To what extent was Marxism a good idea?

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Marxism continues to be an ideology and framework for understanding nation-state and economic realities around the world. In terms of analysis of boss/owner-worker relations and dynamics, Marxism effectively communicates how bosses profit off the labor of the working-class. It also aptly discusses the workers, who are fundamentally exploited through the capitalist system, or any system in which people do not directly choose to participate in, or fully benefit from, their labor.

Marxism critically analyzes how the working class labors to create the products/goods or to extract/produce the resources that the boss profits from substantially more than the workers. Marxism demands that workers own the means of production in which bosses do not exist and workers create good/products that benefit them directly as a collective of people.

Classical Marxism, however, is often interlaced with condescending narratives of "class consciousness" and insists that rural workers must first go through an industrial revolution in order to gain this so-call "class consciousness". This theory negates the reality of uprisings from worker and enslaved classes of people based in both rural and urban centers since the dawn of agriculture and civilizations.

Marxism also does not tend to address that fact that getting rid of bosses and collectivizing industrial production does not stop global climate catastrophe due to industrial civilization, nor does it address genocidal or ecocidal extraction and oppression of indigenous peoples and land. Yet, it does absolutely address the reality of worker oppression and class hierarchies. Newer approaches to Marxism have addressed some of these concerns in more detail and use new occurrences and data that Marx did not have access to.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on February 11, 2020
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