An introduction to the marxist ideal almost utopian society

An MP3 audio file of this chapter, narrated by Jeff Riggenbach, is available for download.

An introduction to the marxist ideal almost utopian society

HistoriographyPhilosophy of historyPeople's historyHistorical determinismand Historicism The discovery of the materialist conception of history, or rather, the consistent continuation and extension of materialism into the domain of social phenomenon, removed two chief defects of earlier historical theories.

In the first place, they at best examined only the ideological motives of the historical activity of human beings, without grasping the objective laws governing the development of the system of social relations All constituent features of a society social classes, political pyramid, ideologies are assumed to stem from economic activity, an idea often portrayed with the metaphor of the base and superstructure.

The base and superstructure metaphor describes the totality of social relations by which humans produce and re-produce their social existence. The base includes the material forces of production, that is the labour and material means of production and relations of production, i.

From this base rises a superstructure of legal and political "forms of social consciousness" of political and legal institutions that derive from the economic base that conditions the superstructure and a society's dominant ideology.

Conflicts between the development of material productive forces and the relations of production provokes social revolutions and thus the resultant changes to the economic base will lead to the transformation of the superstructure.

Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guild-master and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended, either in a revolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes".

Navigate Guide

Accordingly, Marx designated human history as encompassing four stages of development in relations of production: Criticism of capitalism Further information: Opposition to capitalism and Criticism of capitalism According to the Marxist theoretician and revolutionary Vladimir Lenin"the principal content of Marxism" was "Marx's economic doctrine".

Exploitation has been a socioeconomic feature of every class society and is one of the principal features distinguishing the social classes. The power of one social class to control the means of production enables its exploitation of the other classes.

In capitalism, the labour theory of value is the operative concern; the value of a commodity equals the socially necessary labour time required to produce it. Under that condition, surplus value the difference between the value produced and the value received by a labourer is synonymous with the term "surplus labour", thus capitalist exploitation is realised as deriving surplus value from the worker.

In pre-capitalist economies, exploitation of the worker was achieved via physical coercion. In the capitalist mode of production, that result is more subtly achieved and because workers do not own the means of production, they must voluntarily enter into an exploitive work relationship with a capitalist in order to earn the necessities of life.

The worker's entry into such employment is voluntary in that they choose which capitalist to work for.

Utopian Socialism Archive

However, the worker must work or starve, thus exploitation is inevitable and the "voluntary" nature of a worker participating in a capitalist society is illusory. Alienation is the estrangement of people from their humanity German: Gattungswesen, "species-essence", "species-being"which is a systematic result of capitalism.

Under capitalism, the fruits of production belong to the employers, who expropriate the surplus created by others and so generate alienated labourers. Social classes See also: Social classClass conflictClassless societyand Three-component theory of stratification Marx distinguishes social classes on the basis of two criteria: Following this criterion of class based on property relations, Marx identified the social stratification of the capitalist mode of production with the following social groups: They subdivide as bourgeoisie and the petite bourgeoisie.

Petite bourgeoisie are those who work and can afford to buy little labour power i. Marxism predicts that the continual reinvention of the means of production eventually would destroy the petite bourgeoisie, degrading them from the middle class to the proletariat.

Having no interest in international or national economics affairs, Marx claimed that this specific sub-division of the proletariat would play no part in the eventual social revolution.

Class consciousness denotes the awareness—of itself and the social world—that a social class possesses and its capacity to rationally act in their best interests, hence class consciousness is required before they can effect a successful revolution and thus the dictatorship of the proletariat.The ideal of a classless society is best demonstrated in the division of labor set forth in the utopian texts.

Marx especially links class rivalry with private property. His vision entails the total dismantling of the separation between the working class and the bourgeois, or upper class.


The perfect society would be one in which everybody got whatever they wanted. Obviously, this is impossible to achieve.

An introduction to the marxist ideal almost utopian society

So we can only strive for the best possible society. This logically would be the one in which everyone got as much of what they want as it is possible to equitably achieve. Utopian socialism is a label used to define the first currents of modern socialist thought as exemplified by the work of Henri de Saint-Simon, Charles Fourier, Étienne Cabet and Robert Owen..

Utopian socialism is often described as the presentation of visions and outlines for imaginary or futuristic ideal societies, with positive ideals being the main reason for moving society in such a. Mar 12,  · The Marxist ideal, a highly appealing, almost Utopian society, is impossible to achieve due to the fact that it demands that the human mind be almost without flaws.

It asks of society and its members to be absolutely without ranks, without greed or leadership.

Marxism - Wikipedia

Latin prose dialogue and treatise on political philosophy. When Thomas More published The Best State of a Commonwealth and the New Island of Utopia (), he coined the word utopia, which has.

An introduction to the marxist ideal almost utopian society

The Marxist ideal, a highly appealing, almost Utopian society, is impossible to achieve due to the fact that it demands that the human mind be almost without flaws.

Marx as Utopian | Mises Institute