The Theory Of The Welfare State After The Second World War Essay

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Far from being exhausted, Marxism is still very young, almost in its infancy; it has scarcely begun to develop. It remains, therefore, the philosophy of our time. We cannot go beyond it because we have not gone beyond the circumstances which engender it.
J.P. SARTRE, Search for a method (NY 1968) p. 29

Living in times which Francis Fukuyama famously described as the ‘end of history’, when the last great bastions of communism fell together with the Berlin wall more than 20 years ago, is it still possible to call Marxism the ‘philosophy of our time’? Karl Marx was the philosopher of the 19th century and the situation today has largely changed. One would be in denial if not admitting that many of Marx’s predictions didn’t come true. The conditions of the working classes vastly improved, and the capitalist system did not encapture it in complete pauperization. Furthermore, the emergence of the welfare state after the Second World War proved to be a major blow to the Marxist theory of history. It follows that the ‘scientific’ foundations of the critique of capitalism ended up being quite timid. However, one needs not to look far from his own conditions of life to see the still destructive forces of capitalism. In its constant struggle for higher profits capitalism inevitably breeds inequality, endless exploitation of finite natural resources and humanly induced ecological disasters. Above all, it is characterized by periodical financial crises which with every…

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