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INTODUCTION

Karl Marx (German 5May,1818 14March,1883) was a Prussian-


born philosopher, economist, sociologist, journalist, and revolutionary socialist. Born in Trier to
a middle-class family, he later studied political economy and Hegelian philosophy. As an adult,
Marx became stateless and spent much of his life in London, England, where he continued to
develop his thought in collaboration with German thinker Friedrich Engels and published various
works, the most well-known being the 1848 pamphlet The Communist Manifesto. His work has
since influenced subsequent intellectual, economic, and political history.

Marx's theories about society, economics, and politicscollectively understood as Marxism


hold that human societies develop through class struggle; in capitalism, this manifests itself in
the conflict between the ruling classes (known as the bourgeoisie) that control the means of
production and working classes (known as the proletariat) that enable these means by selling
their labour for wages. Employing a critical approach known as historical materialism, Marx
predicted that, like previous socioeconomic systems, capitalism produced internal tensions which
would lead to its self-destruction and replacement by a new system: socialism. For Marx, class
antagonisms under capitalism, owing in part to its instability and crisis-prone nature, would
eventuate the working class' development of class consciousness, leading to their conquest of
political power and eventually the establishment of a classless, communist society constituted by
a free association of producers. Marx actively fought for its implementation, arguing that the
working class should carry out organised revolutionary action to topple capitalism and bring
about socio-economic emancipation.

Marx has been described as one of the most influential figures in human history, and his work
has been both lauded and criticised .His work in economics laid the basis for much of the current
understanding of labour and its relation to capital, and subsequent economic thought. Many
intellectuals, labour unions, artists and political parties worldwide have been influenced by
Marx's work, with many modifying or adapting his ideas. Marx is typically cited as one of the
principal architects of modern social science.
MARXISM

Marxism, a body of doctrine developed by Karl Marx and, to a lesser extent, by Friedrich
Engels in the mid-19th century. It originally consisted of three related ideas: a philosophical
anthropology, a theory of history, and an economic and political program. There is also Marxism
as it has been understood and practiced by the various socialist movements, particularly before
1914.

Political Marxism

At the turn of the 21st century, China, Cuba, Laos and Vietnam remained the only officially
MarxistLeninist 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 Chvez, 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 MarxistLeninist 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"

Marxist Politics Introduction


Frederick Engels painted a clear picture of Marxist politics and the ultimate reason for
revolution, the State is nothing more than a machine for the oppression of one class by another.

In Marxism, the struggle to control the forces of production is the dynamic force behind human
development. The economic system determines other features of a society, including its political
structure. To Karl Marx, the economic structure of society [is] the real foundation on which rise
moral, legal and political superstructures and to which definite forms of social consciousness
correspond.

Thus, to a Marxist, particular political systems are grounded in and arise from particular
economic systems. A socialist economy, therefore, lays the foundation for genuine democracy
(although an impure form of democracy does exist in capitalist nations). Genuine democracy is
not the aim of Marxist politics, and in fact Marxists view democracy as little more than a
necessary evil. V.I.Lenin explains, Democracy is a state which recognizes the subordination of
the minority to the majority, i.e., an organization for the systematic use of force by one class
against another, by one section of the population against another. This definition of democracy
is consistent with Marxist emphasis on class struggle.

Marxist Politics Class Antagonism

When it comes to Marxist politics, Marxists see the world as a struggle between the bourgeoisie
(owners of private property and the means of production) and the proletariat (workers), with
economics as the foundation on which the rest of society is built. Marxists believe the state is an
arena in which the haves and the have-nots struggle. Thus, Marxists see a democratic state or
republic, especially in a capitalist economic system, as undesirable. According to Engels, The
modern state, no matter what its form, is essentially a capitalist machine. This machine is an
unacceptable state since it so clearly focuses on exploiting its citizens.

In a socialist society, the mode of production does not exploit its citizens to the extent that
capitalism does and thus encourages a less exploitative political system. Socialist governments
tend to discourage class antagonism since they are founded on economic systems that are close
to abolishing class distinctions. This less exploitative nature of government makes the democracy
more genuine and socialism more appealing than capitalism. Socialism, however, still lacks
several factors of the ideal state of communism.

The ideal state for the Marxist is no state at all, since any government (whether a democracy or a
dictatorship) is a vehicle for maintaining class antagonism. Marx says, Political power is merely
the organized power of one class for oppressing another. The state exists, therefore, because
class antagonism exists. Once class antagonism is eradicated, the state will no longer be
necessary. Lenin says, According to Marx, the State could neither arise nor maintain itself if a
reconciliation of classes were possible.

Marxist Politics The State Withers Away

In Marxist perception of human social development, the state evolved at a point in history when
it was necessary, and it will cease to exist when it is no longer necessary for society. It is a mere
transitory phenomenon. Engels says, The State is...simply a product of society at a certain stage
of evolution. Lenin supports the idea that the state is necessary only in a capitalist society
because it is responsible for engendering class antagonisms. He stresses the necessity of
eliminating the bourgeoisie, which in turn will eliminate the need for the state: Only in
communist society, when the resistance of the capitalists has been completely crushed, when the
capitalists have disappeared, when there are no classes...only then the state...ceases to exist, and
it becomes possible to speak of freedom. Since freedom to Marxists means no government at
all, until the classless society is established freedom is an illusion. Lenin continues, So long as
the state exists, there is no freedom. When there is freedom, there will be no state. Marxists
believe only communism makes the state absolutely unnecessary, for there is nobody to be
suppressed... Communism must be established worldwide in order for Marxists to consider their
political ends achieved, and at that time in history, the state will wither away completely. If the
state exists anywhere in the world, then classes still exist as a threat to a completely classless
society.
Marxist Politics The New World Order

Marxist politics ends with the establishment of global communism as a new world order and the
dissolution of the state these are inevitable evolutionary steps. In the same sense that humans,
societies, economies, and politics are evolving, so the new world order is an evolutionary
advance over former nations, states, tribes, and other race or class distinctions. Georgi
Shakhnazarov, a top aide to former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, writes, Our epoch is
the epoch of the revolutionary transformation of capitalist society into communist. In tracing the
beginnings of the revolution, he says, the building of a new world order...was begun in October
1917 by revolutionary Russia, proclaiming socialist principles. The establishment of world
communism, the ultimate aim of Marxism, puts the means of production in the hands of the
people, abolishes classes, abolishes the state, and leads to a world society of cooperation and
consensus.

Marxist Politics Conclusion

In the Marxist view of politics, all forms of government are ugly reflections of the fact that class
antagonism exists. Marxists advocate a form of democracy they call the dictatorship of the
proletariat as the first step toward socialism. When socialist society evolves into communism,
class distinctions will no longer exist, which will eliminate the need for the state in any form.

Until world communism is a reality, however, conflict between socialist societies (whose states
are in the process of withering away) and capitalist societies will be a reality. This conflict will
include wars as an extension of class antagonism. Just as the bourgeoisie and the proletariat
clash, so nations controlled by capitalists and nations controlled by socialists will clash. Thus, the
establishment of global communism and the abolition of all forms of government are the
unabashed goals of Marxists. To this end they are willing to suppress, persecute, and wage war
against the enemy.

The political and military history of Marxism from the October Revolution of 1917 to the
Tiananmen Square student uprising of 1989 is one of the most ruthless, efficient killing machines
the world has ever witnessed. The death toll of this scientific socialism experiment has
exceeded the 100 million mark, according to University of Hawaii professor R.J. Rummel,
author of Death By Government. Rummel summarizes the period by saying it is as though our
species has been devastated by a modern Black Plague.

COMMUNISM - A CLASSLESS SOCIETY

Each stage of history nevertheless marked an advance on the last in

that it brought about the further development of the forces of

production: machinery, technology, labour processes and the like.

However, following Hegel, Marx envisaged an end of history, which

would occur when a society was constructed that embodied no internal

contradictions or antagonisms.

This, for Marx, meant communism, a classless society based on the

common ownership of productive wealth.

With the establishment of communism, what Marx called the pre

history of mankind would come to an end.