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On what grounds have socialists supported redistribution and welfare? Explain the main features of Marx's theory of history? Why did Marx proclaim the need for a dictatorship of the proletariat?

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Introduction

Socialism 1 On what grounds have socialists supported redistribution and welfare? 2 Explain the main features of Marx's theory of history? 3 Why did Marx proclaim the need for a dictatorship of the proletariat? 1 Socialism in Britain began as a reaction to the squalor created by the Industrial Revolution. During the Industrial Revolution there was a lot of exploitation of the poorer working classes or proletariat, at this time there was no welfare system which meant that adults, both male and female and children were often forced into work. Socialists saw this situation and felt that something needed to be done. The Welfare System, though only introduced in 1942 by W. Beveridge, showed their adversity to poverty. Socialists believe that everyone is born equal and should end up equal. ...read more.

Middle

Politically this means some form of monarchy that is usually absolute. Socially this means that there is one dominant social group, the Aristocracy. It also means that the mass of the population are peasants. The revolutionary class is the middle class, for example the merchants, however occasionally the peasants will revolt. Capitalism is the third stage, with its Parliamentary democracy and the defence of Bourgeois liberal principles. The dominant social group is now the middle class but the mass of the population is still the working class, and they are also the revolutionary class. There has to be a socialist revolution before it can develop into the fourth stage of Socialism. ...read more.

Conclusion

Marx recognised that there would be no immediate transition. Essentially they required a strong powerful regime to ensure that this new society is properly run in before Communism can occur. This transitionary 'socialist' stage would persist as long as there are class differences. Eventually class divides would melt away as Communism emerges and the state that was imposed will simply 'wither away'. As class divisions fall so the purpose of the state is no longer necessary to enforce these divisions and Communism will be stateless and classless and form a system of commodity production. The Russian dictatorship of the proletariat is a good example of this theory in action. Lenin and later Stalin instigated an authoritarian state with a powerful red army and a seemingly omnipotent and intruding secret police force. This authoritarian state controlled by the proletariat is what Marx had in mind. Sam Yee 1 Sam Yee ...read more.

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