We explain what Marxism consists of and its characteristics. In addition, the criticisms of this doctrine and his to capitalism.
What is Marxism?
Marxism is a political and philosophical doctrine developed in the mid-nineteenth century by Karl Marx (German philosopher, economist and journalist), with the collaboration of Friedrich Engels (philosopher, sociologist and journalist). Marxism was formally spread in 1848 through the “Manifesto of the Communist Party”, one of the most influential political treatises in history .
The basis of Marxism is a criticism of the capitalist system, which it accuses of having allowed the design of economies with disastrous results and even horrific dictatorships . The ideas put forward in the communist manifesto advocated the overthrow of the social class system and the abolition of private property .
Marx proposes that capitalism needs to be reformed, for which he proposes various communist analyzes and principles that claim to be a solution to the deficient system. Marxism is part of the socialist ideology, and was called “scientific socialism” to differentiate it from other previous socialist currents .
Characteristics of Marxism
The characteristics that describe the Marxist ideology are:
- The end of the system of inequality of social classes so that there is a single class or social group.
- The abolition of private property in pursuit of public property.
- A worker’s salary should be determined by the benefits he is capable of generating.
- The value of a commodity is determined by the amount of labor that was necessary for its production.
- The creation of a single administrative social class, capable of satisfying the needs of the people.
- The centralization of the economy and the means of production, to achieve a standardization of prices from the State .
- The income tax must be pronounced but graduated at the same time.
- Control of centralized banking.
- The communication , transport and education system must be public.
Criticism of Marxism to capitalism
Crises are an intrinsic part of capitalist systems.
According to Marx, some of the problems that he managed to identify in capitalism and that need to be corrected are:
- Modern work is alienating. Marx argued that modern work leads to alienation, that is, to a disconnection between what a person does every day and who they really are. Marx considered that work could be one of the greatest sources of joy for people . For that to happen, work must offer the opportunity to bring out the best in each individual. On the contrary, in capitalism, modern work promotes the extreme specialization of the worker through specific tasks carried out in series.
- Modern work is insecure. For Marx, capitalism considered the human being as something totally expendable, as one more component among the rest of the productive forces. A component that could be mercilessly discarded in case costs increase and the same system could not solve it or, because it could be replaced by technology . Marx raises the ideas of communism not only as an economic theory, but as a way of understanding the emotions of the individual.
- The capitalists get rich while the workers are paid little. For Marx, capitalists reduced workers’ wages as much as possible (to the point of promoting labor exploitation, including child labor) for the sole purpose of obtaining the highest profit margin or surplus value, which Marx called ” primitive accumulation. While the capitalists considered the monetary profit as “the reward” for their ingenuity and technological talent, for Marx this was a theft of the talent and work of the workers, who received a price for their work, and then sold it to another person at a lower price. much higher price.
- Capitalism is very unstable. For Marx, capitalist systems were characterized by a series of crises, despite the fact that the capitalists themselves branded them abnormal or rare. Marx argued that crises were caused by producing too much, much more than was necessary, and called them “crises of abundance.” Factories and production systems are so efficient that they could supply goods , houses, access to education, health, etc. to all the world. The modern economic system was so productive that it did not require everyone to work. However, the majority described the word “unemployment” in a pejorative way, instead of considering it as “ freedom ”.”. Marx considered that leisure should be something admirable, while everything that society produces is redistributed.
- Capitalism is bad for capitalists. Marx did not consider capitalists bad, but was well aware of their sorrows and agonies. Behind the bourgeois marriages there was an extension of the family businesses , with links charged with tension, pressure and resentment. Most couples only stayed together for financial reasons. For Marx, the capitalist system forces individuals to put economic interests as the absolute priority. He called this psychological trend a “commodity fetishism” that forced to value things that, in reality, have no intrinsic value.
Criticism of Marxism
After Marx’s death in 1883, various theoreticians and politicians continued to develop his ideas and derived in various new currents, some even conflicting.
Currently, no nation considered socialist or communist has been able to put into practice the Marxist ideology in a pure way, due to corruption and the ideological variants that were adopted. It often happens that the national authority in charge abuses power instead of returning it to the people.
Throughout history, various governments and political movements have appealed to Marxism as an ideological base, such as the party of the obsolete Soviet Union and, today, Laos, North Korea, Vietnam, Cuba, the People’s Republic of China and Moldova. However, in practice they move away from the original ideas raised by Marx.
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