Identify the general ideas in Marxism. 

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that it is important to make clear that much of modern Marxism used Marx's thoughts as a springboard and "ran with it."  We can make some general points about Marxism, or the socio- political philosophy that arises from the thinking of Karl Marx.  One of the most critical elements of Marxism is that a "critical consciousness" about the current economic system is adopted.  Marxism is rooted in the dialectical materialist process of examining economics as the basis for all consciousness and the foundation that explains the ordering of society.  Along these lines, a very general idea in Marxism is that there are individuals who possess economic power and more who do not.  The examination of these conditions helps to form the basis of Marxism.  An application of this is the idea that Marxism stresses a communal element of individuals who lack economic power being able to come together and unify over the need to present a different vision as opposed to the alienating condition intrinsic to capitalism.  Marxism is concerned with the transformation or alteration of what is into what can be.  This transformational element is another general idea of Marxism.  Different thinkers of Marxism can articulate this in different ways, but predicated upon dialectical materialism, Marxism stresses the idea that change is possible and altering the ownership and control of the means of production can be possible.