Marxism in Light of Other World Systems

Published 31 Jul 2017

Karl Marx, one of the more influential social philosophers of the modern age, asserts in his The Communist Manifesto, that the proletariat, or the masses comprising of the minimum wage earners, and not the ruling bourgeois, ought to be given the political and executive powers to govern their own country (Marx, 20). This, primarily, is the fundamental ideology that Communism adheres to.

However, as what the world had witnessed during the course of history, Russia’s communism proved to be insufficient as well in pacifying the never-ending struggle between the commoner and the elite. Plato, in his Republic, explains that the ordinary city is in fact two cities; one the city of the poor, the other of the rich, each at war with the other (Marcos, 66). Plato, despite of his philosophical genius, did not attempt to make a moral judgment, he had simply asked of the wise ruler to always be attentive to the differences between the two.

Marxism—Karl Marx had expressed vividly the political and social design he had envisioned communism ideally to be. Most of Marx’s principles are for the empowerment of the masses, as was detailed in his Communist Manifesto. These are:

the abolition of property of land and the application of rent for public purposes; the abolition of the rights of inheritance; the confiscation of properties of all emigrants and rebels; the centralization of all credit in the hands of the State through a national bank with exclusive monopoly; and the centralization of all means of transportation and communication in the hands of the State. (28)

Clearly, in a democratic society such as the United States, the implementation of these laws would surely result in a revolt of its citizens. Freedom has been entrenched deep in human hearts that the abolition of such rights, such as the abolition of the rights to property ownership and the right to inheritance would seem very incomprehensible, if not absurd. Democracy, as was termed by Pericles as early as the 5th century BC, is “a nation with a constitution in the hands not of the few but of the many…with laws that secure equal justice for all in their private disputes” (Marcos, 64). As opposed to Marxism-communism, democracy does not refuse its citizens the rights that will eventually maximize the individual’s development, be it in trade, in religion, the right to vote, the media’s rights, and so on.

Fascist-socialist, on the other hand, as opposed to Marxism and as was witnessed during Hitler’s era, is similar in its principles with Marxism, with just a little variance. As explained by Switalski, Fascism is “the organization of the economy with a wider sphere of State intervention, and seeks, by principles of technocracy and solidarity, the integration of the productive sources under the control of the regime to attain its goals, yet preserving private property and class divisions (Switalski, 1). Fascist-socialist differs from that of Marxism in its prioritizing of more nationalistic aims, and characterized by hatred towards another nation or race (Switalski, 1). This hatred was evident in Hitler with the Jews, and Mussolini with the democrats and the Parliament.

The Parliamentary form of governance, similar to a democratic, also permits for various rights, such as on property, personal, as well as media freedom. The Parliament is an elected body whose purpose is to represent the various sectors of the society in the government. They are also delegated with the supervision of the government affairs answerable to the people (Beetham, 1). Leadership is entrusted to a Prime Minister, who is elected by a constituent assembly, while the President, being only second in command, is elected by the citizens. As opposed to Marxism, Parliamentary usually has an elite social class, yet with citizens enjoying various rights such as it is in a democracy.

Works Cited

  • Beetham, David. Parliament and Democracy in the Twenty-First Century. Geneva, Switzerland: Inter-Parliamentary Union, 2006.
  • Marcos, Ferdinand. The Democratic Revolution in the Philippines. Manila: Library of Congress, 1977.
  • Marx, Karl. The Communist Manifesto. New York: Socialist Labor Party of America, 2006.
  • Switalski, Bernard. Roots of Fascism. World History Archives. 2004.
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