Thursday, August 04, 2011

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.


Jehu said...

Not even close man:

1. The historical mission of Capital, in historical materialism, is to develop the productive forces of society to the exclusion of all else.

2. The corollary of this is the abolition of the laborer, of socially necessary labor time, and of scarcity.

3. But, these are no more than the premises of Capital itself. No previous mode of production had as its premise its own annihilation.

4. It is on this premise alone that Capital is a permanent revolution against itself -- the real movement of society, and not some ideal notion. And, it is on the basis alone, Marx declared communism not to be the aim of mankind.

Iago said...

You've tried to be succinct which carries dangers of oversimplification. By and large, youre not guilty of misrepresentation. One thesis could be a problem: You could be accused of advocating the Kautskyite position Lenin held on the state, until he set out to prove that Bukharin was an anarchist, only to discover he was in fact correct. This isn't scholastic hair-splitting. Has immediate relevance when it comes to today's response to the riots. Some on the left advocate individualism and utopianism of no state, wheras others demand raising budgets for the cops whose murder of Mark Duggan sparked the riots. Need debate about alternative: propaganda slogan for councils of action, etc. said...

It cannot have effect as a matter of fact, that's exactly what I suppose.