Marxism: The Ideal and a Critique
Short Essay Paper #2
Marxism is an ideology that was first written about by Karl Marx and Fredreich Engels in the 1800’s. This ideology has some strong political and social ideas on what is best for society as a whole, but it can be easily critiqued by other ideologies. In this paper, I will explain Marxism according to Marx, and then critique his ideas through the writings and ideas of John Stuart Mill, and then Adam Smith.
Karl Marx believed in a socialist form of government. Marxism’s biggest struggle it wants to overcome is the inequalities, or social classes, that develop without proper governement control. Marx believes that there are two classes: Proletarians and the Bourgeois. “Society as a whole is more and more splitting up into two great hostile camps, into two great classes directly facing each other: Bourgeoisie and Proletariat,” (Marx and Engels 3). As the world became more developed, Marx believed that these two classes seperated even more, and the further they seperated, the more the bourgeoisie oppressed the proletariat. An example of this oppresion could be found by looking at the working conditions of the general public in places like coal mines and steel mills. The workers were paid minimally and were stuck in horrible working conditions, while the owners of the corporations became more and more wealthy. The owners then used their wealth and power to help control the governemnt to keep laws and regulations in their favor while the workers continued to suffer. Marx believed that the governement needs to take control of major industries instead of leaving them to private ownership to avoid these problems.
Marx also believed that private property is something that only benefits the bourgeoisie. He says that the proletariat hardly owns any property to begin with, and what they believe they own, is really owned by the bourgeoisie anyway. An example would be someone who says they own their home, but in...
Bibliography: Marx, Karl and Friedrich Engels. Communist Manifesto. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008.
Mill, John Stuart. "Liberty and Individuality" in Ideals and Ideologies, A Reader. Ed. Terrance Ball and Richard Dagger. Boston: Longman, 2011.
Smith, Adam. "Private Profit, Public Good", in Ideals and Ideologies, A Reader. Ed. Terence Ball and Richard Dagger. Boston: Longman, 2011.
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