Marxism: Economic and Political Theories
Economic and Political Theories
Supporting Marxism's historical premises are its economic theories. Of central importance are the labor theory of value and the idea of surplus value. Marxism supposes that the value of a commodity is determined by the amount of labor required for its manufacture. The value of the commodities purchasable by the worker's wages is less than the value of the commodities he produces; the difference, called surplus value, represents the profit of the capitalist. Thus the bourgeois class has flourished through exploitation of the proletariat.
The capitalist system and the bourgeoisie were seen as riven with weaknesses and contradictions, which would become increasingly severe as industrialization progressed and would manifest themselves in increasingly severe economic crises. According to the
The proletariat, after becoming the ruling class, was “to centralize all instruments of production in the hands of the state” and to increase productive forces at a rapid rate. Once the bourgeoisie had been defeated, there would be no more class divisions, since the means of production would not be owned by any group. The coercive state, formerly a weapon of class oppression, would be replaced by a rational structure of economic and social cooperation and integration. Such bourgeois institutions as the family and religion, which had served to perpetuate bourgeois dominance, would vanish, and each individual would find true fulfillment. Thus social and economic utopia would be achieved, although its exact form could not be predicted.
Sections in this article:
- Philosophical Influence
- Political Influence
- Influence of Marxism
- Economic and Political Theories
- Dialectical Materialism
- Tenets of Marxism
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