Outline the teachings of Marx and state whether you think Marxism has any relevance in the 21st century.

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Shai Manor


History IB HL
11 A

Outline the teachings of Marx and state whether you think Marxism has any relevance in the 21st century.

750-1000 words

Marx summarized his ideas into four steps, which he believed already occurred, were occurring, or were going to occur in the future. He saw history as a struggle and conflict between the have, and have-nots. The rulers had land, food and goods, while the other lower classes had almost nothing. The haves had exploited the have-nots and so he believed they would revolt against the rulers. The rulers were making the lower classes work hard, and give them almost nothing for their hard work. He believed the lower classes would defeat the ruling ones, and then they would all co-operate for the good of each other. There would not be any governments and specific rulers, every person would be a ruler of his own.

        The first step of Marx’s four step theory was feudalism. Feudalism meant that the higher your status, the more important you were, and the more you could speak out .Most people lived just by farming, if you would have land, you would have had power too. Feudalism could be compared to a pyramid. We have the Monarch at the top, then the barons and noblemen. After them the church and its members. Then the “protectors of the people”, the soldiers would come. Then the bourgeoisie and finally the poor peasants, the working class. This would mean that the peasants are the oppressed class of “Have-Nots”. This means they do not have anything which is a luxury etc. The ruling class is then the monarch and the nobles. Middle class or bourgeoisie, are the new class, revolutionary ex-lower class descendants. So the monarch would rule all, would have most land, and everybody would obey him and the nobles. This was until capitalism started.

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Just as Marx predicted, capitalism started because of the bourgeois revolution. It was not necessarily a violent revolution, but the big landowners and monarch’s power was taken away. When capitalism did start, the Bourgeoisie was holding all the cards in their hand. Most people would live in towns by now and after their revolt, they got into power and where the rulers. The proletariat, or the lower class was still the ones being oppressed. Now that the bourgeoisie are in power, elections to a parliament have been set up. The bourgeoisie where thus rulers and all industry was in their ...

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