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How did the ideas and theories of Karl Marx impact the development of socialism in the...

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moocow554 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted January 23, 2012 at 4:43 AM via web

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How did the ideas and theories of Karl Marx impact the development of socialism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted January 23, 2012 at 5:14 AM (Answer #1)

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Of course, the ideas and theories of Karl Marx were essentially what made socialism into a widespread and fairly radical political movement.  There were socialists before Marx, but Marx made the movement more relevant to the modern and industrialized world of the late 1800s.

By the late 1800s (Marx died in 1883), however, Marx's ideas were coming to have somewhat less of an impact.  There were other ideas that were pulling at socialism and leading it away from Marx's revolutionary vision.  This can be seen most clearly in the move towards "Social Democracy" by people who believed in "evolutionary socialism."  To these socialists, revolution as not likely to happen.  Socialists should, instead of working for revolution, work within democratic systems to help improve the lives of workers.  With the rise of this sort of socialism, Marx's ideas were coming to have less and less impact on socialism and its development.

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