Marxist Approach to History and Politics

2584 Words Mar 8th, 2013 11 Pages
Outline and assess the main aspects of Marx’s approach to understanding history and politics.
Over 150 years after they were first coined, The Labour Theory of Value, Class Antagonisms and the Means of Production are all terms which are central to the revolutionary ideals of Karl Marx and are still widely used and referred to in contemporary political thought. However, when considering how one can assess the Marxist paradigm on history and politics, there must be an understanding of the circumstances in which Karl Marx, one of the greatest political thinkers of the 19th century, was faced with. As many great political thinkers before and after him, Marx’s political ideology was partly shaped by his experiences, and is arguably the
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Marx suggests that this class antagonism was built upon by the bourgeoisie during the Feudal Ages and has continued to expand beyond all recognition, to encompass a ‘dehumanising and alienating’ market which has paved the way for what Marx describes as modern bourgeois society “conjuring up such giant means of production and of exchange, like a sorcerer that is no longer able to control the powers of the nether world whom he has called up by his spells” . The means of production that Marx is referring to include creating machinery, application of chemistry to agriculture, electrification of railways and steam navigation, with means of exchange referring to capital and investment. The rationale behind Marx’ theory of class struggle was that the whole landscape and namely infrastructure was determined by the political elites, and that the economic conditions were inextricably linked to the bourgeois dominated values and laws and their “system of appropriation” . The solution or as Marx saw it, the inevitable result of the bourgeois domination of society was revolution, and the destruction of all remnants of bourgeois society by the proletariat. He believed when the time was right, and the material conditions were right (when the subordinate class became aware of their rightful labour proceeds) then the proletariat would rise up, accompanied by the petty bourgeois and assume control of all property land and
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