Marxism is a political, economic and social philosophy. This philosophy
of Karl Mark and Friedrich Angel analyzes the effect of capitalism system on
labor. In the same way it also examines the effect of capitalism system on
productivity and economic development. Marxism posits that there is a struggle
between social classes. These classes are bourgeoisie class and proletariat
class. The bourgeoisie class owns the means of production like factories and industries.
The industrialists, factory owners are belong to this class. The other class is
the proletariat class. This is a labor class which includes the workers which
work in the factories and industries and in farms houses of land lords. The
class struggle arises in capitalists societies due to the contradictions
between the material interests of bourgeoisie and proletariat class. The
bourgeoisie class extract their wealth by selling the products produced by
proletariat in markets.
There are five elements which develop the structure of Marxism. The first one is the dialectical materialism.
The whole philosophy of Karle Marx is based on dialectical materialism. The
literal meaning of dialectic is the union of opposites. The dialectic means to
debate or discuss with a view to arrive at the reality or truth by admitting
confessing the contradictions in the arguments of opposite people. Karle Marx
took this idea from Friedrich Hegel but the new developed idea of Marx was
different from Hegel in many respects because Marx developed it in his own way.
Hegel’s view point was that human evolution was straight line but on the other
side Marx believed that it move in a zig-zag course. But both said that
contradictions was the moving spirit of the world. But according to Hegel human
idea was an ultimate reality. But on the other side Hegel believed that it was
matter rather than human idea or opinion which was the real thing. If we
explain Hegel’s view point in other words was that changes by the force of
human thing but according to Marx human idea was nothing. But it was a
reflection of material condition of the society at a particular point.
According to Marx ideas originate from the material condition of society. Marx
believed that all the human thinking regarding religion, politics and
philosophy are the results of actions and reactions of material conditions of
society. According to Marx there were always two opposite classes at every
stage of state of social evolution. During the time of slave system there were
two classes, the slaves and the slave owners.in the feudal system there were
serfs and feudal lords. In the same way, in capital system there are two
classes one is the industrialists and other one is the workers. Among two
classes, one is exploited and other one is the exploiter class.
The materialistic conception of history is the second element of Marxism.
According to Marx the application of dialectical materialism to the study of
historical evolution is the materialistic conception of history or historical
materialism. Marx believed that history is a continuous evolutionary process
from the earliest stage to the modern stage. The change in a society is a
self-regulated process in according to the laws of dialectical materialism. It
is not influenced by external agency. The general character of political,
social and spiritual process of world is determined by the mode of production
in material life. When we talked about the super structure of society,
according to Marx it is based on the productive system and production relation
among men of the society. The process of production is key factor in social
evolution. Therefore all the political institutions, religion, art have link
with mode of production. In the same way all the traditions, laws and morality
also relate with the mode of production and nature of relations between the
owner of means of production and workers that involved in that type of production.
According to Marx there were five stages of human history. The first and second
stages are primitive communal system and the slave system respectively. In the
same way the third and fourth stages are the feudal system and the capitalistic
system. The socialist system is the last stage of human history.
The third element of Marxism is the class struggle. Marx believed
that there was a class in every stage of history and its fellow opposite class.
According to Marx these two classes conflicted in all ages of history in
different forms .V.I Lenin gave a very clear definition of class. According to
him classes are large groups of people differing from each other by the place
they occupy in a system of social production. These large groups are also
different from each other by their relations to the means of production. In the
same way these groups of classes are also different from each other by their
role in the social organization of labor. Similarly these classes are also
different from each other by the dimension of share of social wealth. Hunting
stage was the earliest state of human history. During this stage hunted animals
were taken as common wealth of society. That early society had no class
struggle. Because there was no surplus wealth to exploit with. In this way
there was no class struggle in the hunting stage of human history or civilization.
During the pastoral stage the society got divided on the basis of owning animal
and without having animal. The main reason of conflict was the private property
of cattle. In this way this was the beginning of class war. Similarly a man
with improved agriculture land had the private property. In this way class
struggle started to gain the possession of land. In this system the owners of
land became the exploiting class and landless peoples became the exploited class.
In the same way with the invention and improvement in technology, the feudal
system came into existence .In this feudal system the barons exploited the
serfs .This system of exploitation was not continued further more. In
seventeenth and eighteenth century feudal system was replaced by capitalistic system
.The industrial revolution gave rise to big and heavy industries. In these
factories labor class was exploited by factory owners. This system gave the
rise of two classes the capitalists and the working classes. Karle Marx named
these two classes as bourgeoisie and proletariats. During this stage the wealth
was in the hands of few peoples and working class led toward poverty. Karle
Marx was confident that one day working class will start an armed struggle to
abolish capitalist system. This revolution would be the final revolution.
Because at the end of revolution proletariat class will come to power. In this
way there would be no oppressed class. In this way we will reach the stage of socialism.
The socialism actually took place in Russia and China. In the other countries
of world socialism has not came yet. In these countries there is a conflict
between the working class and capitalist. According to Marx in socialism public
ownership will take the place of private ownership. In socialism need based
distribution will take the place of distribution according to work.
The theory of surplus value is the fourth element of Marxism. The
theory of surplus value is the foundation of the philosophy of Marxism.
According to this theory of Marxism labor is the source of the value of a
commodity. The number of labor and time spent on a commodity defines its value.
Although the forces of demand and supply also define the value of a commodity. In
the same way the purchasing power of common man also determine the value of a
product. Marx said that labour is a concealed labour and its value is
crystallized labour. According to the ideas of Marx the labour is also a commodity.
In capital system the factory owners hold the all resources of production and
workers sell their labour to factory owners to manufacture commodities. The
industrialist sell their products in markets at high prices as compared to the
wage of labour they pay to them. In this way capitalists earn huge profit which
is a surplus. They use this surplus profit for their own private purposes. The
factory owners become wealthy in this way and worker class becomes poor due to their
low wages. According to Marx this the exploitation of workers class. The difference
in the earning of labour and capitalists will end when worker class will rise
for their rights and abolish the capitalist system.
The theory of revolution is the fifth element of Marxism. According
to Marx the theory of revolution is the direct outcome of historical materialism.
In his opinion the development in a society occur according to economic lines
and to the modes of production. According to Marx this process in society will
give rise to a social revelution.by the worker class or proletariats.
To conclude, the theory of Marxism aimed to bring a classes less
society. This society will based on the
common ownership of means of production, distribution and exchange all the
things equally in our society.