The Concept of Marxism

Running head: THE CONCEPT OF MARXISM                                                                             1





The Concept of Marxism









THE CONCEPT OF MARXISM                                                                                                    2

The Concept of Marxism

          Marxism is a philosophy developed by the German philosopher Karl Marx during the 19th century. Marx argued that history was defined by class struggle. According to Marxist theory, the owners of the means of production control a society’s culture, politics, and values. In keeping with Marxist theory, the fundamental dynamic that has shaped history is the struggle between Master and Servant. The ruling class rules because it controls the means of production; it wields economic power. The servant class serves because it is dependent on the ruling class for its subsistence. Marx contends that the owners of the means of production shape the institutions, laws, and values of a society to uphold their class’s position of power. Marxism holds that class struggle is the defining factor in human history, and that this struggle culminates with the victory of the proletarians over the bourgeois.

           From the beginning of civilization, history has been defined by class struggle. For most of human history, this class struggle was between the landowning and laboring classes. The relationship between lord and vassal defined human history through the ancient and feudal eras. This changed with the development of capitalism. Capital replaced landownership as the most essential commodity. This allowed the bourgeois to overthrow the feudal elite and become the new ruling class. 

          As stated by Marx, the dynamic driving capitalism is the struggle between the bourgeois and the proletariat. The bourgeois dominates the proletariat, the working class, through their ownership of the capital. (Wolff, 2017). The proletariat are subservient to the bourgeois because they do not possess capital, and are reduced to “a commodity” (Marx, 1955, p. 16). Marx contends that the proletariat will evaluate rebel against their dehumanization and seize the means of production, ending the struggle between master and servant.


THE CONCEPT OF MARXISM                                                                                                    3

          Marx contends that the cycle of class struggle will end after the revolution of the proletariat. After a period of dictatorship, a classless society will arise. In this society, the fruits of the means of production will be equally distributed. Everyone will be free to achieve their full potential as human beings. Because resources will be distributed evenly, the conflict will end, or so the theory goes. 

          Marxism is an ideology that holds that human history is defined by class struggle. According to Marx, the driving factor in human history is the struggle between the master and servant. Class struggle culminates in the battle between the bourgeois and the proletariat. Marx further maintains that it is a historical inevitability that the proletariat will revolt against the middle class and will institute a classless society. Marxism provided the philosophical foundations for regimes such as Stalin’s USSR, Mao’s China, and Pol Pot’s Cambodia. Some would argue that the fall of Communism in the USSR and China’s adoption of a market economy throw into question the fundamental tenets of Marxism. 


THE CONCEPT OF MARXISM                                                                                                    4


Marx, K. (1955). The Communist Manifesto. New York, NY: Appleton-Century-Crofts.

Wolff, J. (2017). Karl Marx. Retrieved from Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:




The Concept of Marxism

Discipline: Philosophy

Academic Level: University

Paper Format: APA


Pages: 2

Paper Instructions

Please explain the concept of Marxism. Give a detailed answer, cite references when possible. This has to be at least 400 words.

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