class would ultimately rise against the capitalists and take control of the means of production as a result of the estrangement and victimization of the proletariat that are essential features of capitalist relations. The “vanguard of the proletariat,” educated leaders who grasped society’s class hierarchy and who would unify the working class by fostering a sense of class consciousness, would lead this movement.

communism vs. socialism vs. capitalism

The theories of Marx serve as the foundation for communism, which promotes a classless society in which all ownership and commodities are collectively (as opposed to privately) held. There has never been a genuinely communist state that has totally abolished private possessions, finance, and class hierarchies, despite the former Soviet Union, China, and Cuba (among other countries) having officially communist administrations.

Communism emerged numerous centuries before socialism. Early supporters demanded a more equitable distribution of resources, employee cooperation, better working conditions, and shared ownership of land and industrial machinery. Socialism is predicated on the notion of collective relationship to the means of production, however private ownership possession is still permitted. Socialist reform occurs inside the current social and political institutions, regardless of whether they are democratic, technocratic, oligarchic, or dictatorial, as opposed to emerging from a class revolution.

The economic systems of capitalism and socialism, which are both defined by private ownership and a set of rules that defend the freedom to acquire and transfer private property, are in opposition to each other. In a capitalist economy, private people and businesses own the productive resources and the ability to profit from them. The goals of socialism and communism are to correct the flaws in capitalism’s free-market structure. These include unfair treatment of the poor and exploitation of workers.