What Is Marxism?
An overveiw of Marxism and some citations and analyses of Karl Marx's political and philsophical writings.
Below are citations from The Essential Karl Marx and some brief analyses of the points made by the philosopher.
"In proportion as the exploitation of one individual by another is put an end to, the exploitation of one nation by another will also be put an end to." (174)
This is one of Marx's best points. Although it seems quite obvious, I think it contains something very important: in its reverse, it says that the exploitation of one nation by another is indicative that individuals are exploited by other individuals. The fact that individuals are exploited is one which many people like to overlook. It is hard for the common middle or upper class citizen (myself included) to swallow that his own actions oppress others. Nevertheless, they do so; and that is evidenced by the larger scheme oppression.
"The first step in the revolution by the working class is to raise the proletariat to the position of the ruling class, to win the battle of democracy." (175)
Right here, I disagree. What Marx is saying is that by oppressing the oppressors, the oppressed will rectify society. I have seen it evidenced in my own life repeatedly that one does not stop violence with more violence. Yes, short-term solutions are possible that way; but lasting peace does not come from violence. A system of domination must be entirely removed. How this is to come about, I surely don't know; but, I do know that it will not come from more domination.
"They want to improve the condition of every member of society, even that of the most favoured…For how can people, when once they understand their system, fail to see in it the best possible plan of the best possible state of society." (183)
Marx dislikes the attitude which I expressed above. He considers it fanciful and worthless. However, if his own methods are demonstrably useless (and in my experience, limited though it may be, they are), then some other method must arise. Perhaps through a slow process of education people can be turned to a better state. Through teaching more and more people to dislike domination, the socialists might accomplish something worth having.
I don't understand how it is that Marx can consistently claim that his system will work, when his own logic dismantles it. He shows how social conflict has given rise to different (but equally powerful) social disharmony. . .why does think that his own conflict will result in anything different?