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Marxism is an economic and socio-political worldview and method of socioeconomic inquiry that centers upon a materialist interpretation of history,

adialectical view of social change, and a critique of capitalism. Marxism was pioneered in the early to mid 19th century by two German philosophers, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Marxism encompasses Marxian economic theory, asociological theory and a revolutionary view of social change that has greatly influenced socialist political movements worldwide. The Marxian analysis begins with an analysis of material conditions, taking at its starting point the necessary economic activities required by human society to provide for its material needs. The form of economic organization, or mode of production, is understood to be the basis from which the majority of other social phenomena including social relations, political and legal systems, morality and ideology arise (or at the least by which they are greatly influenced). These social relations form the superstructure, of which the economic system forms the base. As the forces of production, most notably technology, improve, existing forms of social organization become inefficient and stifle further progress. These inefficiencies manifest themselves as social contradictions in society in the form of class struggle. Under the capitalist mode of production, this struggle materializes between the minority who own the means of production; thebourgeoisie, and the vast majority of the population who produce goods and services; the proletariat. Taking the idea that social change occurs because of the struggle between different classes within society who are under contradiction against each other, the Marxist analysis leads to the conclusion that capitalismoppresses the proletariat, the inevitable result being a proletarian revolution. Marxism views the emergence of a socialist system as a historical inevitability that arises from the obsolescence of capitalism and the corresponding social revolution, where private property in the means of production would be superseded by cooperative ownership and production would be organized for use, as opposed to being carried out for profit. Eventually, socialism would give way to a communist stage of history; a classless, stateless system based oncommon ownership and free-access, superabundance and maximum freedom for individuals to develop their own capacities and talents. As a political movement, Marxism advocates for the creation of such a society. A Marxist understanding of history and of society has been adopted by academics studying in a wide range of disciplines, including archaeology,anthropology, [1] media studies, [2] political science, theater, history, sociological theory, art history and theory, cultural studies, education, economics, geography,literary criticism, aesthetics, critical psychology, and philosophy. [3]

1. Classical Marxism The term Classical Marxism denotes the theory propounded by Karl Marx andFriedrich Engels.[citation needed] As such, Classical Marxism distinguishes between Marxism as broadly perceived, and what Marx believed; thus, in 1883, Marx wrote to the French labour leader Jules Guesde and to Paul Lafargue(Marxs son-in-law) both of whom claimed to represent Marxist principles accusing them of revolutionary phrase-mongering and of denying the value of reformist struggle; from which derives the paraphrase: If that is Marxism, then I am not a Marxist. [4] To which, the US Marx scholar Hal Draper remarked, there are few thinkers in modern history whose thought has been so badly misrepresented, by Marxists and anti-Marxists alike. [5] 1. 1. Marx and Engels Karl Heinrich Marx (5 May 181814 March 1883) was a Germanphilosopher, political economist, and socialist revolutionary, who addressed the matters of alienation and exploitation of the working class, the capitalist mode of production, and historical materialism. He is famous for analysing history in terms of class struggle, summarised in the initial line introducing the Communist Manifesto (1848): The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles. His ideas were influential in his time, and it was greatly expanded by the successful Bolshevik October Revolution of 1917 in Imperial Russia. Friedrich Engels (28 November 1820-5 August 1895) was a 19th century German political philosopher and Karl Marxs co-developer of communist theory. Marx and Engels met in September 1844; discovering that they shared like views of philosophy and socialism, they collaborated and wrote works such as Die heilige Familie (The Holy Family). After the French deported Marx from France in January 1845, Engels and Marx moved to Belgium, which then permitted greater freedom of expression than other European countries; later, in January 1846, they returned to Brussels to establish the Communist Correspondence Committee. In 1847, they began writing The Communist Manifesto (1848), based upon Engels The Principles of Communism; six weeks later, they published the 12,000word pamphlet in February 1848. In March, Belgium expelled them, and they moved to Cologne, where they published the Neue Rheinische Zeitung, a politically radical newspaper. Again, by 1849, they had to leave Cologne for London. The Prussian authorities pressured the British government to expel Marx and Engels, but Prime Minister Lord John Russell refused. After Karl Marxs death in 1883, Friedrich Engels became the editor andtranslator of Marxs writings. With his Origins of the Family, Private Property, and the

State (1884) analysing monogamous marriage as guaranteeing male social domination of women, a concept analogous, in communist theory, to the capitalist classs economic domination of the working class Engels madeintellectually significant contributions to feminist theory and Marxist feminism. Concepts 2. 1. Historical Materialism "The discovery of the materialist conception of history, or rather, the consistent continuation and extension of materialism into the domain of social phenomenon, removed two chief defects of earlier historical theories. In the first place, they at best examined only the ideological motives of the historical activity of human beings, without grasping the objective laws governing the development of the system of social relations... in the second place, the earlier theories did not cover the activities of the masses of the population, whereas historical materialism made it possible for the first time to study with the accuracy of the natural sciences the social conditions of the life of the masses and the changes in these conditions." Russian Marxist theoretician and revolutionary Vladimir Lenin, 1913. [6] "Society does not consist of individuals, but expresses the sum of interrelations, the relations within which these individuals stand." The historical materialist theory of history, also synonymous to the economic interpretation of history (a coinage by Eduard Bernstein), [8] looks for the causes of societal development and change in the collective ways humans use to make the means for living. The social features of a society (social classes, political structures, ideologies) derive from economic activity; base and superstructure is the metaphoric common term describing this historic condition. The base and superstructure metaphor explains that the totality of social relations regarding the social production of their existence i.e. civil society forms a societys economic base, from which rises a superstructure of political and legal institutions i.e. political society. The base corresponds to the social consciousness (politics, religion, philosophy, etc.), and it conditions the superstructure and the social consciousness. A conflict between the development of material productive forces and the relations of production provokes social revolutions, thus, the resultant changes to the economic base will lead to the transformation of the superstructure. [9] This relationship is reflexive; the base determines the superstructure, in the first instance, and remains the foundation of a form of social organization which then can act again

upon both parts of the base and superstructure, whose relationship is dialectical, not literal.[citation needed][clarification needed] Marx considered that these socio-economic conflicts have historically manifested themselves as distinct stages (one transitional) of development in Western Europe.[10] 1. Primitive Communism: as in co-operative tribal societies. 2. Slave Society: a development of tribal progression to city-state; Aristocracy is born. 3. Feudalism: aristocrats are the ruling class; merchants evolve into capitalists. 4. Capitalism: capitalists are the ruling class, who create and employ the proletariat. 5. Socialism: workers gain class consciousness, and via proletarian revolutiondepose the capitalist dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, replacing it in turn withdictatorship of the proletariat through which the socialization of the means of production can be realized. 6. Communism: a classless and stateless society
Criticism of capitalism:-

"We are, in Marx's terms, 'an ensemble of social relations' and we live our lives at the core of the intersection of a number of unequal social relations based on hierarchically interrelated structures which, together, define the historical specificity of the capitalist modes of production and reproduction and underlay their observable manifestations." Martha E. Gimenez, Marxism and Class, Gender and Race: Rethinking the Trilogy [11] According to the Marxist theoretician and revolutionary Vladimir Lenin, "the principal content of Marxism" was "Marx's economic doctrine". [12] Marx believed that the capitalist bourgeois and their economists were promoting what he saw as the lie that "The interests of the capitalist and those of the worker are... one and the same"; he believed that they did this by purporting the concept that "the fastest possible growth of productive capital" was best not only for the wealthy capitalists but also for the workers because it provided them with employment. [13] A person is exploited if he or she performs more labour than necessary to produce the goods that he consumes; likewise, a person is an exploiter if he or she performs less labour than is necessary to produce the goods that he consumes. [14] Exploitation is a matter of surplus labour the amount of labour one performs beyond what one receives in goods. Exploitation has been a socio-economic feature of every class

society, and is one of the principal features distinguishing the social classes. The power of one social class to control themeans of production enables its exploitation of the other classes. In capitalism, the labour theory of value is the operative concern; the value of acommodity equals the socially necessary labour time required to produce it. Under that condition, surplus value (the difference between the value produced and the value received by a labourer) is synonymous with the term surplus labour; thus, capitalist exploitation is realised as deriving surplus value from the worker. In pre-capitalist economies, exploitation of the worker was achieved via physical coercion. In the capitalist mode of production, that result is more subtly achieved; because the worker does not own the means of production, he or she must voluntarily enter into an exploitive work relationship with a capitalist in order to earn the necessities of life. The worker's entry into such employment is voluntary in that he or she chooses which capitalist to work for. However, the worker must work or starve. Thus, exploitation is inevitable, and the "voluntary" nature of a worker participating in a capitalist society is illusory. Alienation denotes the estrangement of people from their humanity (German:Gattungswesen, species-essence, species-being), which is a systematic result of capitalism. Under capitalism, the fruits of production belong to the employers, who expropriate the surplus created by others, and so generate alienated labourers. [15] Alienation objectively describes the workers situation in capitalism his or her self-awareness of this condition is not prerequisite. The identity of a social class derives from its relationship to the means of production; Marx describes the social classes in capitalist societies:

Proletariat: those individuals who sell their labour power, and who, in the capitalist mode of production, do not own the means of production.[citation needed] The capitalist mode of production establishes the conditions enabling the bourgeoisie to exploit the proletariat because the workers labour generates a surplus value greater than the workerswages. Bourgeoisie: those who own the means of production and buy labour power from the proletariat, thus exploiting the proletariat; they subdivide as bourgeoisie and the petit bourgeoisie. o Petit bourgeoisie are those who employ labourers, but who also work, i.e. small business owners, peasant landlords, trade workers et al. Marxism predicts that the continual reinvention of the means of production eventually would destroy the petit bourgeoisie, degrading them from the middle class to the proletariat.

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Lumpenproletariat: criminals, vagabonds, beggars, et al., who have no stake in the economy, and so sell their labour to the highest bidder. Landlords: an historically important social class who retain some wealth and power. Peasantry and farmers: a disorganised class incapable of effecting socioeconomic change, most of whom would enter the proletariat, and some become landlords.

Class consciousness denotes the awareness of itself and the social world that a social class possesses, and its capacity to rationally act in their best interests; hence, class consciousness is required before they can effect a successful revolution. Without defining ideology, [16] Marx used the term to denote the production of images of social reality; according to Engels, ideology is a process accomplished by the socalled thinker consciously, it is true, but with a false consciousness. The real motive forces impelling him remain unknown to him; otherwise it simply would not be an ideological process. Hence he imagines false or seeming motive forces.[17] Because the ruling class controls the societys means of production, the superstructure of society, the ruling social ideas are determined by the best interests of said ruling class. In The German Ideology, the ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas, i.e. the class which is the ruling material force of society, is, at the same time, its ruling intellectual force. [18] The term political economy originally denoted the study of the conditions under which economic production was organised in the capitalist system. In Marxism, political economy studies the means of production, specifically of capital, and how that manifests as economic activity. 2. 3. Revolution, socialism and communism Marxists believe that the transition from capitalism to socialism is an inevitable part of the development of human society; as Lenin stated, "it is evident that Marx deduces the inevitability of the transformation of capitalist society [into a socialist society] wholly and exclusively from the economic law of motion of contemporary society." [19] Marxists believe that a socialist society will be far better for the majority of the populace than its capitalist counterpart, for instance, prior to the Russian revolution of 1917, Lenin wrote that "The socialization of production is bound to lead to the conversion of the means of production into the property of society... This conversion will directly result in an immense increase in productivity of labour, a reduction of

working hours, and the replacement of the remnants, the ruins of small-scale, primitive, disunited production by collective and improved labour." [20] 3. Marxism in academia Some Marxists have criticised the academic institutionalisation of Marxism for being too detached from political action. For instance, Zimbabwean TrotskyistAlex Callinicos, himself a professional academic, stated that "Its practitioners remind one of Narcissus, who in the Greek legend fell in love with his own reflection... Sometimes it is necessary to devote time to clarifying and developing the concepts that we use, but for Western Marxists this has become an end in itself. The result is a body of writings incomprehensible to all but a tiny minority of highly qualified scholars." [21] 4. Political Marxism Since Marx's death in 1883, various groups around the world have appealed to Marxism as the theoretical basis for their politics and policies, which have often proved to be dramatically different and conflicting[citation needed]. One of the first major political splits occurred between the advocates of 'reformism', who argued that the transition to socialism could occur within existing bourgeoisparliamentarian frameworks, and communists, who argued that the transition to a socialist society required a revolution and the dissolution of the capitalist state. The 'reformist' tendency, later known as social democracy, came to be dominant in most of the parties affiliated to the Second International and these parties supported their own governments in the First World War[citation needed]. This issue caused the communists to break away, forming their own parties which became members of the Third International[citation needed].