Karl Marx and the Idea of Communism

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 321
  • Published : June 8, 2013
Open Document
Text Preview
Karl Marx’s claim that capitalism is important to human development but must be overcome and a system put into place that would eventually evolve into communism is unrealistic. Although the idea of communism, a social system designed to promote a classless society where everyone is truly equal and social problems such as racism, sexism and oppression do not exist, would be favourable to a capitalist society, it is unachievable as it doesn’t comprehend an individuals personal desire, the labour classes ability to lead or the growth and change that has occurred within capitalism since Marx. Capitalism is the social system currently within place in countries all over the world, where the means for producing and distributing goods are owned by a small collection of people, the capitalists, and the labour class, is made up of the majority of the population who sell their labour for a wage.

Marx’s primary claim is that an individual’s moral, philosophical and religious ideas are reflections based on our material circumstance and that they are not autonomous driving forces in history as others have claimed. Marx concluded that ‘instead of shaping society, ideas were in fact shaped by society’ (Mann & Dann, 2005). By this he meant that the economic system of a society determines what values and principles are upheld. Therefore, an outdate society would value attributes such as honour and loyalty to keep people in line, whereas a capitalist society would value freedom and equality to keep the workforce as large and as mobile as possible to keep down wages. When a society’s economic conditions experience a fundamental change and a new class assumes supremacy after a political revolution has occurred and installed that leading class in power. Marx predicted that a communist revolution eliminating private property and the subjugation of one class by another would occur at the end of history society (Mann & Dann, 2005).

Marx believed that through industrialisation, capitalism has increased the productive capability of the world’s economy but had also created two competing classes of people, the bourgeoisie, who controlled and owned the resources of production and employed wage labourers and the proletariat, who were everyday labour who didn’t own anything but their individual right to sell the labour. He felt that the nature of capitalism would guarantee that these two classes would eventually struggle against each other until the point where the working class would become sizeable and subjugated enough that it would takeover the bourgeoisie and its production resources and end the economic system known as capitalism. A socialist system would them be put into place and pure communism would progressively develop (Mann & Dann, 2005). In Marx’s theory communism is a period of historical progression that occurs from the expansion of productive forces leading to a surplus of material wealth, which allows for allocation based on freely related persons.

The self-recovery of capitalism could not be predicted by Marx, as it was the introduction of a welfare state and trade unions that played their part in improving the conditions and wage of the workers of the labour class. Commons (2009) suggested that against Marx’s idea of the proletariat class becoming the ruling class of society, labour, as a class were inept in managing business and that the worker input and self-management weren’t feasible. Countries where workingmen have united for joint production of goods and rendering all services to become their own employees and have elected their own foremen, superintendents and directors have failed as labour as a class are inept to appoint their own boss because they base their election on compassion rather than the individuals competence and discipline. Individual labourers who rise out of there own class is capitalism and labourers that rise as a class to become their own boss as a class is socialism, which is...
tracking img