BASIC IDEAS OF MARXISM
I tried to summarise the core ideas of Marxism as briefly and simply as possible – this is what I came up with:
1. CAPITALISM IS ANTI-HUMAN: it systematically destroys and distorts human life; the only future it offers humanity is economic crisis, war and global warming i.e. barbarism; it has to be got rid of for the human race to survive and develop.
2. CAPITALISM IS DRIVEN BY PROFIT NOT HUMAN NEED: capitalists are driven to make profit by competition; profit is made by exploiting labour
3. EXPLOITATION DIVIDES SOCIETY INTO CLASSES- EXPLOITERS AND EXPLOITED: Slave owners and slaves, lords and peasants, capitalists and workers; historically these are the main forms of exploitation and class division – history is the history of class struggle
4. TODAY CAPITALISTS (BOURGEOISIE) AND WORKERS (PROLETARIAT) ARE THE MAIN CLASSES IN SOCIETY: capitalists are those who own control business, finance etc and employ labour; workers are those who live by selling their labour power.
5. THE WORKING CLASS IS THE REVOLUTIONARY CLASS: the working class is the class that has the power to overthrow capitalism; the working class has to do this itself.
6. THE WORKING CLASS IS THE SOCIALIST CLASS: the working class struggle is a collective struggle, it can only free itself by taking collective control of the state and the means of production and abolishing class divisions.
7. THE WORKING CLASS STRUGGLE IS INTERNATIONAL: capitalism is an international system and the struggle against is international; socialism cannot be built in one country, workers of all countries need to unite.
8. THE TASK OF SOCIALISTS IS TO ASSIST AND DEVELOP THE WORKING CLASS STRUGGLE: our job ii to relate to workers’ struggles and in the process raise their confidence, political consciousness and unity, combating everything that divides them (racism, sexism, nationalism etc) so as to lead the working class to take political power.