T Nation



I never really went over this in high school and am not taking any type of history courses in college, So i'm curious, what is marxism?



You might try reading some... Marx. Seriously. Then read some of what other people have to say about marxism. Otherwise, you're just trusting what other people say. The Communist Manifesto isn't very long.


My favorite Marxists


Truman was a Marxist?


Marx's theories intersect both social and political aspects.

Of course, what we all hear about is the fact that he suggested the proletariat rise up against the capitalists.

In fact, he suggested such a situation would occur in part due to a crisis of overproduction. This would be the revolution towards communism which he felt was the ultimate social design which the world was moving towards as it progressed.

On a more social note, Marx had a lot of influence with respect to the study of changes within society due to the changing environment that people were working in.

This means that where we work and the conditions we work under has a lot to do with the fabric of our society. He felt that changing the factors of production, such as bringing people out of the agrarian lifestyle and away from individual artisanship towards a factory environment, allowed people to share a common experience.

Marx is generally summarily dismissed as being an ass for his beliefs with regard to communism, but his influence on social theory was significant. The study of how people interact in social settings and communism are two very seperate topics.


Read the Communist Manifesto. Its a short book, and its clear and concise also. Its probably one of the most influential books in history, so it wouldn't be a bad idea to read it.

Interesting theories he had, and it still influences many, many people. There are a million derivatives of what he said, its not just Communist thought that came from him.

The basic idea is a classless society where the workers control the means of production instead of a boss.


Marxism is a political philosophy from the turn of the century based upon a complete rejection of the sociological, economic and 'moral' ideas of the time. The communist manifesto was the first major rebellion against ancient social structures, and I recommend you read it. Dialectical materialism is the intellectual powerhouse behind all socialism, and historical abstraction is what informs the logic behind it. Read up on all that shit I just typed too.


Marxism = Canadianism


And you=asshat.


And you=farker.

Nowhere else does the term "asshat" appear. I'm surprised you don't use slashies. :slight_smile:


I actually had to read Marx in an introductory philosophy class in college. In his Economic and philosophic manuscripts of 1844, (which is a bit wordy but is I think necessary background to understand the Communist Manifesto) Marx outlays his theory of how humanity forms and conceptualizes existance. Go to the Library and borrow it.

On a political note, actual Communism had never been done on a large scale. There are small communist communities within China, but the former Soviet Union, China, Cuba, etc. are really more accurately described as dictatorial socialism,(only slightly worse than democratic socialism; I'm looking at you, France). Communism as Marx and Engels outlaid in the Manifesto is a grassroots, from the bottom up movement; the "communism" in those countries mentioned above were formed by indivduals and groups whiched forced the party values on the population. Read up.


Ah, but he had a hat on.
You= not even funny.


Supplement the Manifesto with the German Ideology if you're willing to invest the time to see how it fits in to the bigger philosophical picture.


So are you saying that you DON'T frequent fark.com? I thought that they pretty much invented the word "asshat".

My apologies, non-farker. Sorry about your luck.


"Je ne sui pas Marxist!"
--- Marx, leaving a meeting of
Communist International

Marx was VERY misunderstood, in his time and today. Marx believed that society must evolve through stages and that eventually capitalism would evolve into socialism and finally communism. I attribute some of the revolution crap to being in a bad mood, brought on by Engels! :slightly_smiling:

What Marx failed to understand was the influence of weapons as opposed to tools. Wealth cannot 'concentrate' if some idiot with a suitcase bomb or Stinger missle can destroy the 'wealth'. He assumed, as many do today, that the order imposed by a hegemonic power would continue forever. It will not. The world is DEVOLVING into petty little states, each with its own rules and stupidities. Only until someone discovers a new weapon to once again impose order will wealth begin again to 'concentrate' (in his terms).

Enjoy reading Marx, but realize the giant f'ing hole in his argument.


I partially agree. What I think Marx left out of his equation was the inherent greedy and ambitious nature of man.

His whole philosophy is based on the presupposition that people want to cooperate and help each other.


(On a related note I recently had to do a presentation in class on Marxism. I told the other members of my group that the presentation should be two words long: "Didn't work."


This is where a lot of theoretical thinkers get things wrong.

Somehow, they believe that mankind is full of nice people that will cooperate and somehow like each other while playing by the rules.

Maybe their peers are thus enlightened in the safe little environment that intellectuals like to develop their theories in, but the real world never works that way.


I agree. Social Democrats are as close as marxism will come to working, similar to the Robert LaFollete Progressives, which seems to work inside of a capitalistic society.

And don't mind SteveO, he had to tear himself away from praying to his Reagan statue in order to post that little gem.


Sorry about that, guys! Besides my terrible French spelling, the quote above means: "I am not a Marxist!"

I have great empathy for Marx: like most other inventions or ideas, its fine until some idiot decides to abuse same. It wasn't long after the Wright brothers accomplishment, for example, that someone figured out how to use airplanes to strafe troops and bomb cities.