Difference between revisions of "Marxism"

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[[File:Karl Marx.jpg|thumb|250px|[[Karl Marx]], the creator of Marxism]]
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[[File:anti-duhring.jpg|thumb|254x383px|''Anti-Dühring'' was a foundational text in the development of "worldview Marxism". Visible in the 1939 edition is a portrait of Lenin and the adoption of [[Marxism-Leninism]] as the officially "updated" worldview of Marxism.]]
{{See also|Socialism}}
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'''Marxism''' is the name given to a set of ideas, theories, and political ideologies that developed out of the works of Karl Marx. The term itself is difficult to define due to conflicting interpretations. After Marx's death, the term Marxism came to describe a holistic worldview (German: ''Weltanschauung'') that included theories of philosophy, history, politics, economics, and science.
'''Marxism''' is a [[pseudoscientific]] field of [[social science|social studies]] that began as a revolutionary movement developed by [[Karl Marx]], an alleged German scholar and his activist collaborator [[Friedrich Engels]]. Marx's approach is indicated by the opening line of the [[Communist Manifesto]] (1848): "The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles." Marx believed that [[capitalism]], like previous socioeconomic systems, would produce internal tensions which would lead to its destruction. Just as capitalism supposedly replaced [[feudalism]], capitalism itself will be displaced by [[communism]], a classless society which would emerge after a transitional period in which the state would be nothing else but the revolutionary dictatorship of the [[proletariat]]. Marxists are said to await "the [[revolution]]" with a religious fervor reminiscent of [[Christian]]s awaiting the [[Rapture]].
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Marx, when forming Marxism, also had in mind a particular event for his inspiration for the ideology:  Long enamored with the [[French Revolution]] and its excesses, he advocated in a private letter to his co-author of the movement, [[Friedrich Engels]], as well as other sources such as a leftist newspaper, that they create "revolutionary terror" and that once they are at the helm, they would be obliged to reenact Robespierre's [[Reign of Terror]] from 1793, and that once their time comes, they won't excuse their terrorism, citing they will be pitiless and thus won't expect mercy from the monarchies, with the vengeance of the people being such that it would overtake even Robespierre's Reign of Terror in terms of blood spilt.  He also fully acknowledged that they would be considered monsters as a result, but they wouldn't care less either way.
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== Etymology ==
  
Innocent people are killed in violent Marxist revolutions; those that are not killed, if the revolution is successful, become en[[slave]]d.
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Marxism is derived from the name of German philosopher [[Karl Marx]]. The term was popularized by [[Karl Kautsky]] who considered himself an [[Orthodox Marxism|"orthodox" Marxist]] during the dispute between the orthodox and revisionist followers of Marx. Kautsky's revisionist rival [[Eduard Bernstein]] also later adopted use of the term. [[Friedrich Engels|Engels]] did not support the use of the term "Marxism" to describe either Marx's or his views. Engels claimed that the term was being abusively used as a rhetorical qualifier by those attempting to cast themselves as "real" followers of Marx while casting others in different terms, such as "Lassallians". In 1882, Engels claimed that Marx had criticized self-proclaimed "Marxist" [[Paul Lafargue]], by saying that if Lafargue's views were considered "Marxist", then "One thing is certain and that is that I am not a Marxist"<ref>Letter to Bernstein, 1882.</ref>.
  
== Ideology ==
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== Overview ==
[[File:AdornoHorkheimerHabermasbyJeremyJShapiro2.png|thumb|200px|Max Horkheimer, [[Theodor Adorno]], and Jürgen Habermas, leaders in the ''[[Frankfurt School]]''.]]
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Marxism can roughly be defined as the application of the materialist method to the study of social phenomena. It regards the material conditions and class conflict as driving forces behind historical social development -- Marxism stresses the causal effects of material conditions and class conflict. Marxism primarily focuses on explaining society and history.
A Marxist society does not allow an individual to gain wealth; instead, that wealth supposedly belongs to the people as a collective. In a 'pure' Marxist society, the state is a democratic system that manages all aspects of production—essentially making the state the head of all industry.  However, this was never realized due to power grabs by the eventual managers of the factories, as well as many practical limitations.   Marx dreamed of a society where a man could be "A farmer in the morning, a laborer in the afternoon, and a philosopher in the evening"—essentially, a world without specialization and stark divisions of labor. Again, this tenet of his philosophy was never realized, mostly due to practical reasons.
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Following the writings of Marx and Engels, along with other Marxists, Marxism stands in opposition to the institution of [[marriage]].<ref>Solway, David (August 23, 2018). [https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/karl-marx-hated-marriage-and-marxism-is-marriages-enemy Karl Marx hated marriage, and Marxism is marriage’s enemy]. ''LifeSiteNews'' (from the ''American Thinker''). Retrieved August 28, 2018.</ref>
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It is difficult to establish a precise definition and framing of Marxism can depend on the emphasis preferred by a theoretician on one aspect of the method over another. The complexity of Marx's writings allows for misreadings, misinterpretations, and misplacing emphasis, and enables abuse. Arguably, Marxism as comprehensive world view originated after Marx's death from the efforts of Karl Kautsky, Friedrich Engels, and Georgi Plekhanov. Classical Marxism is based on the writings of [[Karl Marx]] and [[Friedrich Engels]].
  
Marxists also teach that historical forces are a cause of oppression, having been forced upon them without their consent, thus leading them toward the need for complete revolution to throw off these forces. "The basic thought running through the Manifesto — that economic production, and the structure of society of every historical epoch necessarily arising therefrom, constitute the foundation for the political and intellectual history of that epoch ...... this struggle, however, has now reached a stage where the exploited and oppressed class can no longer emancipate itself from the class which exploits and oppresses it, without at the same time forever freeing the whole of society from exploitation, oppression, class struggles"<ref>[https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1848/communist-manifesto/preface.htm Preface], 1883 edition</ref>
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Marxism is not an ideology. It is strictly a method of social analysis. Scientific socialism is a socialist political ideology based around Marxist theory.
  
===Cultural Marxism===
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Placing different emphasis on different aspects of Marxist analysis produces different branches of Marxism. Different schools place a greater emphasis on certain aspects of classical Marxism while de-emphasizing or rejecting other aspects of Marxism, sometimes combining Marxist analysis with non-Marxian concepts. Some variants of Marxism primarily focus on one aspect of Marxism as the determining force in social development – such as the mode of production, class, power-relationships or property ownership – while arguing other aspects are less important or current research makes them irrelevant. Despite sharing similar premises, different schools of Marxism might reach contradictory conclusions from each other. For instance, different Marxian economists have contradictory explanations of economic crisis and different predictions for the outcome of such crises. Furthermore, different variants of Marxism apply Marxist analysis to study different aspects of society (e.g. mass culture, economic crises, or sexism).
[[File:Marcuse Angela Davis.png|right|300px|thumb|[[Herbert Marcuse]] with his student [[Angela Davis]].]]
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:{{main|Cultural Marxism}}
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Cultural Marxism is a branch of Marxist ideology formulated by the ''[[Frankfurt School]]'', which had its origins the early part of the twentieth century.  Cultural Marxism comprises much of the foundation of [[political correctness]]. It emerged as a response of [[Europe]]an Marxist intellectuals disillusioned by the early political failures of conventional economic Marxist ideology.<ref>cf. External source: [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIdBuK7_g3M Cultural Marxism: The Corruption of America] is a James Jaeger Film with ambition to show how ''a love affair with collectivist ideologies has lead to ever bigger government and the welfare-warfare state. Led by a Marxist splinter group called the "[[Frankfurt School]]" -- "[[the long march through the institutions]]" has infiltrated every corner of [[Western culture]] to corrupt traditional Christian values with "[[political correctness]]," another name for "cultural Marxism."''</ref> While Marx's ''Communist Manifesto'' focused on the alleged class struggle between bourgeois (owners of the means of production) and proletariat (workers), Marx did address culture, which he intimated would change after his economic vision was implemented. [[Patrick Buchanan]] argues that Cultural Marxism succeeded where Marx failed.<ref>[http://cnsnews.com/blog/grant-m-dahl/buchanan-cultural-marxism-has-succeeded-where-marx-and-lenin-failed Buchanan: ‘Cultural Marxism’ Has Succeeded Where Marx and Lenin Failed], [[CNSNews]]</ref>
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The central idea of Cultural Marxism is to soften up and prepare Western Civilization for economic Marxism after a gradual, relentless, sustained attack on every institution of Western culture, including schools, literature, art, film, the Judeo-Christian religious tradition, the [[Destroying the family|family]], sexual mores, [[War on Sovereignty|national sovereignty]], etc.<ref>cf. The tendency of dictatorial ideologies to influence public institutions etc. so that these would serve their agendas is termed as [[Gleichschaltung]].</ref> The attacks are usually framed in Marxist terms as a class struggle between oppressors and oppressed; the members of the latter class allegedly include women, minorities, homosexuals, and adherents of non-Western religions such as Islam.
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Marxist understandings of history and of society have been adopted by academics in the disciplines of archaeology and anthropology, media studies, political science, theatre, history, sociology, art history and art theory, cultural studies, education, economics, geography, literary criticism, aesthetics, critical psychology, and philosophy.
  
===Violent Marxism===
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Marxist 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 directly influenced). These social relations base the economic system and the economic system forms the superstructure. As the forces of production, most notably technology, improve, existing forms of social organization become inefficient and stifle further progress. As Karl Marx observed: "At a certain stage of development, the material productive forces of society come into conflict with the existing relations of production or_ this merely expresses the same thing in legal terms with the property relations within the framework of which they have operated hitherto. From forms of development of the productive forces these relations turn into their fetters. Then begins an era of social revolution.
  
{{See also|Democratic Socialists of America|Vanguardism|}}
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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 (the bourgeoisie) who own the means of production, and the vast majority of the population (the proletariat) who produce goods and services. Taking the idea that social change occurs because of the struggle between different classes within society who are under contradiction against each other, leads the Marxist analysis to the conclusion that capitalism exploits and oppresses the proletariat, which leads to a proletarian revolution.
While the [[Occupy Wall Street]] and [[Obama riots]] had failed to bring about a violent Marxist overthrow of the existing social order and governmental system,<ref>https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2014/08/11/5-race-riots-in-obamas-post-racial-america/</ref> the same organizers and groups attempted again, this time in a nationwide coordinated effort during the [[2020 Leftist insurrection]].<ref>https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/jun/3/antifa-planned-anti-government-insurgency-george-f/</ref>  [[Black Lives Matter]] (BLM), following the model of the 1960s [[Black Panthers]], was anointed as the spearhead of revolution with [[Antifa]] playing the supporting role of the [[Weather Underground]] to bring about a [[national liberation movement]] from "capitalist oppression."  BLM co-founder [[Patrisse Cullors]] assured The Real News Network when questioned about the ideological direction of the movement in a 2015 interview:
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[[File:Secoriea Turner.png|right|350px|thumb|[[Black Lives Matter]] protesters [[murder]]ed 8 year old [[Secoriea Turner]] on July 5, 2020 in [[Atlanta]].<ref>https://www.fox5atlanta.com/news/police-identify-8-year-old-girl-killed-in-atlanta-4th-of-july-shooting</ref>]]
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{{quotebox|“Myself and [[Alicia  Garza|Alicia [Garrza] ]], in particular, are [[community organizer|trained organizers]]. We are trained Marxists. We are super versed on ideological theories.<ref>https://youtu.be/HgEUbSzOTZ8</ref>}}
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The goal is to push the communist agenda while comfortably hiding behind black Americans who are suffering and in need of actual help.<ref>https://www.waynedupree.com/2020/06/blm-patrisse-cullors-marxist/</ref>  BLM incorporates nearly all forms of modern marginalization—
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{{quotebox|“including but not limited to those who are women, queer, [[transgender|trans]], femmes, gender nonconforming, [[Muslim]], formerly and currently incarcerated, cash poor and [[working class]], differently-abled, undocumented, and [[immigrant]]”}}—into blackness. Conversely, whiteness represents all forms of privilege (economic, social, and legal) throughout their 2017 platform.  BLM simply substitutes Marx’s [[class conflict]] between the [[proletariat]] and [[bourgeoisie]] for class conflict between [[black]]ness and [[white]]ness.<ref>https://thefederalist.com/2016/09/28/black-lives-matter-bringing-back-traditional-marxism/</ref> 
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The “racist” narrative was turbocharged with the concept of “[[White Privilege]],” the notion that whites—the dominant [[demographic]] group in capitalist America—are irretrievably racist, [[sexist]], [[homophobic]], [[xenophobic]], [[imperialist]]ic oppressors who exploit everyone. Whites are the only true [[evil]] in the world and should be exterminated. “Dr. Kamau Kambon, who taught Africana Studies 241 in the Spring 2005 semester at North Carolina State University, also said this needs to be done ‘because white people want to kill us.’”<ref>''[https://www.carolinajournal.com/news-article/activist-exterminate-white-people/ Activist: exterminate white people],'' by Jon Sanders, Carolina Journal, Oct. 21, 2015.</ref>
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Capitalism (according to Marxist theory) can no longer sustain the living standards of the population due to its need to compensate for falling rates of profit by driving down wages, cutting social benefits and pursuing military aggression. The socialist system would succeed capitalism as humanity's mode of production through workers' revolution. According to Marxism, especially arising from Crisis theory, Socialism is a historical necessity (but not an inevitability).
  
Black Lives Matter has explicitly called for dead cops and the “lynching” of white people.<ref>https://www.dailywire.com/news/5-things-you-need-know-about-black-lives-matter-amanda-prestigiacomo</ref>  More [[Christian]]s have died from Communist Marxism than any other single ideology in the history of man.<ref>https://backtojerusalem.com/we-are-trained-marxists-says-blm-co-founder-patrisse-cullors/</ref>
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In a socialist society private property in the means of production would be superseded by co-operative ownership. A socialist economy would not base production on the creation of private profits, but would instead base production and economic activity on the criteria of satisfying human needs – that is, production would be carried out directly for use. As Engels observed: "Then the capitalist mode of appropriation in which the product enslaves first the producer, and then appropriator, is replaced by the mode of appropriation of the product that is based upon the nature of the modern means of production; upon the one hand, direct social appropriation, as means to the maintenance and extension of production_ on the other, direct individual appropriation, as means of subsistence and of enjoyment."
  
Hawk Newsome, chairman of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York (BLMNY) outlined a “pathway forward”: “We pattern ourselves after the [[Black Panthers]], after the [[Nation of Islam]], we believe that we need an [[army]] to defend ourselves." Newsome told [[FOX News]], "If this country doesn't give us what we want, then we will burn down this system and replace it.<ref>https://www.investmentwatchblog.com/blm-if-this-country-doesnt-give-us-what-we-want-then-we-will-burn-down-this-system-and-replace-it/</ref>  Cirvona Newsome, BLMNY co-founder and [[Democrat]] 2020 primary challenger for Congress (NY-15) said,<ref>https://ballotpedia.org/Chivona_Newsome</ref>  “For far too long our institutions have protected the abusers and victimized the innocent while trapping people of color in the quicksand of racism, poverty and despair.”<ref>https://100percentfedup.com/black-lives-matter-makes-a-power-and-money-grab-with-new-list-of-demands/</ref>
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==Ethics==
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The belief that Marxism contains no ethical judgements derives from some comments made by Marx and Engels. In [[The Communist Manifesto]], for instance, morality is listed together with law and religion as "bourgeois prejudices, behind which lurk in ambush just as many bourgeois interests". It is true that for Marx, morality is part of the ideological superstructure of society, is determined by the economic basis, and serves to promote the interests of the ruling class, but it does not follow from this that all morality is to be rejected. What has to be rejected is morality that serves the interests of the ruling class. Once communism has been established and classes have disappeared, however, class morality may be superceded, to what Engels called "a really human morality".
  
BLM is the brainchild of [[progressive]] [[white]] people and was paid over $150 million by billionaire [[psychopath]] [[George Soros]].<ref>https://www.trevorloudon.com/2020/06/blm-at-war-with-america/</ref>
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Examples of bourgeoisie morality are:
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*Capitalists own the proceeds of their investments
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*If someone finds or discovers something first, it belongs to them alone (this is embodied within the notion of [[private property]])
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*Individuals and the ego are of greater importance than the collective
  
===Critical Race Theory===
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== Key Concepts ==
[[File:Tremmell.png|right|350px|thumb|Bernell Tremmell was murdered by Marxists in Milwaukee in July 2020 for his outspoken beliefs in freedom, justice, and racial equality.<ref>https://100percentfedup.com/prominent-black-trump-supporter-shot-to-death-in-milwaukee-hours-after-pro-trump-interview/</ref>]]
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=== Historical Materialism ===
:{{See also|Critical race theory|White privilege}}
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{{hatnote| See also: [[Historical materialism]]}}
Derrick Bell, [[Barack Obama]]’s favorite Harvard professor,  devised Critical Race Theory, which exemplifies Lenin’s strategy as applied to race.  According to Discover the Networks:
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=== The Law of Value ===
{{quotebox|Critical race theory contends that America is permanently racist to its core, and that consequently the nation’s legal structures are, by definition, racist and invalid … members of “oppressed” racial groups are entitled—in fact obligated—to determine for themselves which laws and traditions have merit and are worth observing. …}}
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{{hatnote| See also: [[Law of value]]}}
Bell’s theory is in turn an innovation of [[Critical Theory]], which was developed by Marxist thinkers of the [[Frankfurt School]] in Frankfurt, Germany, in 1923. The Institute’s left-wing scholars fled Hitler’s Germany in the 1930s, relocating to [[Columbia University]] in New York. Critical Theory, which discredits all aspects of Western society, we know today as [[political correctness]]. One of its most famous purveyors was the Frankfurt School’s [[Herbert Marcuse]], longtime associate of the [[Southern Poverty Law Center]]’s [[Julian Bond]]. Marcuse invented the concept of “partisan tolerance,” that is, [[tolerance]] for leftist ideas and [[intolerance]] of all others. The Southern Poverty Law Center applied Marcuse’s strategy in developing its “Hate Watch” list, and ''[[Rules for Radicals]]'' author [[Saul Alinsky]] used it in his own life’s work.
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=== Revolution and Dictatorship ===
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{{hatnote| See also: [[Dictatorship of the Proletariat]]}}
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=== Communism ===
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{{hatnote| See also: [[Communism]]}}
  
==Communism==
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Communism, in Marxism, is the supposed "end goal" of history. It is supposed to come after [[socialism]], when the world is all socialist and opposition to such is virtually gone. It is a stateless, classless, moneyless society.
<center>{{cquote|<big>We must be ready to employ trickery, [[deceit]], law-breaking, withholding and concealing truth. … We can and must write in a language which sows among the masses [[hate]], revulsion, and scorn toward those who disagree with us.</big>|||[[Vladimir Lenin]]}}</center>
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[[Communism]], as it emerged around 1918–20, was a late political manifestation of Marxist philosophy.  Lenin in [[Russia]] and later [[Mao Tse-tung]] in [[China]] tailored Marx's ideas to fit their expedient political needs.  
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===Soviet experience===
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Karl Marx wrote little about communism himself, since he believed that it would be rather pointless to speculate about something that would pretty much be determined by the material conditions of a time way after his, which would be nigh impossible to predict accurately. He considered it idealist to seriously theorize as to how communism will be like, as this would more or less impose what are merely one's ideas as to how communism will be like onto something that is largely determined by material conditions; in absence of actual evidence of such since once again, the material conditions of communism's time are speculative since the future hasn't happened yet, thus cannot really be studied scientifically. Nonetheless, there are a couple of occasions where Marx does write about it, for instance in the [[Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844]]. Therein he describes it as "the riddle of history solved" and as the resolution of various conflicts that have existed throughout all previous history: the conflicts between man and nature, between man and man, between freedom and necessity, and between individual and species.
According to the formal ideology of Marxism, [[private property|private ownership]] in industry is to be eliminated—control is to be wrested by the masses as a whole. The crucial revolutionary act, therefore, would presumably be the actual taking of control in industry by the workers themselves.  In the course of the [[Bolshevik]] revolution, the workers ousted not only the owners but all the directing staff and supervisors. The workers thought, in their own way, that the revolution was designed to rid them of all rulers and exploiters.  They recognized that the managers, as well as the owners, were among the rulers and exploiters both of the past and, above all, of the future.  The workers set about running the factories themselves.  
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This state of affairs did not, however, last long. Two issues were at stake. In the first place, the separate factories and other instruments of production were not run very well under workers' control; and there were even greater difficulties in the coordination of the efforts of various factories. It was even harder for them to collaborate in the theory of [[economic planning]] effectively to direct entire branches of industry. Workers' control would also mean the elimination of all privilege, or a 'classless society". The drive for class power needed to get rid of workers' control, and found justification in the inefficiency of workers' control.
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There is also mention of communism in [[The German Ideology]], where Marx suggests that in a communist society, the division of labor would not force people into narrow occupational roles. One could, as Marx writes, "hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, breed cattle in the evening, criticize after dinner, just as I like, without ever becoming a hunter, a fisherman, a herdsman, or a critic". In the same passage, Marx claims that the split between the particular interests of the individual and the common interest of society would disappear under communism. This is in line with his earlier remarks about communism resolving such conflicts as that between man and man, and between the individual and the species, which is a notion crucial to Marx's vision of communism. Marx immediately goes on to say that it is out of this very contradiction between the interest of the individual and the community that the state develops as an independent entity. The overcoming of this contradiction in consequence delegitimizes the state, which thus [[withering away of the state|withers away]] in time.<ref>''Marx, A Very Short Introduction'' by Peter Singer, Chapter 9</ref>
  
Hence workers' control was replaced by [[Lenin]], [[Trotsky]], and [[Stalin]] by the ''de facto'' managerial control in a new kind of state. The technical direction of factory operations was turned over to "specialists", or managers, with the Factory Committees remaining in existence and still exercising substantial control through a [[veto]] power over the managers and jurisdiction over labor conditions. Meanwhile, bureaus and commissions and individuals appointed from above by the Soviet regime were beginning to take over the job of coordinating the efforts of various factories and branches of industry. The powers of the managers and technicians increased at the expense of "workers' control" and the Factory Committees. The Factory Committee lost their veto powers.  Their prerogative, labor conditions, became more and more narrowly interpreted.  The Committee composition was changed to include one state representative, one managerial representative, and one man nominally representing the workers.  Finally, even these Committees lost all their real power and remained as mere formalities, to be dropped altogether in during the [[Great Purge]] of 1938.
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== Development ==
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Marxism, as a system of thought, has undergone significant changes since Marx's early writings. In the last years of Marx's life the foundations were laid for a Marxism as a "worldview", specifically with the publication of ''Anti-Dühring'' by Friedrich Engels in 1877.<ref>Heinrich, Michael. An Introduction to Karl Marx's Capital, p4, 2004.</ref> In the following years this system of thought would become Orthodox Marxism which, aside from certain revisionist trends, would remain the "official" Marxism until the creation of the Soviet Union, at which point Leninist interpretation(s) would dominate Marxist ideological trends. The rise of Leninism, however, would also lead to criticism and innumerable alternative schools of thought within Marxism.
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===Classical Marxism: 1840s to 1880s===
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{{hatnote| See also: [[Classical Marxism]]}}
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This period can be said to begin with Marx's early writings. In an 1843 letter, Marx outlined his attitude to philosophy, politics, and history:
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<blockquote>"On the other hand, '''it is precisely the advantage of the new trend that we do not dogmatically anticipate the world, but only want to find the new world through criticism of the old one.''' Hitherto philosophers have had the solution of all riddles lying in their writing-desks, and the stupid, exoteric world had only to open its mouth for the roast pigeons of absolute knowledge to fly into it. Now philosophy has become mundane, and the most striking proof of this is that philosophical consciousness itself has been drawn into the torment of the struggle, not only externally but also internally. But, if constructing the future and settling everything for all times are not our affair, '''it is all the more clear what we have to accomplish at present: I am referring to ruthless criticism of all that exists,''' ruthless both in the sense of not being afraid of the results it arrives at and in the sense of being just as little afraid of conflict with the powers that be. Therefore I am not in favour of raising any dogmatic banner. On the contrary, we must try to help the dogmatists to clarify their propositions for themselves."<ref>Marx, Karl. [https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1843/letters/43_09.htm Letter to Arnold Ruge, September 1843].</ref>
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</blockquote>
  
===Nomenklatura===
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Marx's system of thought would always remain ''critical'' in nature. Although he did give indications of how society would develop, he did not put forward grand schemes or plans for a futuristic society. In his 1881 notes on Adolph Wagner's ''General or Theoretical Economics'', Marx wrote that he never established a "socialist system".<ref>Marx, Karl. [https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1881/01/wagner.htm Notes on Wagner, 1881].</ref>
The freedom and end of privilege, which the oppressed thought the revolution was to bring, was giving way to a new form of class rule by the [[nomenklatura]]. At each decisive step, the "workers' socialist state" under Lenin and Stalin, backed not the workers but the managers. A wide campaign of "education" was undertaken to show the people why "workers' rule" meant, in practice, managers' rule. Where necessary, the education by the word was supplemented with education by [[firing squad]], [[concentration camp]] or [[slavery|forced labor]] battalion.  
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Lenin and Trotsky, both, in the early years of the revolution, wrote pamphlets and speeches arguing the case of the specialists, the technicians, the managers. Lenin, in his forceful way, used to declare that the manager had to be a dictator in the factory. "Workers' democracy" in the state, Lenin said in effect, was to be founded upon a managerial dictatorship in the factory.  
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[[Engels]] on his role in the development of Marxism:
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<blockquote>I cannot deny that both before and during my forty years' collaboration with Marx I had a certain independent share in laying the foundations of the theory, but the greater part of its leading basic principles belongs to Marx ... Marx was a genius; we others were at best talented. Without him the theory would not be by far what it is today. It therefore rightly bears his name. <ref>Jackson, T.A. [https://www.marxists.org/archive/jackson-ta/pamphlets/engels.htm A Great Socialist, 1935].</ref>
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</blockquote>
  
Lenin, as the head of the state, helped to smash workers' popular, control over those instruments and to substitute for it control by the managers.  And, of course, the managers of individual plants became subordinate to the big managers, to the boards and bureaus directing entire sectors of industry and governing industry as a whole. The managers under the new state included many who had been managers under the old "capitalist rule".  Lenin and Trotsky poured scorn on "infantile leftists" <ref>[http://www.marx2mao.com/Lenin/LWC20.html V. I. Lenin, ''"Left-Wing" Communism, An Infantile Disorder''] (1920) V. I. Lenin, Selected Works, English edition, Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow, 1952, Vol. II, Part 2.</ref> who were against making use of the "services" of the "bourgeois specialists.".  Favorable terms were given to foreign "bourgeois specialists" who were willing to come to work under the new regime.<ref>James Burnham, ''The Managerial Revolution'', Indiana University Press, Bloomingham 1966.</ref>
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Despite his modesty, Engels' later writings such as [[Anti-Dühring]] helped lay the foundation for a reframing of Marxist ideas. This reframing or re-interpretation would transform Marx's theories into a comprehensive system of thought. This new ideology would later be called "worldview Marxism". <ref>Heinrich, Michael. Ibid.</ref>
  
The control, and the social rule which goes with it, when it leaves the hands of the capitalists, goes not to the workers, the people, but to the managers, the new ruling class.  A parallel of the Russian process can be observed with particular clarity in connection with the events in [[Loyalist]] territories during the [[Spanish Civil War]], above all in Catalonia.  There, just as in Russia, the workers and peasants began taking over direct control of the factories and railroads and firms. There too, not at once, but during the course of the first two years of the Civil War, the ''de facto'' power slipped from the workers' hands, sometimes voluntarily given up at the persuasion of a political party, sometimes smashed by arms and prison.  It was not the troops of [[Franco]] who took control away from the people of Catalonia; they had lost control well before Franco's army conquered.
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===Orthodox Marxism: 1880s to 1910s===
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{{hatnote| See also: [[Orthodox Marxism]]}}
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After Karl Marx's death, the followers of his ideas would begin to systematize his thought and reduce it to a series of doctrines that could be easily explained to adherents of the growing socialist movement. It was during this time that Marxist ideas became ''Marxism''. As early as 1896, [[Karl Kautsky]] would describe Marx's ideas as ''Marxism'' and describe himself and other socialists as "we Marxists".<ref>Kautsky, Karl. [https://www.marxists.org/archive/kautsky/1896/histmat/hm1.htm The Aims and the Limitations of the Materialist Conception of History, part 1, 1896].</ref> This signalled the transformation of Marx's ideas into a coherent and all-encompassing worldview that included fields such as philosophy, history, economics, and politics.  
  
==Current Marxist states==
+
By the end of the 1890s, the Marxist [[Revisionism|revisionist]] [[Eduard Bernstein]] would write confidently of ''Marxism'' as a singular and coherent theory.
*[[China]]
+
<blockquote>"No one will deny that the most important element in the foundation of '''Marxism''', the fundamental law so to say which penetrates the whole system, is its specific philosophy of history which bears the name of the materialist interpretation of history. With it '''Marxism''' stands or falls in principle; according to the measure in which it suffers limitations will the position of the other elements towards one another be affected in sympathy."<ref>Bernstein, Eduard. [https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/bernstein/works/1899/evsoc/ch01.htm Evolutionary Socialism, ch.1, 1899].</ref>
*[[North Korea]]
+
</blockquote>
*[[Venezuela]]
+
*[[Cuba]]
+
*[[Zimbabwe]]
+
*[[South Africa]]<ref>https://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/world-news/746953/south-africa-land-reforms-white-farmers-constitution-changed-cyril-ramaphosa</ref>
+
  
==Quotes on Marxism==
+
Not only was Marxism now a coherent worldview with it's own philosophy and theory of history, but also presented as a kind of ''science'' which could be divided into parts that were "pure" and "applied":
Comparative quotes are given from the top [[Left-wing]] - [[Socialist]] - [[National Socialist]] (a.k.a. [[Nazi]]) - [[Marxist]] - [[Communist]] leaders and their critics in order to better understand the commonality of the end result of their philosophy taken to its fruition by the [[Big government]] [[Welfare state]]-[[Nanny state]]-[[Police state]] by [[leftist]] [[Globalist]]-[[Statist]]-Socialist-Communists. From these quotes one can see little difference between Socialists, Nazis, Communists.
+
Communist regimes killed 60 million in the 20th century through [[genocide]], according to [[Le Monde]] and more than 100 million people according to ''The Black Book of Communism''.
+
  
=== Quotes from Karl Marx ===
+
<blockquote>"Everything in the Marxist characterisation of bourgeois society and its evolution which is unconditioned – that is, everything whose validity is free from national and local peculiarities – would accordingly belong to the domain of '''pure science'''; but everything that refers to temporary and local special phenomena and conjectures, all special forms of development, would on the other hand belong to '''applied science'''."<ref>Bernstein, Eduard. Ibid.</ref>
* "There is only one way in which the murderous death agonies of the old society and the bloody birth throes of the new society can be shortened, simplified and concentrated, and that way is revolutionary terror."-Marx, Karl, “The Victory of the Counterrevolution in Vienna”, Neue Rheinische Zeitung, November 1848.
+
</blockquote>
* "Once we are at the helm, we shall be obliged to reenact the year 1793…"-Marx-Engels Gesamt-Ausgabe, vol. vi pp 503–505, final issue of Neue Rheinische Zeitung, May 18, 1849.  Quoted in Thomas G. West, Marx and Lenin, The Claremont Institute
+
* "The vengeance of the people will break forth with such ferocity that not even the year 1793 enables us to envisage it."-Marx-Engels Gesamt-Ausgabe, vol. vi pp 503–505, final issue of Neue Rheinische Zeitung, May 18, 1849.  Quoted in Thomas G. West, Marx and Lenin, The Claremont Institute
+
* "The classes and the races too weak to master the new conditions of life must give way"-Marx, People's Paper, April 16, 1856
+
* "They must ...perish in the Revolutionary Holocaust"– Karl Marx (Journal of the History of Ideas, Vol. 42, No. 1. 1981)
+
  
=== Quotes from National Socialist's Heinrich Himmler ===
+
Nonetheless, this period of Marxist thought would later come under criticism for its reliance on overly "mechanical" and "theoretical" (i.e. non-practical) interpretations of Marxist thought, resulting in an alleged neglect of important problems regarding not only philosophy but also political issues.
From the Nazi party ([[National Socialism]]) leader [[Heinrich Himmler]]:
+
  
* "In the course of history periods of [[capitalism]] and [[socialism]] alternate with one another; capitalism is the unnatural, socialism the natural economic system...The [[Nazi|National Socialists]] and the [[Communists|Red Front]] have the same aspirations. The [[Jew]]s falsified the Revolution in the form of Marxism and that failed to bring fulfillment."—Speech in [[Potsdam]] (13 October 1926), quoted in Peter Longerich, Heinrich Himmler (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), pp.&nbsp;92–93.
+
In ''Marxism and Philosophy'', Karl Korsch wrote:
 +
<blockquote>"The so-called orthodox Marxism of this period (now a mere vulgar-Marxism) appears largely as an attempt by theoreticians, weighed down by tradition, to maintain the theory of social revolution which formed the first version of Marxism, in the shape of pure-theory. This theory was wholly abstract and had no practical consequences - it merely sought to reject the new reformist theories, in which the real character of the historical movement was then expressed as un-Marxist. This is precisely why, in a new revolutionary period, it was the orthodox Marxists of the Second International who were inevitably the least able to cope with such questions as the relation between the State and proletarian revolution."<ref>Korsch, Karl. [https://www.marxists.org/archive/korsch/1923/marxism-philosophy.htm Marxism and Philosphy, 1923].</ref>
 +
</blockquote>
  
* "The best political weapon is the [[terrorism|weapon of terror]]. Cruelty commands respect. Men may hate us. But, we don't ask for their love; only for their fear."—Quoted in "Visions of Reality - A Study of Abnormal Perception and Behavior" - by Alberto Rivas - Psychology - 2007 - Page 162
+
===Leninism: 1910s to 1920s ===
 +
{{hatnote| See also: [[Leninism]]}}
 +
[[Vladimir Lenin]], the leader of the Russian Bolsheviks, would advance even further the idea of Marxism as a ''weltanschauung'', or worldview.<br>
 +
In a 1913 article, Lenin wrote:
 +
<blockquote>"The Marxist doctrine is omnipotent because it is true. It is comprehensive and harmonious, and provides men with an integral world outlook irreconcilable with any form of superstition, reaction, or defence of bourgeois oppression. It is the legitimate successor to the best that man produced in the nineteenth century, as represented by German philosophy, English political economy and French socialism."<ref>Lenin, Vladimir. [https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1913/mar/x01.htm The Three Sources and Three Component Parts of Marxism, 1913].</ref>
 +
</blockquote>
 +
Lenin's ability to simplify Marxism into easily understood "doctrines" would prove to be of great use during the early growth of Leninist parties following the Russian Revolution. After his death, both [[Trotskyism|Trotskyist]] and [[Marxism-Leninism|Marxist-Leninist]] parties would later rely on his formulations in defining and framing Marxism as an ideology.
  
=== Quotes from Lenin ===
+
===Western Marxism and Marxism-Leninism: 1920s to 1980s===
 +
=== Marxist Humanism ===
 +
{{hatnote| See also: [[Marxist Humanism]]}}
 +
=== Neo-Marxism ===
 +
{{hatnote| See also: [[Neo-Marxism]]}}
 +
=== Analytical Marxism ===
 +
{{hatnote| See also: [[Analytical Marxism]]}}
 +
A new school of thought within Marxism developed during the 1970s and 1980s. This school attempted to re-interpret core Marxist ideas by applying mathematical and analytical tools to the basic theses of Marxist theory. This school of thought can be said to begin with G.A. Cohen's work ''Karl Marx's Theory of History: A Defense'', first published in 1978. In this work Cohen mounts a defense of Marx's theory largely based on "old fashioned historical materialism" in which "history is, fundamentally, the growth of human productive power."<ref>Cohen, G.A. ''Karl Marx's Theory of History: A Defense'', p X, 2000.</ref>
  
* “The way to crush the [[middle class]] is to grind them between the millstones of [[taxation]] and [[inflation]].
+
In the introduction written for the new edition of the book in 2000, Cohen wrote:
 +
<blockquote>"In each sense of 'analytical', to be analytical is to be opposed to a form of thinking traditionally thought integral to Marxism: analytical thinking, in the broad sense of 'analytical', is opposed to so-called 'dialectical' thinking, and analytical thinking, in the narrow sense of 'analytical', is opposed to what might be called 'holistic' thinking. The fateful operation that created analytical Marxism was the rejection of the claim that Marxism possesses valuable intellectual methods of its own. Rejection of that claim enabled an appropriation of a rich mainstream methodology that Marxism, to its detriment, had shunned."<ref>Cohen, G.A. Ibid. p XVII, 2000.</ref>
 +
</blockquote>
 +
John Roemer, another prominent member of the analytical school of thought, considered that typical Marxist theory relied on overly teleological concepts and a lack of explanation for "mechanisms" by which phenomena occur.  
  
* "The best revolutionary is youth devoid of [[moral]]s."
+
In a 1985 article, Roemer wrote:
 +
<blockquote>"In Marxian social science, dialectics is often used to justify a lazy kind of teleological reasoning.<br>
 +
[...]<br>
 +
"What Marxists must provide are explanations of ''mechanisms'', at the micro level, or the phenomena they claim come about for teleological reasons."<ref>Roemer, John E. 'Rational Choice' Marxism: Some Issues of Method and Substance, 1985.</ref>
 +
</blockquote>
  
* "A lie told often enough becomes the truth."
+
== References ==
 
+
[[Category:Tendencies]]
* "The goal of [[socialism]] is [[communism]]."
+
[[Category:Karl Marx]]
 
+
* "There are no morals in [[politics]] there is only expedience. A scoundrel may be of use to us just because he is a scoundrel."
+
 
+
* "Give us the child for 8 years and it will be a [[Bolshevik]] forever." (see [[Public school values]] and [[Professor values]])
+
 
+
* "It matters not if 90% of the Russian people perish so long as 10% bring about a world revolution."<ref>http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,717663,00.html</ref>
+
 
+
===Quotes from Stalin===
+
 
+
The '''Darwin-Stalin connection''' describes the brutal [[Soviet]] dictator [[Josef Stalin]] who [[mass murder|murdered millions]] of people, giving credit to [[Charles Darwin|Darwin]]'s book for his outlook in life:
+
 
+
* "The death of one man is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statistic." ~ to [[Churchill]], 1945.
+
 
+
* "Death is the solution to all problems. No man - no problem"
+
 
+
* "Ideas are more powerful than [[guns]]. We would [[gun control|not let our enemies have guns]], why should we let them have ideas?"
+
 
+
* "It is enough that the people know there was an [[election]]. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything."
+
 
+
* "The only real power comes out of a long [[rifle]]."
+
 
+
* "When we hang the [[capitalist]]s they will sell us the rope we use."
+
 
+
===Quotes from Leon Trotsky===
+
* "Repression for the attainment of economic ends is a necessary weapon of the socialist [[dictatorship]]."
+
** [[Leon Trotsky]] in ''Terrorism and Communism : A Reply to Karl Kautsky'' (1920; 1975), p.&nbsp;153
+
* "The road to socialism lies through a period of the highest possible intensification of the principle of the state … Just as a lamp, before going out, shoots up in a brilliant flame, so the state, before disappearing, assumes the form of the dictatorship of the proletariat, i.e., the most ruthless form of state, which embraces the life of the citizens authoritatively in every direction...
+
** ''Terrorism and Communism : A Reply to Karl Kautsky'' (1920; 1975), p. 177
+
* "We must rid ourselves once and for all of the Quaker-Papist babble about the sanctity of human life."
+
** Leon Trotsky in his book The [[Russian Revolution]], 1930
+
* "Root out the counterrevolutionaries without mercy, lock up suspicious characters in concentration camps... Shirkers will be shot, regardless of past service."
+
** Statement of 1918, as quoted in ''Trotsky : The Eternal Revolutionary'' (1996) by Dmitri Volkogonov, p.&nbsp;213
+
 
+
===Quotes from Mao===
+
* "Every Communist must grasp the truth: Political power grows out of the barrel of a [[gun]]."—The Little Red Book, 1964
+
* "Our principle is that the [[Communist Party|Party]] commands the gun, and the gun must never be allowed to command the Party."
+
 
+
===Quotes on Kim Il-sung===
+
[[Kim Il-sung]] took the communist [[cult of personality]] to a new level.<ref>Barbara Demick (2010) ''Nothing to Envy: Real Lives in North Korea'', Granta, page 45, ISBN 9781847081414</ref>
+
"In Korea, the Americans have far exceed the Hitlerites!"—by Kim Il-sung<ref>**Kim Il-sung to the [[Swedish]] communist leader [[Frank Baude]] in 1993.</ref>
+
* "When it comes to the orchestration of terror, Kim Jong-il is a natural born genius."
+
**[[Kim Duk Hong]] quoted in ''[[BBC News]]'' (21 July 2003) "[http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/correspondent/3065101.stm Inside the mind of Kim Jong-il]"
+
 
+
===Quotes from Pol Pot===
+
As ruler of [[Cambodia]] Pol Pot was responsible for exterminating 2 million people by [[genocide]]. That's a quarter of the country's population:
+
* "Exterminate the 50 million Vietnamese... and purify the masses of the [Cambodian] people."
+
** Phnom Penh radio broadcast by [[Pol Pot]] of the [[Khmer Rouge]] (May 10, 1978) ([http://www.enotes.com/genocide-encyclopedia/khmer-rouge])
+
 
+
===Related Quotes from Others===
+
 
+
* "[[Socialist]]s ignore the side of man that is of the spirit.  They can provide shelter, fill your belly with bacon and beans, treat you when you are ill, all the things that are guaranteed to a prisoner or a slave.  They don't understand that we dream - yes, even of some time owning a yacht."<ref>{{cite book|url=https://books.google.com/books?id=9ut8fnmwVkwC&pg=PA91#v=onepage&q&f=false|last1=Skinner|first1=Kiron K.|last2=Anderson|first2=Annelise A.|title=Stories in His Own Hand: The Everyday Wisdom of Ronald Reagan ; Edited with an Introduction and Commentary by Kiron K. Skinner, Annelise Anderson, Martin Anderson ; Foreword by George P. Shultz|date=2001|publisher=Simon and Schuster|isbn=9781416584506}}</ref> -- [[President]] [[Ronald Reagan]]
+
 
+
* "Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the [[income redistribution|equal sharing]] of misery." -- [[Winston Churchill]]
+
 
+
* "I've always doubted that the socialists had a leg to stand on intellectually" -- [[Friedrich Hayek]]
+
 
+
* "The trouble is with socialism, which resembles a form of [[mental illness]] more than it does a philosophy" -- [[L. Neil Smith]]
+
 
+
* "Socialists cry "Power to the people", and raise the clenched fist as they say it. We all know what they really mean — [[Nanny state|power over people]], [[Police state|power to the State]]." -- [[Margaret Thatcher]]
+
 
+
* "All socialism involves [[slavery]]" -- [[Herbert Spencer]]
+
 
+
* "Socialism is based on [[envy]] and eventually always creates a very powerful [[big government]] controlled by very mediocre people who envy any success and destroy it." -- [[Vlad]]
+
 
+
== See also ==
+
* [[Karl Marx]] and [[Friedrich Engels]]
+
* [[List of atheist and agnostic pseudosciences]]
+
* [[French Revolution]] and [[Reign of Terror]]
+
* [[Marxism and mysticism]]
+
* [[Dictatorship]]
+
** [[Vladimir Lenin]] - [[Leon Trotsky]] - [[Joseph Stalin]], [[Mao Zedong]] - [[Ho Chi Minh]] - [[Kim Jong-Il]] - [[Pol Pot]], [[Fidel Castro]] - [[Che Guevara]]
+
** [[Dictatorship of the proletariat]]
+
** [[List of Communist States]]
+
** [[List of Socialist States]]
+
** [[Death toll of communism]]
+
* [[Mobocracy]], [[Social Effects of the Theory of Evolution]], [[Anti-Semitism]], [[Communist Racism]], [[Genocide]], [[Holocaust]]
+
* [[National Socialist German Workers Party]] ([[Nazi]])
+
* [[National Socialism]] - the Nazis were elitist [[Police state]] [[liberals]] not [[conservative]]s
+
* [[Big government]] [[Welfare state]] leads to [[Nanny state]], leads to [[Police state]]: [[Globalist]]-[[Statist]]-[[Socialist]]-[[Communist]]
+
* [[Liberal totalitarianism]]
+
* [[Anarchism]]
+
 
+
==References==
+
{{Reflist|colwidth=35em}}
+
 
+
==External links==
+
*[https://www.gotquestions.org/Marxism-Christian.html Is Marxism compatible with the Christian faith?], at [[GotQuestions]]
+
*[https://www.hillsdale.edu/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/1987-Marx_and_Lenin.pdf Marx and Lenin Clairemont paper] at [[Hillsdale College]].
+
*[https://www.theepochtimes.com/c-how-the-specter-of-communism-is-ruling-our-world How the Specter of Communism Is Ruling Our World]. ''The Epoch Times''.
+
 
+
{{Communism}}
+
 
+
[[Category:Sociology]]
+
[[Category:Worldviews]]
+
 
[[Category:Marxism]]
 
[[Category:Marxism]]
[[Category:Liberalism]]
+
[[Category:Materialism]]
[[Category:Socialism]]
+
[[Category:Philosophy]]
[[Category:Marxist Terminology]]
+
[[Category:Leftism]]
[[Category:Oppression]]
+
[[Category:Anti-American]]
+
 
[[Category:Communism]]
 
[[Category:Communism]]
[[Category:Gun Control]]
 
[[Category:Anti Second Amendment]]
 
[[Category:Forms of Government]]
 
[[Category:Political Ideologies]]
 
[[Category:Liberals]]
 
[[Category:Welfare State]]
 
[[Category:Police State]]
 
[[Category:Anarchism]]
 

Revision as of 17:19, 4 December 2020

File:Anti-duhring.jpg
Anti-Dühring was a foundational text in the development of "worldview Marxism". Visible in the 1939 edition is a portrait of Lenin and the adoption of Marxism-Leninism as the officially "updated" worldview of Marxism.

Marxism is the name given to a set of ideas, theories, and political ideologies that developed out of the works of Karl Marx. The term itself is difficult to define due to conflicting interpretations. After Marx's death, the term Marxism came to describe a holistic worldview (German: Weltanschauung) that included theories of philosophy, history, politics, economics, and science.

Etymology

Marxism is derived from the name of German philosopher Karl Marx. The term was popularized by Karl Kautsky who considered himself an "orthodox" Marxist during the dispute between the orthodox and revisionist followers of Marx. Kautsky's revisionist rival Eduard Bernstein also later adopted use of the term. Engels did not support the use of the term "Marxism" to describe either Marx's or his views. Engels claimed that the term was being abusively used as a rhetorical qualifier by those attempting to cast themselves as "real" followers of Marx while casting others in different terms, such as "Lassallians". In 1882, Engels claimed that Marx had criticized self-proclaimed "Marxist" Paul Lafargue, by saying that if Lafargue's views were considered "Marxist", then "One thing is certain and that is that I am not a Marxist"[1].

Overview

Marxism can roughly be defined as the application of the materialist method to the study of social phenomena. It regards the material conditions and class conflict as driving forces behind historical social development -- Marxism stresses the causal effects of material conditions and class conflict. Marxism primarily focuses on explaining society and history.

It is difficult to establish a precise definition and framing of Marxism can depend on the emphasis preferred by a theoretician on one aspect of the method over another. The complexity of Marx's writings allows for misreadings, misinterpretations, and misplacing emphasis, and enables abuse. Arguably, Marxism as comprehensive world view originated after Marx's death from the efforts of Karl Kautsky, Friedrich Engels, and Georgi Plekhanov. Classical Marxism is based on the writings of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.

Marxism is not an ideology. It is strictly a method of social analysis. Scientific socialism is a socialist political ideology based around Marxist theory.

Placing different emphasis on different aspects of Marxist analysis produces different branches of Marxism. Different schools place a greater emphasis on certain aspects of classical Marxism while de-emphasizing or rejecting other aspects of Marxism, sometimes combining Marxist analysis with non-Marxian concepts. Some variants of Marxism primarily focus on one aspect of Marxism as the determining force in social development – such as the mode of production, class, power-relationships or property ownership – while arguing other aspects are less important or current research makes them irrelevant. Despite sharing similar premises, different schools of Marxism might reach contradictory conclusions from each other. For instance, different Marxian economists have contradictory explanations of economic crisis and different predictions for the outcome of such crises. Furthermore, different variants of Marxism apply Marxist analysis to study different aspects of society (e.g. mass culture, economic crises, or sexism).

Marxist understandings of history and of society have been adopted by academics in the disciplines of archaeology and anthropology, media studies, political science, theatre, history, sociology, art history and art theory, cultural studies, education, economics, geography, literary criticism, aesthetics, critical psychology, and philosophy.

Marxist 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 directly influenced). These social relations base the economic system and the economic system forms the superstructure. As the forces of production, most notably technology, improve, existing forms of social organization become inefficient and stifle further progress. As Karl Marx observed: "At a certain stage of development, the material productive forces of society come into conflict with the existing relations of production or_ this merely expresses the same thing in legal terms with the property relations within the framework of which they have operated hitherto. From forms of development of the productive forces these relations turn into their fetters. Then begins an era of social revolution.

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 (the bourgeoisie) who own the means of production, and the vast majority of the population (the proletariat) who produce goods and services. Taking the idea that social change occurs because of the struggle between different classes within society who are under contradiction against each other, leads the Marxist analysis to the conclusion that capitalism exploits and oppresses the proletariat, which leads to a proletarian revolution.

Capitalism (according to Marxist theory) can no longer sustain the living standards of the population due to its need to compensate for falling rates of profit by driving down wages, cutting social benefits and pursuing military aggression. The socialist system would succeed capitalism as humanity's mode of production through workers' revolution. According to Marxism, especially arising from Crisis theory, Socialism is a historical necessity (but not an inevitability).

In a socialist society private property in the means of production would be superseded by co-operative ownership. A socialist economy would not base production on the creation of private profits, but would instead base production and economic activity on the criteria of satisfying human needs – that is, production would be carried out directly for use. As Engels observed: "Then the capitalist mode of appropriation in which the product enslaves first the producer, and then appropriator, is replaced by the mode of appropriation of the product that is based upon the nature of the modern means of production; upon the one hand, direct social appropriation, as means to the maintenance and extension of production_ on the other, direct individual appropriation, as means of subsistence and of enjoyment."

Ethics

The belief that Marxism contains no ethical judgements derives from some comments made by Marx and Engels. In The Communist Manifesto, for instance, morality is listed together with law and religion as "bourgeois prejudices, behind which lurk in ambush just as many bourgeois interests". It is true that for Marx, morality is part of the ideological superstructure of society, is determined by the economic basis, and serves to promote the interests of the ruling class, but it does not follow from this that all morality is to be rejected. What has to be rejected is morality that serves the interests of the ruling class. Once communism has been established and classes have disappeared, however, class morality may be superceded, to what Engels called "a really human morality".

Examples of bourgeoisie morality are:

  • Capitalists own the proceeds of their investments
  • If someone finds or discovers something first, it belongs to them alone (this is embodied within the notion of private property)
  • Individuals and the ego are of greater importance than the collective

Key Concepts

Historical Materialism

Template:Hatnote

The Law of Value

Template:Hatnote

Revolution and Dictatorship

Template:Hatnote

Communism

Template:Hatnote

Communism, in Marxism, is the supposed "end goal" of history. It is supposed to come after socialism, when the world is all socialist and opposition to such is virtually gone. It is a stateless, classless, moneyless society.

Karl Marx wrote little about communism himself, since he believed that it would be rather pointless to speculate about something that would pretty much be determined by the material conditions of a time way after his, which would be nigh impossible to predict accurately. He considered it idealist to seriously theorize as to how communism will be like, as this would more or less impose what are merely one's ideas as to how communism will be like onto something that is largely determined by material conditions; in absence of actual evidence of such since once again, the material conditions of communism's time are speculative since the future hasn't happened yet, thus cannot really be studied scientifically. Nonetheless, there are a couple of occasions where Marx does write about it, for instance in the Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844. Therein he describes it as "the riddle of history solved" and as the resolution of various conflicts that have existed throughout all previous history: the conflicts between man and nature, between man and man, between freedom and necessity, and between individual and species.

There is also mention of communism in The German Ideology, where Marx suggests that in a communist society, the division of labor would not force people into narrow occupational roles. One could, as Marx writes, "hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, breed cattle in the evening, criticize after dinner, just as I like, without ever becoming a hunter, a fisherman, a herdsman, or a critic". In the same passage, Marx claims that the split between the particular interests of the individual and the common interest of society would disappear under communism. This is in line with his earlier remarks about communism resolving such conflicts as that between man and man, and between the individual and the species, which is a notion crucial to Marx's vision of communism. Marx immediately goes on to say that it is out of this very contradiction between the interest of the individual and the community that the state develops as an independent entity. The overcoming of this contradiction in consequence delegitimizes the state, which thus withers away in time.[2]

Development

Marxism, as a system of thought, has undergone significant changes since Marx's early writings. In the last years of Marx's life the foundations were laid for a Marxism as a "worldview", specifically with the publication of Anti-Dühring by Friedrich Engels in 1877.[3] In the following years this system of thought would become Orthodox Marxism which, aside from certain revisionist trends, would remain the "official" Marxism until the creation of the Soviet Union, at which point Leninist interpretation(s) would dominate Marxist ideological trends. The rise of Leninism, however, would also lead to criticism and innumerable alternative schools of thought within Marxism.

Classical Marxism: 1840s to 1880s

Template:Hatnote This period can be said to begin with Marx's early writings. In an 1843 letter, Marx outlined his attitude to philosophy, politics, and history:

"On the other hand, it is precisely the advantage of the new trend that we do not dogmatically anticipate the world, but only want to find the new world through criticism of the old one. Hitherto philosophers have had the solution of all riddles lying in their writing-desks, and the stupid, exoteric world had only to open its mouth for the roast pigeons of absolute knowledge to fly into it. Now philosophy has become mundane, and the most striking proof of this is that philosophical consciousness itself has been drawn into the torment of the struggle, not only externally but also internally. But, if constructing the future and settling everything for all times are not our affair, it is all the more clear what we have to accomplish at present: I am referring to ruthless criticism of all that exists, ruthless both in the sense of not being afraid of the results it arrives at and in the sense of being just as little afraid of conflict with the powers that be. Therefore I am not in favour of raising any dogmatic banner. On the contrary, we must try to help the dogmatists to clarify their propositions for themselves."[4]

Marx's system of thought would always remain critical in nature. Although he did give indications of how society would develop, he did not put forward grand schemes or plans for a futuristic society. In his 1881 notes on Adolph Wagner's General or Theoretical Economics, Marx wrote that he never established a "socialist system".[5]

Engels on his role in the development of Marxism:

I cannot deny that both before and during my forty years' collaboration with Marx I had a certain independent share in laying the foundations of the theory, but the greater part of its leading basic principles belongs to Marx ... Marx was a genius; we others were at best talented. Without him the theory would not be by far what it is today. It therefore rightly bears his name. [6]

Despite his modesty, Engels' later writings such as Anti-Dühring helped lay the foundation for a reframing of Marxist ideas. This reframing or re-interpretation would transform Marx's theories into a comprehensive system of thought. This new ideology would later be called "worldview Marxism". [7]

Orthodox Marxism: 1880s to 1910s

Template:Hatnote After Karl Marx's death, the followers of his ideas would begin to systematize his thought and reduce it to a series of doctrines that could be easily explained to adherents of the growing socialist movement. It was during this time that Marxist ideas became Marxism. As early as 1896, Karl Kautsky would describe Marx's ideas as Marxism and describe himself and other socialists as "we Marxists".[8] This signalled the transformation of Marx's ideas into a coherent and all-encompassing worldview that included fields such as philosophy, history, economics, and politics.

By the end of the 1890s, the Marxist revisionist Eduard Bernstein would write confidently of Marxism as a singular and coherent theory.

"No one will deny that the most important element in the foundation of Marxism, the fundamental law so to say which penetrates the whole system, is its specific philosophy of history which bears the name of the materialist interpretation of history. With it Marxism stands or falls in principle; according to the measure in which it suffers limitations will the position of the other elements towards one another be affected in sympathy."[9]

Not only was Marxism now a coherent worldview with it's own philosophy and theory of history, but also presented as a kind of science which could be divided into parts that were "pure" and "applied":

"Everything in the Marxist characterisation of bourgeois society and its evolution which is unconditioned – that is, everything whose validity is free from national and local peculiarities – would accordingly belong to the domain of pure science; but everything that refers to temporary and local special phenomena and conjectures, all special forms of development, would on the other hand belong to applied science."[10]

Nonetheless, this period of Marxist thought would later come under criticism for its reliance on overly "mechanical" and "theoretical" (i.e. non-practical) interpretations of Marxist thought, resulting in an alleged neglect of important problems regarding not only philosophy but also political issues.

In Marxism and Philosophy, Karl Korsch wrote:

"The so-called orthodox Marxism of this period (now a mere vulgar-Marxism) appears largely as an attempt by theoreticians, weighed down by tradition, to maintain the theory of social revolution which formed the first version of Marxism, in the shape of pure-theory. This theory was wholly abstract and had no practical consequences - it merely sought to reject the new reformist theories, in which the real character of the historical movement was then expressed as un-Marxist. This is precisely why, in a new revolutionary period, it was the orthodox Marxists of the Second International who were inevitably the least able to cope with such questions as the relation between the State and proletarian revolution."[11]

Leninism: 1910s to 1920s

Template:Hatnote Vladimir Lenin, the leader of the Russian Bolsheviks, would advance even further the idea of Marxism as a weltanschauung, or worldview.
In a 1913 article, Lenin wrote:

"The Marxist doctrine is omnipotent because it is true. It is comprehensive and harmonious, and provides men with an integral world outlook irreconcilable with any form of superstition, reaction, or defence of bourgeois oppression. It is the legitimate successor to the best that man produced in the nineteenth century, as represented by German philosophy, English political economy and French socialism."[12]

Lenin's ability to simplify Marxism into easily understood "doctrines" would prove to be of great use during the early growth of Leninist parties following the Russian Revolution. After his death, both Trotskyist and Marxist-Leninist parties would later rely on his formulations in defining and framing Marxism as an ideology.

Western Marxism and Marxism-Leninism: 1920s to 1980s

Marxist Humanism

Template:Hatnote

Neo-Marxism

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Analytical Marxism

Template:Hatnote A new school of thought within Marxism developed during the 1970s and 1980s. This school attempted to re-interpret core Marxist ideas by applying mathematical and analytical tools to the basic theses of Marxist theory. This school of thought can be said to begin with G.A. Cohen's work Karl Marx's Theory of History: A Defense, first published in 1978. In this work Cohen mounts a defense of Marx's theory largely based on "old fashioned historical materialism" in which "history is, fundamentally, the growth of human productive power."[13]

In the introduction written for the new edition of the book in 2000, Cohen wrote:

"In each sense of 'analytical', to be analytical is to be opposed to a form of thinking traditionally thought integral to Marxism: analytical thinking, in the broad sense of 'analytical', is opposed to so-called 'dialectical' thinking, and analytical thinking, in the narrow sense of 'analytical', is opposed to what might be called 'holistic' thinking. The fateful operation that created analytical Marxism was the rejection of the claim that Marxism possesses valuable intellectual methods of its own. Rejection of that claim enabled an appropriation of a rich mainstream methodology that Marxism, to its detriment, had shunned."[14]

John Roemer, another prominent member of the analytical school of thought, considered that typical Marxist theory relied on overly teleological concepts and a lack of explanation for "mechanisms" by which phenomena occur.

In a 1985 article, Roemer wrote:

"In Marxian social science, dialectics is often used to justify a lazy kind of teleological reasoning.

[...]
"What Marxists must provide are explanations of mechanisms, at the micro level, or the phenomena they claim come about for teleological reasons."[15]

References

  1. Letter to Bernstein, 1882.
  2. Marx, A Very Short Introduction by Peter Singer, Chapter 9
  3. Heinrich, Michael. An Introduction to Karl Marx's Capital, p4, 2004.
  4. Marx, Karl. Letter to Arnold Ruge, September 1843.
  5. Marx, Karl. Notes on Wagner, 1881.
  6. Jackson, T.A. A Great Socialist, 1935.
  7. Heinrich, Michael. Ibid.
  8. Kautsky, Karl. The Aims and the Limitations of the Materialist Conception of History, part 1, 1896.
  9. Bernstein, Eduard. Evolutionary Socialism, ch.1, 1899.
  10. Bernstein, Eduard. Ibid.
  11. Korsch, Karl. Marxism and Philosphy, 1923.
  12. Lenin, Vladimir. The Three Sources and Three Component Parts of Marxism, 1913.
  13. Cohen, G.A. Karl Marx's Theory of History: A Defense, p X, 2000.
  14. Cohen, G.A. Ibid. p XVII, 2000.
  15. Roemer, John E. 'Rational Choice' Marxism: Some Issues of Method and Substance, 1985.