Marxist View Of What Law Is The Foundation Of Society And Law

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1. Marxists argue that control of the means of production is the foundation of society and law is a reflection of that dynamic. Do you agree? Discuss. “Law is only a superstructure; in reality it only translates the interests of those who hold the reins of command in any given society; it is an instrument in the service of those who exercise their ‘dictatorship’ in this society because they have the instruments of production within their control.” For Marx there were two distinct classes in society, the ruling class, the owners of the means of production, the “Bourgeoisie” and the ruled class, the “Proletariat”. The quote, with which I begin this essay, clearly explains the Marxist view of what law is in a given society. For Marxists…show more content…
Those in power within the law-making bodies are quite clearly what Marx would consider bourgeois: they are highly paid, highly educated individuals who have a means of controlling how (and indeed what) laws are put in to place. Arguably it is unavoidable, to find ourselves in a situation, in which, we have a select group in society in positions of power, who can implement and change legislation. Most would argue that these people have been democratically elected, and chosen by democratic means. Marxists believe that the bourgeoisie have the control of law-making bodies and thus make laws which are favourable towards their social class whilst penalising the proletariat. We can see this expressed in the Communist Manifesto “Your very ideas are but the outgrowth of the conditions of your bourgeois production and bourgeois property, just as your jurisprudence is but the will of your class made in to a law for all”. This statement highlights the Marxist belief that control of the means of creation of law, allows for the creation of laws which could be seen as coercive and controlling. An example of these, unjust laws, within our society which coincide with this Marxist view could be the under-occupancy charge, more commonly known as the “bedroom tax.” Under this legislation we see a reduction in housing benefits for people who have
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