Why might someone agree or disagree with Marxist theory?

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There are numerous arguments for and against the Marxist ideology. Over the last century, millions of people have fought for or against Marxism, indicating that passions surrounding it are strong.

First, let's examine some reasons why people have supported Marxism.

First and foremost, Marxism promotes the notion of universal equality. Marxism places an emphasis on human rights, such as universal education, health care, and gender and racial equality. Marxism endeavors to end class struggle and exploitation. As a result, many of this ideology's most vehement supporters have been from marginalized groups struggling for equality and an end to oppression.

Marxism is built around striving for the greater good. All efforts within a true Marxist system are designed to benefit the entire society. This means that no single part of society benefits over another. Marx argued that unrestrained capitalism leads to monopolies which will eventually result in an economic collapse as corporate interests supersede that of society as a whole. Marx and his supporters would argue that Marxism actually protects economic interests because it makes sure that the producers of wealth do not artificially manipulate the price of commodities. This results in the reduction and elimination of debt and protects the rights of workers and consumers.

All this being said, there are some very real critiques of Marxism.

First of all, Marx argued that revolution needs to be spurred through violent uprisings. Marx thought that societal improvements would come about too slowly unless the proletariat forced the issue. Since the established power structures are supported by the bourgeoisie, they would be resistant to change. Therefore, a Marxist revolution can only come about through bloodshed. Naturally, people would disagree with Marxism if they feel that violence and death are too high a price to pay.

Marxism also has the potential to erode individual liberties. Since all endeavors within this ideology are designed to benefit the collective, people have no rights to private ownership or private business enterprises. It eliminates the possibility of entrepreneurship. This reduces the incentives of individuals to work hard for their own benefit. The state has total control over the educational system, which would likely lead toward wide-scale indoctrination. Even organized religious worship is forbidden by Marxism. Anyone who values freedom of action and thought would chafe under this system.

When put into practice, Marxism has nearly always led to tyranny. Marx argued that for his system to be put into practice, the state must take temporary control in order to bring about whole-scale societal change. However, as we have seen with the Soviet Union, Cuba, and the People's Republic of China, once a totalitarian government has been achieved, those in power are reluctant to give it up.

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