I Guess Marx Was Right, Right?
Karl Marx (1818 – 1883) was a German philosopher, whose ideas played a significant role in what is known as the socialist movement. His theories about society, economics and politics, better known as Marxism, claim that all societies progress by means of a class struggle: a conflict between haves, the ownership class that controls the production of goods, and have-nots, a lower economic class that produces the labor force for the production of goods.
Was he right? You decide.
During his lifetime, Marx wrote The Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital, with some help from his friend and fellow socialist, Friedrich Engels.
He proved to be a brilliant student with a radical agenda, and believed society could be improved through the implementation of socialism. In this effort, he became prominent in the International Workingmen's Association, or IWA.
Marx continued his strong criticism of capitalism, which he believed to be a dictatorship run by the wealthy for their own benefit, to the detriment of the poor. He argued that tensions would arise between the two classes and ultimately bring down the capitalist form of government, resulting in a new socialist system. Socialism, he predicted, would be the dictatorship of the working class.
Finally, when the two classes imploded, there would be a classless society without need of a state, which he referred to as communism. In Marx’s view, the fastest way to arrive at this ultimate way of life was for the underprivileged workers to rise up and destroy capitalism, which would march in a new era of economic prosperity.
The revolutionary governments of the Soviet Union in the 1920s and People's Republic of China in the late 1940s resulted from Marxist philosophy. Many worldwide labor unions have also been influenced by Marxist ideas.
There is little doubt that Marx remains one of the most influential figures in human history, and we can debate the soundness of his theories on an academic level for years to come. But was he right? Is it inevitable that the two socio-economic forces in the USA will produce enough conflict to bring down our capitalist society?
I would love to hear some well-reasoned opinions.