The idea of a society based on common ownership of property and wealth stretches far back in Western thought. In its modern form, communism grew out of the socialist movement of 19th-century Europe. At that time, Europe was undergoing rapid industrialization and social change. As the Industrial Revolution advanced, socialist critics blamed capitalism for creating a new class of poor, urban factory workers who labored under harsh conditions, and for widening the gulf between rich and poor. Foremost among these critics were the German philosopher Karl Marx and his associate Friedrich Engels.
Karl Marx is the revolutionary founding father of communism and Marxism, while Niccolo Machiavelli expounded upon the concept of realism through his work The Prince. These two concepts have been the foundations that various countries and governments have tried to utilize in hopes of constructing a utopian society. Karl Marx was born in 1818 in Trier Germany, studying history, philosophy, and law at the universities of Berlin, Jena, and Bonn. Karl Marx did not like the production portion of Capitalism; he found it to be a signal of great trouble. Marx believed that the production stage of capitalism worked in a way that the rich owners of these companies benefited whereas the poor workers did not.
Karl Marx once said “Capital is dead labor, which, vampire-like, lives only by sucking living labor, and lives the more, the more labor is sucks” (Karl Marx Quotes). Marx is well known as the Father of Communism, but now that the cold war is over and Communism is but a theory of government for a few countries, we can study Karl Marx as a visionary of his time, who foresaw how capitalism would grow out of control. With the used of religion, government laws and capitalism the wealthy will always reach out to control the masses. Karl Marx defined history through economic class struggle. He argued that society was divided between the bourgeoisie (middle class, business owners, and capitalists) and the proletariat (wage workers).
The article states that communism is a higher form of socialism and the ideas Karl Marx laid down to create a classless society through the use of communism. The article has excerpts about how Marx identified two phases of communism and how communism would eventually overthrow capitalism. The article reviews his two phases one of which describes how the working class would control society and the government; the other being Marx’s idea of, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.” After reviewing this I concluded that it is a good source because of its use of historical principles about communism and excerpts from Marx who is known for his studies and ideas that made communism what it is. This article also brings an established definition of communism with various established contributors to develop an educated definition. The article delivers very clean and clear information about communism and the history of communism.
A pillar of Utopian Socialism was France following the French Revolution. According to Marxist.com French philosopher Charles Fourier had strong socialist ideals that made a great impact on the French nation. These ideals were rooted in his observations of the constant strive for equality which ended in dissipated thrones and ruined property laws. He found Enlightenment to be a coercion that would push Europe toward barbarism and therefore advocated for a society without classes. He believed if people were equally rewarded the quarrels and oppression would end.
Perhaps one of the greatest flaws of capitalism is the creation of classes based on wealth, which were the rich and the poor, also known as the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. Class conflict and the exploitation between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat were main issues that were discussed. Some of the most influential writers during this time period were Adam Smith, Karl Marx, and Andrew Carnegie, who each provided a different perspective on the effects of capitalism on society. Each author provided their own ideas on how the ideal society should run, with or without capitalism. The man whose writings “most reflects and explains the character of the early Industrial Revolution” was enlightenment thinker Adam Smith (Sanders 223).
The beginning of the end of capitalist conflict and the beginning of the beginning of socialism came with the U.S. economic and military dominance after 1945 and also, on the other side of the coin, the Stalinist model of socialist development failed to live up to it's own Marxist Ideology. These changes were a great contributing factor in the downfall of Marxism. Marx asserted that "hegemony has been determined by control of the means of production and exploitation of the workers" (91). Antonio Gramsci was a dedicated Marxist revolutionary. He felt that hegemony was not only domination through economics or politics but that it combined political, intellectual and moral leadership.
Through the use of Marxist Criticism, Vonnegut managed to criticize the disadvantages of communism. Remember it was written in 1960, where communism was actually a big deal, so criticizing it can get you in trouble or even killed. Even though Vonnegut knew all these risks, he still decided to use Marxist Theory to write a master piece to criticize Communism and persuade the readers that truth about equality. Marxist Criticism is based on the political, social, and economic theories of Karl Marx. Karl Marx a German philosopher created Marxism in the middle of 1800s.
As one of greatest figures in human history, Karl Marx introduced not only Communism but also historical materialism to us. According to historical materialism, the mode of production would determine and foster mankind’s ideas, values, and beliefs. Many opponents of Marx attacked his “impossible” Communism but neglected his contribution in defining the relationship among important production elements. This paper would explain the theme of historical materialism and probed the relationship between consciousness and mode of production. Then, this paper would analyze how division of labor affect mode of production and conclude that historical materialism was realistic and applicable.
Also, around this time, the Populist promoted a doctrine of social and economic equality, although weak in its ideology and method, overall. Lenin was also inspired by the anarchists who sought revolution as an ultimate means to the end of old regimes, in the hope of a new, better society. To his core, a revolutionary, V.I. Lenin was driven to evoke the class struggle that would ultimately transform Russia into a Socialist powerhouse. Through following primarily in the footsteps of Karl Marx, Lenin was to a lesser extent inspired by the Populists, the Anarchists, and the Social Democrats.