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Marxism

I- The Great Cow Analogy


Socialism You have two cows. Give one to your neighbor
Communism- You have two cows. Give both cows to the government, and they may
give you some milk
Fascism- You have two cows. You give all the milk to the government, and the
government sells it
Nazism- You have two cows. The government shoots you and takes both cows
Anarchism- You have two cows. Keep both the cows, shoot the government agent,
and steal another cow
Capitalism- You have two cows. Sell one cow and buy a bull
Pure Communism- You have two cows. Your neighbors help you take care of them,
and you all share the milk
Russian Communism- You have two cows. You have to take care of them, but the
government takes all the milk
Singaporean Democracy- You have two cows. The government fines you for keeping
two unlicensed farm animals in an apartment
American Democracy- the government promises to give you two cows if you vote
for it. After the election, the president is impeached for speculating in cow futures.
The press dubs the affair cowgate.

COMMUNISM according to Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels is a theoretical economic


system characterized by the collective ownership of property and by the
organization of labor for the common advantage of all members
1. A system of government in which the state plans and controls the
economy and a single, often authoritarian party holds power, claiming
towards a higher social order in which goods are equally shared
2. The Marxist version of communist doctrine advocates the progression
of society through the violent overthrow of the dominant classes and
the eventual creation of classless society

II- Who is Karl Marx?


Karl Marx (1818-1883) is a German philosopher, economist, and social
theorist whose ideas have exercised an enormous influence on later
thinkers and political activists.

III- Concept of Marxism


Marxist ideas about man and matter are generally known as Marxism. Marxism constitutes a
general view about the world and the human society.

Marxism developed as a protest against the idealist conception of man and the world as
represented by Hegel (1770-1831).

Hegel represented Dialectical Idealism. Marx was influenced by Hegelian dialectics, French
socialism and English economics. But Marxism is a fundamental and total philosophy of life.
Marxism is, on the one hand, a social and political theory and, on the other, it is a scientific plan
for complete social change and revolution.

Marx attaches importance to Matter and not Idea or Spirit. Marx aimed to end spirituality. Hegel
started from spirituality and ended in matter; Marx interpreted human history from reality
(matter) to spirituality.
According to Marx:
History is the product of material existence whereas, according to Hegel, History is the
product of spiritual existence. The Marxian conception of history is called Historical Materialism.
Marx and Modern Socialism:
Marx was the founder of modern Scientific Socialism
Marx for the first time analyzed correctly the forces and impulses which govern human nature
and mold its environment. It was Karl Marx who gave socialism a philosophy and a new
direction and a dynamic force. His Communist Manifesto, which appeared in 1848, has been
aptly described as the birth-cry of modern socialism.

In it he traces the evolution of history as the inevitable result of the economic changes brought
about by the changed method of the material production of wealth, and prophesies a social
revolution leading to the dictatorship of the proletariat.

The future is determined by the past; it is the inevitable product of certain forces and tendencies
which are irresistible in their operation.
Economic Interpretation of History and Class Struggle:
Marx gave an economic interpretation of history, and from it he draws the conclusions that all
history is but a record of class struggles.
Those who control the means of production dominate the society, and it is in their interest to
fashion the laws and institutions as to perpetuate their social and political prominence. Thus
arises the division of the society into those who control and those who are controlled, the haves
and the have-nots. It is from this division of society into two antagonistic sections that class
struggle arises.

Marx points out that the present society has been evolved gradually out of many class struggles
in the past. History is a record of class struggles. There had been struggles between freeman
and slave, between lord and serf, between the landed aristocracy and the bourgeoisie. History
is simply the record of how one class has gained wealth and political power only to be
overthrown and succeeded by another class.

Attack upon Capitalism and the theory of Surplus Value:


Economic interpretation of history and class struggle are the two main principles of Marxism.
Marx next directed his attack upon capital through the economic theory of surplus value.
According to it, all wealth is the product of labor, and labor is the only measure of value.

Marx is of opinion that capitalism is digging its own grave. Its inevitable tendency is the
progressive concentration of wealth in the hands of increasingly fewer men, the big capitalists
swallowing up the little ones. The result of this tendency would be to expand the number of the
proletariat
The result of this tendency would be to expand the number of the proletariat

The History of all societies in the history of class struggle

PRIMITIVE COMMUNISM (No government) = Classless


society, based on subsistence living, very few
commodities

FEUDALISM (usually an absolute monarchy) =


Aristocrac ,landowners vs peasantry

CAPITALISM (Parliamentary democracy defending


bourgeois principles) Bourgeoisie (factory owners) vs
Proletariat (factory workers)

SOCIALISM( Dictatorship of the Proletariat) Wokers control the


state to resist counter revolution. Society becomes more equal
with class system breaking down and good more fairly
distributed

COMMUNISM (classless society) No state, just the


administration of things. From each according to his
ability, to each according to his needs

In brief, the most important ideas of Karl Marx:


1. All societies are made up of classes, and in modern, industrial societies there
are two main classes- the capitalists and the proletariats
2. The two classes must always be in conflict, and in capitalist societies the
state- or machinery of government- it is used to control workers
3. The workers must use revolutionary force to overthrow the capitalists
4. The revolution will be successful only when the masses of workers become
class-conscious-that is, realize how they are cheated by the capitalists
5. After the revolution the worker will create a classless society in which all men
will be equal. As it will no longer be needed, the state or machinery of the
government will wither away.

Values in Marxism:
A Marxist is dedicated to the welfare of the state and the people.

He is guided by certain values which may be briefly stated:


(a) To develop a respect for public property;

(b) To develop a respect for authority;

(c) Patriotism is not an important Marxist value;

(d) To develop respect for parents, elderly people and all classes of laborers;

(e) Common good occupies an important position in Marxism;

(f) In Marxist state there is no existence of private property;

(g) Discipline in public life is another important value in Marxist philosophy;

(h) Marxism attaches highest importance to the value of labor.

Aims of Education in Marxism:


Marxist education will lay stress on indoctrination of ideas and practices. In Marxist state,
education aims at creating Marxist attitude and values. The state is to be strengthened through
the creation of a classless society. The proletariat will, no doubt, dominate in the Marxist state.
But education will not be limited to a handful of people. Marxism lays stress on providing
education to all sections of the society, i.e., universal education.

Equalization of educational opportunity is the Marxist educational goal. Marxist education aims
at maximum good to the maximum number. Social advancement is to be ensured through
education. Education is considered as the greatest instrument of social change. Only intellectual
education cannot achieve this goal.

Hence, in Marxism, emphasis is laid on vocational and technological education. All educands
must know clearly the true character of social development. History and economics should be
taught in proper perspective. The students must learn the fundamental principles of science.

In Marxist education labor and work are considered as integral parts. A workman cannot work
properly unless he possesses a sound health. Hence physical education is considered as an
important aim in Marxist education. It also aims at cultural and aesthetic development, and
further aims at indoctrination in communist and socialist values. Marxist education aims at
creating creative, productive and faithful citizenship.
According to Lenin, education is an integral part of culture and culture and education both are
shaped by socioeconomic conditions. But labor is the basis and source of all cultural
advancement. That is why, in Marxist education, labor occupies an important place.

In Marxist education the philosophic child is given the central position. Development of the child
mind is the ultimate aim. Education of the child depends to a great extent on the education of
the mother. So Marxist education aims at womens education too. Communist Manifesto
declares free, universal, elementary education for all.

Marx says: Education means to us three things:


(a) Intellectual Development,

(b) Physical Development,

(c) Polytechnised Education which will give knowledge relative to the General Sciences and
principles of all productive processes.

Educational Objectives in Marxism:


1. No discrimination will be made in respect of educational opportunities. Education is to be
given to all sections of the society irrespective of caste, creed, sex social and economic status.

2. Common education is to be provided to both men and women. Coeducation is an accepted


principle in Marxism.

3. Education will be universal and compulsory.

4. No discrimination is to be made among schools. Establishment of common school system is


the cherished goal of Marxism.

5. Marxism advocates secular education in schools.

6. In Marxist system of education there will be only one agency the state. Private agency is
banned in Marxist educational administration.

Curriculum in Marxism:
Marxist curriculum is based on Marxist educational aims, objectives and values set forth earlier.

The following are the special features of Marxist Curriculum:


1. Marxist philosophy and doctrines will be taught at all levels of education on compulsory basis.
The students should be made conscious about class division, unequal distribution of wealth,
exploitation of the working class by the capitalist class, etc.

2. Those subjects are included in the curriculums which tend to develop skill instead of abstract
knowledge.

3. Marxism lays stress on respect for labor and, as such, work-experience is regarded as an
integral part of education.
4. The curriculum includes the socially useful subjects such as science, mathematics,
geography, life science, geology, astronomy etc. The history of communist movement and
political economy should also be included in the curriculum.

5. At the primary level, only the mother-tongue should be taught. But at the secondary level the
curriculum should include foreign language.

6. Creative work and co-curricular activities have been given an important place in Marxist
curriculum. These include physical exercise, music, painting, games and sports etc.

Methodology of Teaching in Marxism:


1. Emphasis is laid on practical aspect of education instead of theoretical aspect.

2. Marxist education is based on the principle of learning by doing. Students should work both in
the agricultural farms and factories.

3. Education should not be confined within the four walls of the school. The natural environment
and the community at large will also serve as great books and teachers.

4. Marxist education emphasizes learning through personal experience of the child.

5. It emphasizes group activity instead of individual activity. Marxist education intends to


promote cooperative spirit instead of competitive spirit among students.

Role of Teacher in Marxist Education:


The role of the teacher is significant and crucial in Marxist education. He must be fully equipped
not only with the content of education but also the Marxist methodology of teaching as well as
Marxist aims of education.

A Marxist teacher must entirely be different in attitude and temperament from a bourgeois
teacher. His philosophy of teaching will be the Marxist philosophy. He must be an active
member of the Marxist social order.

According to Lenin, a best Marxist worker can only be a best Marxist teacher. Both in thought
and action he must be a true Marxist. He should not have only mastery on the content of
education but also have consciousness about life, social environment and communist ideology.
He should possess sound health, respect for cultural heritage, deep practical sense, socialistic
bent of mind and true patriotism.