The Political Theorists Of Karl Marx And Friedrich Engels

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In 1848, political theorists Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels published a socioeconomic theory

holding that “all people are entitled to enjoy the fruits of their labour but are prevent from

doing so in a capitalist economic system.” They theorized that this divides societies into two

classes: nonowning workers and nonworking owners. The Marxist theory, as it has come to

be known, considers this class divide a major driving force behind the history of humanity

and its major events. The Marxist theory is but one of many contributions to philosophy and

socio-economics made by Marx, but it is perhaps his most significant and relevant work in

the 21 st century.

Karl Marx was born to a middle-class family in Germany, in May of 1818. He was
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As a result, Marx resigned from the paper and moved

to England, where he began working with “renegade industrialist” Friedrich Engels. Engels

provided financial support to the now poor Marx family and together they developed the

ideology known as Marxism.

At its core, Marxism is an ideology that describes class divide in societies in which the

working nonowners and nonworking owners are sepearated based on wealth. Marx and

Engels argued that this class divide had been a driving force behind many events in history,

and suggest that capitalism is simply a stage in human history that societies must go through

before the proletariat, that ism, the lowest economic class in a society, revolts and brings

about social change (Merriam-Webster, 2014). According to Marx, this class struggle did not

derive from the structure of a society, but in fact formed the structure, shaping a society

(Rummel, 2006). In the Marxist theory, social class is defined by property ownership and

defines three great classes: the bourgeoisie, who own the means of production,
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Other states in which

Marxist-derivative socialism was once practiced include the Soviet Union, North Korea,

North Vietnam, and Afghanistan. That is not to say that Marxism itself is a failure, as an

ideology cannot be considered a failure without scientific evidence disproving it.

Although Marxist ideologies have been incredibly popular throughout Asia, the capitalist

West has proven much more difficult to penetrate. Capitalism and communist ideologies

clashed infamously during the 1960s in the United States, an event referred to as the Red

Scare. Fuelled by the growing tension between the capitalist US and socialist Soviet Union,

socialism was branded malicious and evil throughout the West. The Red Scare brought about

a significant social shift in which citizens were encouraged to spy on their friends, family,

and neighbours, and report any suspicious, socialist activity. The fear of socialism and

communism ‘invading’ the West that stemmed from the Red Scare began to ease during the

1950s, although tensions between the US and the Soviet Union remained for

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