Thursday, March 26, 2015

Marx

(I know we are not quite there yet, but some of you are looking for a new topic) For a boring, bookish man who spent most of his life in a library, his ideas certainly shook the very foundations of Western Civ. Here is your chance to continue our analysis of Marxism: the theory? why it made so much sense to so many? how it was used? abused? Did he get anything right? What were his critical errors?

32 comments:

  1. When Karl Marx came up with his theories during the industrial revolution, so the idea that the common people working in the factories could be equal to the people who owned the factories was pretty attractive. The idea makes sense because in theory, a society where everyone is equal will be the best for people and the most productive. Marx never lived to see his ideas be abused, like in the Soviet Union, he just thought that that instead of having the battle between the rich and the poor, a middle ground could be made so there isn't the resentment between classes or the need for revolutions. The problem with Marxism and later communism is that society never ended up being equal, there was always someone in charge of the system so the point of equality was gone.

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  3. Karl Marx was one the more important people of his time, the working class people respected him because he did support them and wanted to see change for them. Marx saw that the working class wasn’t being treated the same as the rest, even though they were legally equal. Marx saw that society was slowly moving back to its old class type society. His idea of Marxism marked an end to that movement. He saw that if you step back into the past, chances are the horrors of the past are going to step back as well. Capitalism and Marxism go hand in hand, Karl based his entire idea around the idea of Capitalism. Marx began taking a lot of action during his middle ages of his life, one of his earliest actions was the following. Marx actively fought for its implementation, arguing that the working class should carry out organised revolutionary action to topple capitalism and bring about socio-economic change.One of his most looming mistakes in Karl’s plan was: Immiseration of the workers, Alienation, Socialism and bureaucracy, and Disappearance of the division of labor.

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  4. Marx took the ideas of Georg Hegel in respect to synthesis and applied them to economics. His main theory involved the class struggle, or the constant battle between the working class, and the factory owners. The factory owners constantly wanted to exploit the workers by driving down their wages as low as they could, and the working class fought as hard as they could to keep their wages up. He thought that eventually wages would be driven down so far by the factory owners, that the workers would have no choice but to revolt. Once they revolted and took power, they would create a classless society. Everyone would have what they needed. Because everyone and every country would have what they needed there would be no reason for police forces, armies, or even countries. One of the flaws in his plan was that he assumed capitalism would stay as the same economic form, but capitalism instead has changed and evolved to a form of economics that differs greatly from its original form. He had the right idea that there would be change, he was just wrong about the type of change.

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  5. Marx believed that if we continued to run on wage-labor, there would eventually be a war between the classes. His main theme was "Materialism," which includes morality, religion, and social structures. Basically, Marx believed that history provided economic structures that were meant to satisfy the materialistic needs of humans at that time--all building up to a struggle between social classes. During the Industrial Revolution, capitalism became popular to many factory owners. With capitalism, they could get the most work out of their employees without having to pay them the fair amount for that work. This created extreme poverty, which Marx was concerned with, but mostly, he worried about the differences between the upper class and the working class. Marxism was meant to make things fair for the common working class person. Marx thought that the government should have ownership of everything so that it could be equally distributed among the people. At the time, the working class person would like this idea. Working conditions were terrible, and people were paid close to nothing for hours of work. However, some might argue that Marx's ideas were not fair to everyone. What if someone worked 14 hours a day and were still given the same amount as the person who worked 10 hours a day? Everything may have been even, but that doesn't mean it was fair.

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  7. Marx is huge believer of getting rid of the factory workers so everyone is treated equal. He also believes that you definitely need a huge violent revolution and factory owners will be killed or reeducated. Everyone will be treated equal, this mostly solves the whole protecting your property and/or stealing property. In the end, the crime rate will go down. Everyone would do what they are good at. I don't think this theory will succeed because there won't be any incentive, because no matter how hard you work, you will be treated the same. So his whole 'communism will led to a perfect world idea' isn't what I am thinking what will happen. Marx studied the French Revolution and got his idea from it. He was also inspired by all countries and their way of living life.
    Marx had a lot of predictions that never happened. Starting with the lowest working class, they would increase as a percentage of the population and they would become poorer. The middle class would decrease in population to zero. Then the upper class (capitalists) would decrease and most would work down from the economic ladder. He believed the in order to get rich you have to be poor to there, which is somewhat true. When you look at how doctors and lawyers got their.. think of their college bill and how they go there, and how much it would cost. After all, working condition did get better and wages were higher. Marx was wrong and the 'gap' didn't get bigger.
    Overall, it was a fail as an idea. Things weren't right, you can't rely on one single form of government. Great teachings. China does use some form of Marxism but that it really what is all that is left. Now there is labor theory which mean that the longer it takes to make the more valuable it is. You get money if you work for it. What is present now is the fact that everyone is equal. But we are all different in what we do. Rich or poor, we should be treated equal. But sometimes society doesn't allow that. You get what you work for, so you determine what you get in life by working for it. Everyone now has a minimum wage now, along with public education. Everyone is equal in the beginning so you have a fair chance.
    Sources:
    http://www.nyu.edu/projects/ollman/docs/what_is_marxism.php
    http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/Marxism.html
    http://www.marxist.com/

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    1. He didn't really want to "get rid of the factory workers"?

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  8. Marxism is an economic, social, and political philosophy based on ideas that view social change in terms of economic factors. Karl Marx was the founder of Marxism. He was from Germany and was a Jew. He had lots of theories and ideas based on Capitalism and how it should be changed. He influenced lots of the communists leaders we are familiar with today.
    He is important today still because of the book him and Engels wrote had lots of theories and is still an important read today. He also shows what what to do and what not to do while wanting to form a new way of government or economic system. His ideas went downhill when the Cold War and WW2 were over because communism was down to a minimum if any at all. He wanted the rich to get richer and the poor to stay poor. He was against capitalism and wanted the system to change. He worked hard on how he could change it, but it just ended up failing. He had two classes instead of three called, bourgeoisie which was the middle class and the proletariat which was the working class.
    Some people think that socialism is kind of the same thing as Marxism and it has similar traits, but Marxism is something different. He thought by the way of his working, the economy was going downhill and he wanted to do something about it. The reason his theories never went on was because his books and writings talked about how much he hated communism, but never talked about how to fix it.
    The Populists and the Social Revolutionists were the people who brought out Marx's theories, also the communists leaders that we are familiar with today. Most communists countries had the same incentive to working hard and working barely, that's another reason why his theories didn't work. Also, his ideas worked best when there was a revolution, and there was barely any revolutions were going on.
    The two classes are going to grow far, far apart while having capitalism, and he is seeing that, so that is why he is trying to change things. He doesn't want the lower class to revolt.

    http://www.cf.ac.uk/socsi/undergraduate/introsoc/marx6.html
    http://www.skwirk.com/p-c_s-14_u-427_t-1083_c-4188/karl-marx-and-his-theories/nsw/history/the-russian-revolution/background
    http://www.infoplease.com/encyclopedia/history/marxism-influence-marxism.html

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  9. Karl Marx saw a huge social class struggle during his time. He thought that the Bourgeoisie class (the factory owners) exploited the Proletariat class (working class). He saw that the Proletarians worked for a very low wage to produce the goods in a factory; then the goods were sold by the factory owners (Bourgeoisie) for a much higher value [than the labor put into making the goods]. Marx wanted to get rid of these social classes so everyone is treated equally in society. His idea was favored by many at the time, because the majority of the population (no matter what country one was from) consisted of the working class and the lower class, and his idea would better benefit these classes. He believed that with the Proletariat class revolting against the Bourgeoisie class, a new, equal form of government can be formed.

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    1. With Marx's idea came violent revolutions. With the proletarians rising up against the Bourgeoisie, the end result would be a socialist country, and Marx was hoping that this would lead to a communist world, with no crime or government involved. His idea failed though, because you need to keep an industrialist society, have a revolution, and you he thought that the wage levels would never match up with the growing economy and population.

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    2. Marx had three predictions, which all proved to fail.
      1) As more people started to sell their labor (as the capitalist competition increased), their demand for higher wages would start to decrease. It was believed that as the population grew, it would cause the Proletariats to become poorer. What actually happened was that the population rate decreased, which caused the people of the working class to become more stable. 2) He predicted that the population of the middle class would decrease down to basically zero. This idea stated that a zero-sum competition would be created, making winners (who would eventually become rich capitalists) and losers (who would eventually join the proletariats.) What actually happened was that the population actually increased. 3) The population of the capitalists would also decrease. This would create a smaller group of “winners” and force everyone else down the social ladder. What actually happened was that the population had increased, much like the working class.

      http://www.stephenhicks.org/2010/03/02/marxs-three-failed-predictions-ep/

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  10. Karl Marx really did want the best for the people, or at least the proletariat, but he didn't compensate for all the changes that would take place and how much capitalism would change. We have capitalism in our lives today, but our living conditions and working conditions, for most at least, are just fine. There is not the same need to steal or bad sewage system like there was back then. He didn't really expect this kind of evolution. Marx thought the only way change would come is with a revolution and lots of violence. Why is that? He just lived through the French Revolution. Look how much the French got accomplished by violence. They overthrew there government to make there lives better. What they got in return was a dictator. That's exactly what Marx thought would work too, but not just any type of dictatorship. Marx wanted a Proletariat dictatorship, where this person was a worker, but would then be in charge. In the end Karl Marx had good ideas, just not ones that really went his way.

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    1. I completely agree with Bailey. Marx really did want what was best for the Proletariat, or the poor. Karl Marx had good intentions and good ideas but they just didn’t seem to go over that well or play out like he had hoped. He pushed to have an equal economy among the rich and poor but this didn’t go just as he wanted. Since Marx did live through the French Revolution, he thought that there had to be a revolution in order to have a solution, but he was hoping that there would be another way other than violence. Because of Marx testing out his theory we have what is noticed today as the middle class. Because of this, we also can not discriminate against anything because of what makes them up such as their race. Karl Marx had good ideas overall that would make up a better economic system.

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  11. Marxism is defined as a worldview and a method of societal analysis that focuses on class relations and societal conflict, that uses a materialist interpretation of historical development, and a dialectical view of social transformation. What this is saying is that the best way to keep peace is to have the classes be equal. If everybody is equal then no one group will have certain advantages over the other. One event that really stood out to him was the French Revolution, if the third estate would have been treated better than they wouldn’t have had to revolt. If the third estate would have been treated like the other two groups then the revolt would have never happened. The third estate would have had no reason to revolt because of the fact that they were all eqaul.
    One of Marx’s idea was the price of things are determined by how long it takes to make the product. Say for example, If a pair of shoes usually takes twice as long to produce as a pair of pants, for example, then shoes are twice as valuable as pants. In the long run, the competitive price of shoes will be twice the price of pants, regardless of the value of the physical inputs. This is going against the idea that Smith had were the consumers will determine the prices. So if they consumers will willing to pay a certain price for something then that was going to be the price of it.
    The main thing that Marx wanted was equality. He agreed with Hegel in the idea that all event in history are important, he just thought the the relationship between the classes was the most important. One thing he thought would benefit from everybody being equal is the crime rates, since everybody has the same things then nobody should have to go out and steal things.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marxism
    http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/367344/Marxism
    http://www.biography.com/people/karl-marx-9401219

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  12. Marx saw his whole theory as a "Conflict Theory." The theory relied on the CONFLICT with in the classes of society. For his system to work, there had to be a conflict with in the social classes: the working class or Proletariat and the middle class, the Bourgeoisie. The two classes have to be within conflict and keeping pushing the classes so far away from each other. The lower class would finally get feed up and rise up against the middle class. Once they rose up, the government would be a dictatorship by the middle class until everyone was equal and the government would just dwindled away.

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  13. Marxism is defined as the political, economic, and social theories of Karl Marx including the belief that the struggle between social classes is a major force in history and that there should eventually be a society in which there are no classes. At the time that Karl Marx brought this up it seemed like a revolutionary idea. Many were in favor of Marxism because it stated that everyone would be equal. The poor especially were in favor of this because they have never been treated as an equal to the rich before. Despite sounding like a great idea, it proved to not be a perfectly sound idea.
    Marx knew that the change to Marxism would not be immediate. First there would need to be the creation of the proletariat and bourgeoisie classes. This revolution would be violent because the people of the proletariat class would want to be in the bourgeoisie class. After the classes were created there would need to be a dictatorship lead by the proletariat's. This way the bourgeoisie would either give up their money/power or they would be killed. After they were all considered to be in the same social class they would get rid of all government. However with no government there will be no way to stop crime. Marx thought that people would not commit crimes such as theft if everyone was equal on an economic basis. But this is not true because crimes are not always committed for survival, they are often committed due to other motives.
    That was one big problem of Marxism, but others existed. Another problem is the labor theory of value. This theory stated that a products value is determined by the amount of labor hours it took to make. The problem with this was the creation of machines. When machines came about to help in the creation of products this theory was thrown out the window. There are also some other major flaws, but let's look at the successes of Marxism. Well, basically the big "success" of Marxism is that it created communism. That is if you see communism as a success.

    http://www.cesj.org/resources/articles-index/karl-marx-the-almost-capitalist/
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/marxism
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marxism

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  14. Marxism is defined as the political, economic, and social theories of Karl Marx including the belief that the struggle between social classes is a major force in history and that there should eventually be a society in which there are no classes. At the time that Karl Marx brought this up it seemed like a revolutionary idea. Many were in favor of Marxism because it stated that everyone would be equal. The poor especially were in favor of this because they have never been treated as an equal to the rich before. Despite sounding like a great idea, it proved to not be a perfectly sound idea.
    Marx knew that the change to Marxism would not be immediate. First there would need to be the creation of the proletariat and bourgeoisie classes. This revolution would be violent because the people of the proletariat class would want to be in the bourgeoisie class. After the classes were created there would need to be a dictatorship lead by the proletariat's. This way the bourgeoisie would either give up their money/power or they would be killed. After they were all considered to be in the same social class they would get rid of all government. However with no government there will be no way to stop crime. Marx thought that people would not commit crimes such as theft if everyone was equal on an economic basis. But this is not true because crimes are not always committed for survival, they are often committed due to other motives.
    That was one big problem of Marxism, but others existed. Another problem is the labor theory of value. This theory stated that a products value is determined by the amount of labor hours it took to make. The problem with this was the creation of machines. When machines came about to help in the creation of products this theory was thrown out the window. There are also some other major flaws, but let's look at the successes of Marxism. Well, basically the big "success" of Marxism is that it created communism. That is if you see communism as a success.

    http://www.cesj.org/resources/articles-index/karl-marx-the-almost-capitalist/
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/marxism
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marxism

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  15. The communist slogan is “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.” This describes what Marx and Engel were attempting to achieve through Marxism. The theory of Marxism made sense to many people because if everyone work according to their ability and received everything that that they needed to succeed and survive, then this would be the ideal world. There would be no need for class, armies, or government because Marx believed that if everyone received what they needed than no one would have to commit any crimes.

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  16. Today in class, we talked about the why communism didn't spread as much as Karl Marx had predicted. He was hoping that after industrialization, workers would get tired of their terrible wages and revolt against the factory owner. However, this did not happen. Looking back, we can see some of the reasons why communism failed. For instance, the Soviet Union never lost their dictatorship. Also, because wages had been equalized, people lost the incentive to work hard. This created a mindset that if workers are getting paid the same equal amount no matter how hard they work, why work at all? "Workers of the World Unite" became the "slogan" for communism, but in order for communism to work, it had to spread worldwide, which could never happen--the U.S. was finally laying down labor laws, creating minimum wage, and giving people more rights, and they could still work hard to make more money. Communism was no longer the better option for workers.

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  17. The actual idea of Marxism originally made sense, but the result of it wasn't a success. The theory of Marxism was to basically make everyone equal. If everyone was equal, there would be few problems in the world. The poor and the rich would have the same of everything and there would be no differences. At least this was the plan. This sounded good to so many people at the time, because more people were poor and struggling, so they would want to be equal to the rich, at least Marx thought so. However, this would require a revolt. The working, poor class would have to revolt against the rich to start change, but they never did revolt. This was one of the flaws of Marxism. The idea of Marxism would have been abused, because people wouldn't have to work as hard to do well and be better, because everyone was the same. There was no motivation and drive behind Marxism, which was also a flaw. Another flaw would be the countries not getting past the dictatorship. Also, for Marxism to ultimately work, it'd have to become worldwide, and this did not happen. The idea of Marxism was a good idea, but it wasn't implemented well, therefore it failed.

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  18. The theory of Marxism is the idea of the haves versus the have-nots. A conflict in the social class and a way to ultimately make everyone equal. The thought was that if the Proletariat's (poor, working class that was treated unfairly) revolted against the Bourgeoisie (rich class with rights) that they would then set up a dictatorship type government that would eventually wither away. The ultimate ending goal was that everyone was equal. At the time, the plan made sense because of the hardships of the Industrial Revolution, but it was never implemented correctly. I think a big key to this was that nobody could correctly interpret exactly what Karl Marx plan was. More importantly, it never worked because people started getting more stuff and nobody wanted to give up all of their stuff to become equal. This was mainly due to the creation of the Middle Class through labor laws, minimum wage laws, worker vacation laws, worker safety laws, labor unions--basically laws to ensure a better life. This caused a gap between the rich and poor to get smaller, which made most people live a comfortable life that they don't want to give up. If everyone was poor and living in very difficult conditions, I think that the theory of Marxism would have eventually found a way to work. It makes me wonder if there will ever be a time in America again that we will need a Marxism theory to arise. Of course, we wouldn't call it communism, but I honestly wonder what our government would do to create equality if it got to the point where we needed more of a change to fix serious problems.

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  19. Marxism appealed to many people at the time because almost everyone was poor. They wanted to take money from the rich and distribute it equally. The biggest flaw in his idea is that he did not account for the fact that humans are driven by competition. Everyone competes to become successful and in a society where everyone would be paid the same this sense of competition would be lost. Marxism could only work in a utopia. It could only work where all the people in that utopia only wanted what was best for everyone else. They would all work hard for the betterment of the society. His idea did make sense at the time but it would never work in today's culture. Human are too greedy and selfish.

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  20. Karl Marx was one of the greatest minds in history. His theory of communism has been somewhat adopted into modern society. Communism is based off of the idea of equality, where everyone is treated and given the same things. At the time when communism was created, the idea appealed to most everyone because a lot of people were poor. A communist society is formed when the proletariat, or the working class, would rise up against the bourgeoisie, or the upper class. Only then will a communist society work. In communist societies today, the proletariat have never risen up against the bourgeoisie, so one could argue that communism has never actually been attempted. One flaw in Marx’s ideas was that every country must be a communist society in order for his theory to work. Also, in communist societies, workers lose their incentive to work, because everyone is treated. Even though his idea was flawed, some parts of Marx’s theories have been adopted in modern society. For example, the U.S. believes in equality of opportunity, allowing everyone the equal chance of being successful later in life. This idea led to programs such as free DMACC classes, allowing everyone to have an equal opportunity at a good education. Communism doesn’t have much appeal today because of this idea, the gap between the working class and the upper class is small, and a good majority of the population is successful. While Marx’s theory was flawed, he had some very good ideas that have helped improve society today.

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  21. Karl Marx was one of the greatest minds in history. His theory of communism has been somewhat adopted into modern society. Communism is based off of the idea of equality, where everyone is treated and given the same things. At the time when communism was created, the idea appealed to most everyone because a lot of people were poor. A communist society is formed when the proletariat, or the working class, would rise up against the bourgeoisie, or the upper class. Only then will a communist society work. In communist societies today, the proletariat have never risen up against the bourgeoisie, so one could argue that communism has never actually been attempted. One flaw in Marx’s ideas was that every country must be a communist society in order for his theory to work. Also, in communist societies, workers lose their incentive to work, because everyone is treated. Even though his idea was flawed, some parts of Marx’s theories have been adopted in modern society. For example, the U.S. believes in equality of opportunity, allowing everyone the equal chance of being successful later in life. This idea led to programs such as free DMACC classes, allowing everyone to have an equal opportunity at a good education. Communism doesn’t have much appeal today because of this idea, the gap between the working class and the upper class is small, and a good majority of the population is successful. While Marx’s theory was flawed, he had some very good ideas that have helped improve society today.

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  22. Marxism was a brilliant idea despite on big thing. It didn't work. Karl Marx's idea was to make everyone equal. It sounds like a great idea, especially to the proletariat's. The proletariat's were always seen as less than the bourgeoisie. But with Marxism it would no longer be that way because the proletariat's would rise up against the bourgeoisie. Eventually the members of the bourgeoisie would either spread their wealth to make everyone equal or be killed by the proletariat's. Despite Marxism not working it also had a few other major flaws. One big flaw is that there would no longer be competition. If everyone is paid the same most people would slack off because they know they will always be paid the same as everyone else. This is not the way it should be, but unfortunately most humans want what is best for them, not what is best for their society.

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  23. Karl Marx thought that one day the lower class would rise up because they were not treated as fair as the upper class. The lower class would then overthrow the government and there would be some violence. Based on this belief, he thought that everyone should be equal and have jobs that would suit that person personally. This made perfect sense because the whole community could work together and benefit as one. Since everyone is equal, there would be no need for government. This is where the communism came in. There would be no private property to protect, and crime would not exist. There would be no reason to steal because everyone is equal and have exactly what they need. Overall, this idea of government would lead to a perfect world. This was his solution to creating a utopia.

    These ideas were somewhat attempted by communism but no country ever did what he had planned. It would not work anyway because people would be too greedy and they would want more stuff even if they had enough to be decently happy with. Communism is based on Marxism because it tries to make everyone equal and there is part of this idea in our government. The U.S. is not about everyone having the same but we do strive to give everyone an equal opportunity to become successful. Other government programs like welfare are put in place to try to give people better lives and close the gap between the lower and higher class.

    Overall, the beliefs of Karl Marx did not come true because countries turned their social classes around just before they got really bad. Governments began to realize that the lower class dramatically outnumbered the higher class and they saw that the lower class was going to do something about it. The poor class did not revolt because working conditions turned better and the got paid more. Higher Class became smaller because they were now taxed. Marx was wrong these classes did not drift further apart, but closer. Overall his idea was good and made sense but it would never work in todays world and society.


    http://www.biography.com/people/karl-marx-9401219
    http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/Marxism.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marxism

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