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What is Marxism? 

      German thinker Karl Marx’s ideas related to society, economics, and politics are collectively known as Marxism. Karl Marx 1818-1883, the father of Marxist ideology. and Frederick Engels 1820-1895. Is. These two thinkers jointly considering the problems of history, sociology, economics, and political science, the definite ideology which they put in front of the world was given the name of Marxism.

      Marxism is a form of revolutionary socialism. It believes in economic and social equality, so Marxism is the philosophy of equality of all individuals. Marxism was born out of open competition, free trade, and opposition to capitalism. Marxism makes violent revolution imperative to radically change the capitalist system and establish a socialist system of the proletariat, only after this revolution will the ideal system be established, that will be a classless struggle less and exploitation less state.

What is Marxism?

Salient Features of Marxism

  1. Marxism is a reaction against capitalism.
  2. Marxism uses violent means to destroy the capitalist system.
  3. Marxism considers the democratic institution as the institution of the capitalists, which has been made for their benefit and for the exploitation of the workers.
  4. Marxism is also anti-religion and has called religion the opium of mankind. Whose drunkenness keeps on sleeping.
  5. Marxism believes in International Communism.
  6. Class struggle is inevitable between the rulers in the society or the state and the capitalists and workers among the exploited.
  7. Marxism explains the birth of capitalism through the theory of surplus-value.

Major Principles of Marxism

  • Theory of dialectical materialism
  • Economic materialist interpretation of history
  • Class struggle theory
  • Principle of added value
  • Totalitarianism of the proletariat
  • A classless and stateless society

Theory of Dialectical Materialism

       Dialectical materialism is the basic basis of Marx’s ideas, Marx has adopted the dialectical system from Hegel. To understand Marx’s dialectic, it is necessary to know Hegel’s ideas. In Hegel’s thoughts, the whole world is dynamic and it is constantly changing. In Heigl’s view, history is not just a sequence of events but has discussed three stages of development – 1. Argument 2 Controversy 3 Dialogue. Hegel’s belief is that even an idea is an argument in its original state. After some time, the opposition of that idea arises, as a result of this struggle, the fundamental idea of ​​the argument is changed, due to the opposition of the opposition, a new idea arises which brings the debate.


      Heigl says that the dialogue through conflict later takes the form of an argument, which is re-contested and takes the form of dialogue after the conflict. In this way this sequence continues, in the end, the truth is attained.

      Marx accepted Hegel’s dialectics but he rejected Hegel’s ideas. Where Hegel considers the world to be the regulator and the universal soul. There Marx accepts the material element. Marx believes that the basis of dialectics is matter, not the world soul. This material matter is the basis of the world, the matter is in development and its movement is towards continuous development, development takes place in a dialectical manner. On the basis of debate and dialogue, development keeps moving forward. In Marx’s ideas, there is capitalism, where two classes are capitalists and workers, one is rich and the other is poor, there is opposition in the interests of both of them. It is necessary to have a struggle between these opposing classes, in this struggle, the workers will win and the dictatorship of the proletariat, that is, the working class, will be established, this is a stage of protest. Out of these two conditions, a third situation will arise which is of communist society. In this situation, there will be neither class nor class struggle nor will the state get it from the society as per the requirement. This third position will be the dialogue position.

Criticism of dialectical materialism

  • The basis of the philosophy propounded by Marx is dialectical materialism, but it did not describe such an important principle in detail anywhere.
  • Marx has supported materialism in place of Hegel’s spiritualism.
  • Marx believes that struggle and revolution are necessary for the progress of society. But it is true that the progress of society takes place at a rapid pace only in peacetime.

Economic Materialist Interpretation of History

     Like dialectical materialism, the theory of economic interpretation of history is also important in Marx’s ideology. In the view of Marx, all the events of history are only the result of changes in the economic condition. Marx is of the opinion that in every country and in every period, all political, social institutions, art, customs, and all life are influenced by physical conditions and economic elements. On the basis of his economic interpretation, Marx has told six stages of human history, which are.

    1-Primitive communist stage – In this first stage of social development, the methods of earning a living were very simple, hunting, fishing, collecting tuber roots from the forests was their main occupation. In order to get food and to protect themselves from wild animals, humans used to live together in groups by forming herds. In this stage, the means of production used to be the collective property of the whole society. That’s why Marx called this stage the ‘communist stage’.
    2-State of Slavery – Gradually the material conditions changed. People started farming, animal husbandry, and handicrafts. This led to the rise of the idea of ​​private property in society. the means of production; Occupied land etc. They were called ‘swamis’, they started getting other people to work forcibly, they were called ‘slaves’, the society was divided into two classes ‘swami’ and slave, the equality and freedom of the primitive society ended. From this stage, the struggle started between the exploited and oppressed sections of the society for their economic interests.
    3-Feudalistic stage – When there was more progress in the means of production, the trend of iron plow looms started coming out of stone tools and bow arrows, agriculture, handicrafts, horticulture textile making industries developed. Now in place of slaves, there were laborers working in industries. Those who had control over the entire land, small industries, handicrafts, and other means of production and agriculture were called ‘Jagirdars and feudatories’. The class of cultivators doing agricultural work and handicraft workers were subject to feudatories. This system is called the feudal system. According to Marx, even in this stage, there was a mutual struggle between the economic interests of the feudalists and the farmers and artisans.
    4-Capitalist stage – Industrial revolution took place in the second half of the eighteenth century, as a result of which the control of the means of production was established by the capitalists, that is, the capitalists became the owners of the means of production, but the work of production of goods is done by the workers. Therefore, the workers work independently, but the workers do not have the means of production, so they are forced to save labor to fulfill their economic needs. The capitalist class exploited the workers for personal gain, on the other hand, the workers also got awareness to protect their interests. As a result, two classes, the bourgeoisie, the exploiting class, and the proletariat; the Struggle starts between the working class oppressed class. Marx is of the opinion that the struggle will reach its climax and end capitalism.

   5-The stage of the dictatorship of the working class – Marx thinks that the capitalist stage, when the capitalists are defeated in the struggle between the workers and the capitalists through dialectical materialism, then capitalism ends and the fifth stage of historical development is “the stage of the dictatorship of the working class”. Will come In this stage, the workers will have the right over all the means of production, which has been called ‘the dictatorship or dictatorship of the working class, by using their state power against the majority class (working class, minority class capitalist class) of this fifth stage, it will be complete will end.

    6-Stateless and classless society – The last stage of human history will come to the stateless and classless society, in this stage, there will be only one class in the society which is called the working class. There will be neither exploiting class nor exploited class in this society. This society will be stateless and classless, so the state will automatically end in a classless society and the principle of distribution will apply in this society, in which every person of the society should work according to his ability and he should get it as per the requirement.
    At this stage, the establishment of a classless society in the communist era will lead to class struggle by nature. Human beings will struggle with nature and invent new inventions for human welfare and the communist society will continue to develop further.

Criticism of the Economic Interpretation of History

    1-Excessive and unnecessary emphasis on economic elements – According to critics, Marxism has given more importance to economic elements in the political, social, and legal structure of society, and Marx’s view is also flawed that the economic element is the basis of all human activities and social condition. And all human actions are not only based on the economic elements but work is also done by other elements besides economic elements, social environment, human ideas, and geographical elements can be taken in these other elements.

    2-Determination of history is wrong – The six stages of human history that Marx has described are wrong, he has misinterpreted history. Humanism does not agree with Marx’s primitive communism.
    3-Low place of religion – Marx, while giving low place to religion in the interpretation of history, has given the name of opium, man does not only feel the need for meaning, man also needs mental peace.

Class Struggle Theory

     Another theory of Marx is the theory of class struggle Marx has said that the history of all societies till now has been the history of class struggle. The nobles and the common man, the Sardar, and the Surveyor’s Sanghpati, and the workers are constantly standing in opposition to each other. The struggle between them continues at a relentless pace. Marx has concluded from this that in modern times the workers will organize against capitalism and end the capitalist system and the dictatorship of the proletariat will be established.
Criticism of the theory of class struggle

  1. Karl Marx’s view is wrong that the basis of social life is conflict, in fact, the basis of social life is cooperation.
  2. Marx has declared that the small capitalists will end but it did not happen that these capitalists developed.
  3. Marx has spoken of only two classes in society. Whereas in the modern era two classes have been talked about. Whereas in the modern era an important and huge middle class exists between the two classes.

Principle of added value

     Marx has discussed the theory of surplus-value in his book Das Capital. Marx believes that the capitalist, by not giving them their proper remuneration, grabs the entire benefit of their labor by itself. In other words, the value of a commodity is determined by the labor that is put into the production of that commodity, which requires more labor. Its value is high and the production of which less labor is required, its value is less. Thus Marx thinks that the real value of a commodity is that which is equal to the labor expended on it, but when that commodity is sold in the market it fetches a higher value.

In this way, the capitalist himself grabs the difference between the market value and the actual value of the commodity. According to Marx, the money retained by the capitalist is called surplus value. In the words of Marx himself, “additional value is the difference between these two values ​​which the worker produces and which he actually obtains.” Thus the difference between the actual value and the selling price is the surplus-value. In this regard, Marx has written, “This is the price which the capitalist collects in the form of toll tax on the income of the workers on their blood and sweat”.

Criticism of the theory of added value

    Marx has considered labor as the only means of production, whereas it is well known that apart from labor, land, capital organization and enterprise are also important means. Distributing the profit obtained by the product produced on all these means only shows rationality.

    Marx gives importance to physical labor only and not to mental labor. The capitalist does not use surplus-value to bring machines and other means, but he also says that neither machines nor raw materials can get additional value, it is obtained from the labor of the workers. These two views of Marx are contradictory.

Totalitarianism of the Proletariat

Marx says that according to the theory of dialectical materialism, there is bound to be a conflict in the capitalist class due to the inherently contradictory nature of the capitalist system. In this class struggle, the working class will organize and attack the bourgeoisie, and with the aim of completely destroying capitalism by bloody revolution, the characteristics of totalitarianism are –

  • According to Marx, in a capitalist society, the minority bourgeoisie rules over the majority of workers, whereas in the dictatorship of workers, the majority working class will rule over the minority capitalists. Thus it would be more democratic than the capitalist rule.
  • Under the totalitarian rule of workers, private property will be abolished and the means of production and distribution will be monopolized by the state.
  • In the dictatorship of the workers, the capitalist class will be suppressed by force so that it cannot rise again in the future. Those who believe in capitalism will be killed.
  • In the case of the dictatorship of workers, the state is a transitional system. The state will remain in the transition period, but when the bourgeoisie is completely destroyed, that is, the class system will be abolished, then the state will automatically come to an end.

        In the words of Engels, “When the working class acquires all the power of the state, it puts an end to all differences and antagonisms of the class and as a result ceases to be a state.”

A classless and stateless society

     Marx says that as soon as the capitalist class ends and all the remnants of the capitalist system are destroyed, the justification for the existence of the state will also cease and it will wither away. When all the people of the society will come to one level, then each person will do maximum work for the whole society and in return will fulfill all his needs freely. Public works will be accomplished through various social organizations in this society. In such a classless and stateless society, there will be the complete absence of class-specific class exploitation and individuals will follow the social rules in general.

This is the highest position of socialism propounded by Marx. This is the highest peak of human welfare. In this free society, every person will work according to his ability and ability and will get wages according to the need. In this society, the need of every person will be fulfilled and he will cooperate with society according to his ability. This is a society in which there will be neither class nor state.

Criticism of classless and stateless society

     The belief of Marxism seems to be a mere fantasy that when capitalism is completely destroyed as a result of the establishment of the totalitarianism of the proletariat, the state itself will also perish. In this way, a classless society will be established, but experience shows that even in communist countries, instead of ending the state, it is becoming stronger, stronger, and more stable than before. There is no chance of them ending themselves. Russia and China have not been able to resolve their border dispute. High officials of these states, high leaders of the communist party, military and administrative officers enjoy very wide rights. Security and police officers are infamous for their arbitrariness. Stalin had said in this context that “the socialist state is a new type of state” and therefore the question of its abolition does not arise.

Criticism or Opposition to Marxism

  1. Purpose of Marxism Ambiguous – The basis of criticism of Marxism is the ambiguity of its purpose. Marxism imagines a society that is classless and stateless, its practical solution is not even with the countries that believe in Marxism. Even today the dictatorship of the working class exists in China, but there are other classes as well.
  2. Social change through violence- Marxists have the view that violence is necessary for social change, but violence cannot be universal and desirable in any situation.
  3. The dictatorship of Workers Dangerous – Like the dictatorial rulers existing in the world, the dictatorship of workers is also a perverted form of governance.
  4. Anti-democratic notion- Although Marxism expresses faith in a socialist democracy. But in reality, it is another form of dictatorship. There is no other political party in this system.
  5. Theory of excess value is flawed- Marx, in his theory of surplus-value, has considered only labor as the basis for determining the value of the commodity, which is flawed in itself. Demand, supply, time, place, etc. are such factors for determining the price, which affect the pricing of the commodity.

      In conclusion of the above criticism of Marxism – Prof. Kerunt’s statement is noteworthy that Saivism or Marxism is the biggest destructive force in the world. The system of permanent peace in the world cannot be expected until necessary amendments are made in the communist ideology for world welfare and democracy. 

Significance or influence of Marxism or arguments in favor

     Despite the various criticisms of Marxism, its importance cannot be denied. Today, Marxism has changed the nature of the whole world, taking the side of the victims, the oppressed, and the workers, Marxism has provided a solid and scientific basis to socialism for the neglected human welfare. His main contribution is –

    Scientific Philosophy – Marxism is also called scientific socialism, never tried to give a scientific basis to Marx’s complete socialist theories. The credit for starting this work goes to Marx.

    Emphasis on practicality rather than theoretical – The main reason for the popularity of Marxism is its practicality. Many of its beliefs were used in Russia and China, which also got complete success.

    Strengthening the condition of the working class – The biggest contribution of Marxism is to give rise to class consciousness and unity in the working class. to improve their condition. Marx gave the slogan “Workers of the world unite, you have only chains to lose and the whole world to win.” These slogans of Marx achieved unparalleled success in creating consciousness among the working class.

    Shedding light on the defects of the capitalist system –
According to Marxism, there is always a struggle going on in the society between the exploited and the exploited. The exploiting or capitalist class is always worried about making its own profit. For this, he keeps on exploiting the workers and consumers in various ways. As a result, the capitalists become more capitalists and poorer and poorer. Hunger and unemployment increase in society. So on the other hand, without removing these defects of the capitalist system, an ideal society cannot be established.

In short, Marxist ideology has presented itself in a very popular and attractive form by taking the side of Dalit and neglected humanity and has posed itself as a formidable challenger in world politics.

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