• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Why did Marx Criticise Liberal Democracy?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Why did Marx Criticise Liberal Democracy? Bourgeois democracy is a political system where the government and agencies of the state are made up of those in the ruling class. The bourgeoisie are not owners of land as in the feudal system but owners of capital. They control the finance, the factories and the machines upon which modern industrial production is based. Therefore, the bourgeoisie can exploit the industrial workers and proletariat and just as in the feudal aristocracy exploited the peasants. The state and its instruments support the beliefs and values of the bourgeois democracy and portray the exiting state of affairs as natural and right for all society's interest. ('The state is the form in which the individuals of a ruling class assert their common interest'.) Marx believed that the most basic fact about any society is the nature of its economic organisation that involves two things: the methods of production and its social organisation. Therefore wealth and work is distributed on the basis of class and Marx insisted that in any society with a class system there would always be a fundamental division between those who own the means of production (the ruling class) ...read more.

Middle

Alienation in Marxism is where the individual feels the world around them confronts them as something as hostile and threatening; they are not at home in it. ('The worker feels himself at home only during his leisure whereas at work he feels homeless.') His labour is no longer his own but is traded for money, thus leaving the worker with no interest in his work and also exercises no creativity. Workers are alienated in the workplace further when placed in specialised areas of production and are at the mercy of capitalism as they are driven into the factories to produce goods and services. Marx believed this was the principal evil of capitalism. ('His work is not voluntary but imposed forced labour'). Marx's criticisms of liberal democracy are based on the fact that it is fundamentally flawed and incapable of fulfilling its functions because of its link to capitalism. For example, Marx argued that you could never have a neutral state in a society with a class system. ...read more.

Conclusion

Despite this, Marx had pointed out in his theory of the state that freedom and equality don't seem to fit together well. Within western democracy, power resides in the hands of groups, mainly political parties but also interest groups. It is a matter of judgement as to whether these groups operate ion their own interests or, as a reflection of popular will. Democracy is supposed to be based on the sovereignty of the people and therefore government should be an expression of the people's will. Yet assessing the will is of the people is not easy since there is genuine dispute universally about what is right for society. The usual way around this is to say the will of the people is the will of the majority. By Marx's criticisms, liberal democracy is not the will of the majority as that would be the proletariat but is dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. Marx's criticisms of liberal democracy are still valid and applicable to the democracy of today yet are conceptualised slightly differently to adjust to modern developments in political structure. Katy Lucas Analyse Marxist Criticisms of Liberal Democracy October 02 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Political Philosophy section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Political Philosophy essays

  1. Does democracy bring peace?

    However the next three hundred years in European history would be the most bloody and violent in its entire history, combined with the massive detrimental effect war had on the European economy in the 20th century. Economic troubles in Germany following the end of the First World War almost certainly

  2. Utilitarianism: Explanation And Study of Criticisms

    Bentham: Pleasures are all qualitatively alike; however, they can be graded on the basis of intensity, length, certainty, temporal closeness, fruitfulness and purity. It turns out that higher pleasures are ultimately better and therefore should be preferred on the basis of PU (principle of utility).

  1. Is the Liberal perspective on world politics too idealistic?

    Enlightenment was closely linked with scientific revolution. And at the forefront were scientist such as Isaac Newton. In order to answer the question of this essay, one should examine what the Liberal views on world politics are. Unlike the realist, liberals believe that humans are not essentially evil and that they are capable of peace.

  2. An analysis of the Marxist perspective on religion

    The most politically advanced section of the proletariat would form the communist party and lead the rest of the country forward. Since the Bolsheviks totally represented the people, all other political parties were abolished. The party: tolerated no opposition, owned all industry and property, had a powerful secret police, kept

  1. Socialist uses of workers' inquiry

    If you work in a chemical factory, at an iron works, at a factory producing metal goods, or in any other industry involving specific dangers to health, describe the safety measures adopted by your employer. 24. What is your workshop lit up by (gas, oil, etc.)?

  2. Indonesia: Transition and Prospects for Democracy

    but support always went to Golkar. According to the 1945 Constitution, the president has a very strong executive position. Suharto was only accountable to the Assembly of People's Congress (MPR) dominated by Golkar, which supported Suharto fully; he was also Supreme Commander of the military (Santoso, 1997).

  1. This essay is aimed to distinguished between what Marx mean by Alienation in relation ...

    It is a trait we share with animals. Secondly, we are unlike animals because we engage in conscious production activity. Our productive activity is distinct from animal in a number of ways. First, we make our productive activity itself a product of will. We can make choices about what and how to produce.

  2. Compare and contrast Marx and Engels with Mill regarding social and economic progress

    He therefore believes that it is the ideas and thoughts of a society that shapes its progress and once these ideas reach 'perfectibility' a world of freedom and happiness will be created. (WRITE ABOUT UTILITARIANISM HERE) It is important to note, as J.B.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work