Can someone please help me and explain Marxism theory and how can it be relate to what is happening in our society today.Can someone please help me and explain Marxism theory and how can it be...

Can someone please help me and explain Marxism theory and how can it be relate to what is happening in our society today.

Can someone please help me and explain Marxism theory and how can it be relate to what is happening in our society today.

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

While Marxist theory has been taking a beating over the last twenty years, I do believe that one can take its emphasis on economic materialism as applicable to the modern setting.  With the recent global economic crisis and how it has impacted billions of people around the world, I think that Marx's emphasis on how capitalism reduces human beings to working for profitable ends is something that is quite evident in the modern setting.  The notion that human beings don't have money work for them, but rather work for money is something that we are now seeing on a large scale when there is lack of it.  When Marxist theory speaks of how capitalism is a "runaway train" in terms of who controls it, the global economic crisis might speak volumes towards that end. At the same time, when Marxist theory makes the argument that government is merely an extension of capitalist industry, the government bailout programmes that help banks and the like might be quite valid.  The historian Howard Zinn has spoken about this in terms of how there is a very close relationship between business and government, where the former might be able to exert great influence on the latter.  With this in mind, Marxist theory stated this in its most early stages.

krishna-agrawala | Student

Marxism is a term applied to the economic, social, political and philosophical ides and theories of Karl Marx (1818-1883). Marxism has a special significance as being at the core of development of the political system of socialism and communism. The total collection of all the ideas and theories is very large to be described in a few hundred or even a few thousand words. I am giving below some of the more important aspects of Marxism.

Marxism is based on the conviction that socialism is inevitable, and that the free enterprise system, or capitalism, was doomed and that socialism was the only alternative.  Marx believed that the individual, not God, is the highest being.  He affirmed that people have become what they are by their own labour, using their capabilities to dominate the world by a process called production through which they make the goods they need to live,  Using natural resources, factories, machinery, and labour.

Marx believed that production is a collective effort, not an individual one.  Organized societies need to develop increasingly for improving production.  Such improvements are achieved by continual refinement of production methods and of the division of labour.  Marx believed that the division of labour resulted in the creation of two classes of people - the rulers and the workers.  The ruling class owns the means of production, who exploit the workers that do not own the means of production. Marx believed that there was constant strain and struggle between such division of people in classes.

According to Marx, past societies tried to keep the exploited class under control by using elaborate political organizations, laws, customs, traditions, ideologies, religions, and rituals.  Marx reasoned that by recognizing the nature of these processes, people will be able to overcome them through revolutionary action.

Marx stated that private ownership of the means of production was the core of the class system.  For people to be truly free, he declared, the means of production must be owned collectively by the community as a whole. He believed that with the resulting general economic and social equality, all people would have an opportunity to follow their own desires and to use their leisure time creatively.  Marx believed that such changes will happen when working class revolts against the owners of the means of production.