Major Theories Of Communism

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Marxism is a school of thought that was developed by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in the 19th century. Capitalism dominated the Western world during this time and Marx was one of its most famous and intelligent critics. Marxism is a combination of economic, social, and political theories that aimed to provide a superior alternative to capitalism. Marx developed his theory to try and fix all the ills that a capitalist society brought but his main goal “may be summed up in the single sentence: abolition of private property” (Marx 14). Marx argued that the path to this could only be achieved through communism. Communism is birthed from socialism and would be achieved in two stages. First, the proletariat would gain control of society and then…show more content…
Although Marxism promised a better country than what capitalism could ever produce, the real results were far from that. Widespread poverty, the corruption of the elite and a weak economy characterized most countries that adopted communism as an ideology (Mehta 312). The biggest criticism of Marxism is that it has never resulted in something good. Almost all communist states had turned into totalitarian regimes rather than becoming a haven of peace and equality between different classes that Marx had envisioned. According to Marx, the ruling class should disappear and the proletariat should become free of oppression (Marx 10). However, as seen in the Soviet Union, China and Cambodia, this was not the case. The communist governments there turned tyrannical and often committed horrendous crimes. Stalin’s rule led to the deaths of millions of Russians through his numerous purges and use of gulags (Goldman 2). Mao Zedong’s policies caused the deaths of tens of millions of Chinese and resulted in one of the worst famines in world history (Rummel 234). The Khmer Rouge in Cambodia led by Pol Pot carried out a genocide that killed 2 million Cambodians from a population of only 8 million (Heuveline 54). These were all communist governments that used Marxism as a framework to rule. Unfortunately, Marx’s ideas were stripped down and repurposed to fulfill the goals of each…show more content…
Marx’s diagnosis of capitalism can help us to identify the problems of capitalism and therefore reform it to make it better. One of the biggest problems Marx had with capitalism was that workers get paid little while the capitalists get rich (Marx 9). Capitalists shrink the wages of laborers as much as possible so they will be able to get a higher profit (9). This is evident in Western society as income inequality has been dramatically increasing since the 1990’s in many countries. For example, Americans in the top 0.1 percent average over 184 times more income than the bottom 90 percent of American workers (Inequality). This is a serious problem that needs to be addressed. In addition, Marx also argues that capitalist systems are very unstable and are characterized by frequent financial crises. Evidence of this is supported by 2008 financial crisis that heavily impacted the world economy. Even though capitalism has allowed the world economy to flourish, it has also increased the sensitivity of other countries’ economies to financial crises around the world (Lotta 31). Marx was a brilliant man and was fully aware of the many problems of capitalism however, his greatest fault was that he had no idea how to go about fixing
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