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Why did Marx and Engels believe that history was on their side?

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Introduction

Why did Marx and Engels believe that history was on their side? To answer this question as to why Marx and Engels believed that history was on their side, a number of components need to be discussed. A deterministic theory of historical materialism for example human history driven by technological and economic development, passing inevitably through various stages to capitalism, socialism, then communism. All of these aspects are characterised at every stage except the first and last ones by class struggle which is implied in the Communist Manifesto, must be analysed in order to give a critical analysis of Marx and Engels political ideologies. Marxism or communism is the theory of 'scientific socialism', developed by Karl Marx and Freiedrich Engels. This socio-economic and ultimately political theory was based on the philosophy of Hegel, French revolutionary ideas and study of the British Industrial Revolution. Marxism is the theory of class struggle. Marx and Engels, in "The Communist Manifesto", explain how the capitalist bourgeoisie had simplified the feudal class system by causing society to split up into "two great hostile camps." A quotation from "The Communist Manifesto" will show what Marx saw as the barrier to freedom in the Modern State: "In one word, for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, it [capitalism] has substituted naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation." (Marx and Engels, Pg. ...read more.

Middle

The more people want a certain item, the more of those items are produced. If supply cannot meet the demand, prices will rise. Of course, if prices go too high, fewer people will purchase the items, which can result in an unwanted surplus of goods. The same situation will occur if prices remain stagnant, but more items have been produced than consumer demand requires. Both of these instances should eventually lead to lower prices, but Marx and Engels conceive that since the capitalists control supply and demand, prices fluctuate only according to their own self-interests. 3 The communist manifesto denounced capitalism for a variety of reasons but the most obvious of those reasons is that denouncing capitalism in turn promotes socialism, and that was at the core of Marx and Engels' objectives. The state has never carried on the nationalising of industries further than the interests of the ruling classes demanded, nor will it ever go further than that. The state will not cease to be a capitalist institution until the proletariat, the working class, has become the ruling class; not until then will it become possible to turn it into a co-operative commonwealth. The young Marx came increasingly to believe that no society, which was divided into exploiting employer and exploited worker could ever achieve full democracy. So long as the capitalists held the bulk of economic power in society, they would continue to dominate political life. ...read more.

Conclusion

One of the complaints is that there are no concrete plans on how to bring about the revolution. Marx said that there must be one, but he never says how to go about it. The other is the violence required for the revolution. Marx emphasized how in order for the revolution to work it must completely sweep all traces of Capitalism from the face of the earth, at any cost. This all leads to a certain fanaticism among Communists. They all firmly believe in their ideals and are willing to go to any length for it. It can be compared to a religion; something Communists hate since they detest religions. For Marx history is linear, it is heading towards an end goal. This end goal in which the means of production are socialized is called communism. It reaches this goal only through advancement through other economic orders, that is, through other exploitative systems of production. No means of production, no steam engine or machine, is going to lead to this transition, it is the proletariat who will by their revolution put an end to all exploitative systems of production. Given the analysis of Marx and Engels ideologies, it is prevalent that history was on their side through the evolution of their ideas. From the history of technological and economic developments passing through the changes of capitalism, socialism then finally communism, it is clear how they believed history was on their side as this was the society they believed in and people would live in a class less state. ...read more.

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