What is Marxism? Characteristics and philosophy

What is Marxism? Characteristics and philosophy

Introduction to Marxism

Communism it has a lot of doctrines. Among them, a particular ideological movement stands out: marxism.

Marxism is named after its creator, Karl Marx, who was a 19th century German revolutionary philosopher and journalist.

The Communist Manifesto

His first major work was the Communist Manifesto in 1848. The main phrase of this work summarizes, to a large extent, the Marxist doctrine: “The history of all societies to this day is the history of the struggles of social classes”.

Marx's theories had as an adviser and assistant Friedrich Engels. He also participated in the writing of the Communist Manifesto (it is the legacy of both) and in «Capital«.

Division of society in Marxism

For Marxists, society is divided into two classes: the proletariat and the bourgeoisie.

The constant struggle between these two factions is what causes the advance or retreat of civilization, which during its development, has always been in conflict.

Marxist thought can be divided into two components: one scientific and one philosophical.

The first refers to historical materialism. This concept starts from the fact that the material base of a society is what determines the social order and, as a consequence, determines the evolution and development of said society.

Historical materialism

Historical materialism It can therefore be used to analyze different societies and their evolutions throughout history. Marx claimed that the history of the development of civilization is linked to the development of production and modes of production.

From there it could be derived that the productive forces and the relationships between them would have a direct relationship with said evolution.

That is to say, Marx linked the class struggle to the evolution of the modes of production and of humanity.

Dialectical materialism

The second component of Marxist doctrine is the dialectical materialism. This has been the subject of several controversial elaborations.

Basically what Marx is proposing is that speculative philosophy is uselessas it only creates contradictions.

He advocates a conception of the world based on his theory of historical materialism.

In other words, the conception of the world and of history is, for Marx, something completely empirical, in the sense that it can be argued with the historical analysis that he raises.

Marx's ‘Capital’

His second work came almost 10 years after the Communist Manifesto with the publication of the first book of "Capital”, Where he analyzed the capitalism.

From this work arises the economic thought of Marxism, which revolves around two fundamental concepts: value and goodwill.

For Marx, the value is the expression of the amount of social work (time spent) contained within a commodity, that is, how much has been invested in producing that commodity.

According to him, in capitalism, that social work becomes a commodity at the mercy of the markets. The days would be paid not by what you do, but by how many people are willing to do it.

The surplus value would be all the extra work that is achieved in capitalism through the exploitation of the labor force.

The dictatorship of the proletariat

Apart from these theories, It also proposes an alternative socio-political model to the existing one. Its purpose was to end up in a communist system.

To do this, he proposes that the working classes seize power in a revolution, that religion ends"Religion is people's opium") and that individual ownership no longer has a place, since it is only a mechanism for obtaining votes.

This is what Marx calls "dictatorship of the proletariat”And that, supposedly, it should be an intermediate phase.

However, throughout history the Soviet leaders have remained in this phase without actually applying the second part.

Marxism It is the communist doctrine that most governments have been inspired by. Mao, Lenin, Stalin and Trotsky they were the main leaders who tried to apply it.

Lenin introduced several changes to this philosophy, which is why the “Marxism-Leninism”.

But, as already mentioned, it has never finished culminating with all that the October Revolution and his own Karl Marx promised.

Different variants of Marx's thought were important in the course of the 20th century, especially during the Cold War, when we can make it visible in the soviet ideological model and in the Maoist model, as great opposites of American capitalist model or the European liberal model.

Passionate about History, he has a degree in Journalism and Audiovisual Communication. Since he was little he loved history and ended up exploring the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries above all.


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