Marxism After the Collapse of Communism

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In February 1848, a twenty-three page pamphlet was published in London and it created history. It revolutionized the society with a mammoth of power of feasible thoughts in the form of predictions. The writer who made this prediction was, Karl Marx, and the pamphlet was named as “The Communist Manifesto”.

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Even the disintegration of former USSR in 1990-91, did not dig the grave for Marxian ideology. Indeed, some of its principles have become more relevant today. Marxism has in-fact amplified its sphere in this contemporary era and is well suited to explain multiple social inequalities such as those of gender, race, ethnicity and rights. This paper seeks to underscore the existence and relevance of Marxist ideology after the collapse communism in the 1990s.

Socialism, Communism & Marxism

The Oxford English Dictionary defines socialism as a ‘theory or policy that aims at or advocates the ownership or control of the means of production by the community as a whole and their administration in the interest of all’. It arose as a reaction against the social and economic conditions generated in Europe by the growth of industrial-capitalism. Industrial revolution had widened the gap between the owning-class(Bourgeoisie) and the working/labor class(Proletariat). Bourgeoisie had control over the resources and exploit the working class. The primary motive of the ideology was to abolish the capitalist-economy (an economic & political system in which market is controlled by private-players for profit, instead by state) and replaces it with socialistic pattern of society, usually based on the principle of common-ownership along with some other basic tenets like community, fraternity, social-equality, social-class, etc.

Karl Marx, German philosopher and economist was the most influential representative of socialism and laid the foundation for communism in the twentieth-century. Marxism gained currency in the mid nineteenth-century in response to the exploitation of the Proletariats by the Bourgeoisie. Just like socialism, Marxism also came to be viewed as a major enemy of capitalism. It is a set of socio- political and economic precepts laid down by Engel and Marx to establish ‘scientific-foundations’ of socialism through its tenets of dialectic-materialism, historical-materialism, teleological theory/class conflict, theory of surplus value; alienation and revolution. Marxism aims towards the ‘Dictatorship of the Proletariat’ which will eventually lead to the emergence of communist society. Such a society would be both classless and stateless.

Fundamentally, communism is the communal organization formed for the existence of the society based on the principle of collective-ownership of the property. Marxism is as much about theory as it is about practice. It is a practical programme. Though in the twentieth-century, communism in practice became divorced from classical Marxist notion of a classless & stateless society and the characteristic of communist-state during that period were as follows- Marxism-Leninism was an official ideology Communist party entrenched its rule as a sole authority over the state Economy was planned and state controlled.

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