Marxist Ideology and Communism

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What is the ultimate goal of Marxism according to Karl Marx's ideology?

Establish a classless society

According to Karl Marx, what is the role of the proletariat in the communist revolution?

Violent rebellion against the capitalist state

How does Marxism (communism) differ from capitalism in terms of property ownership?

Communism abolishes private property ownership

What is the main factor that drives the transition from socialism to communism in Marxist ideology?

Dissolution of social classes

In a communist society according to Karl Marx, how are goods and services distributed?

Based on need and shared equally

What distinguishes communism (Marxism) from other economic systems like feudalism and capitalism?

Control of all factors of production by the proletariat

What was the primary focus of nineteenth-century reformers influenced by Socialism?

Addressing issues of medical insurance and unemployment compensation

Which individual controlled almost all oil-related operations in the U.S. during the industrialization period?

John D. Rockefeller

What was a significant development in transnational businesses during industrialization?

Formation of stock markets

Which method of contraception was first considered safe and efficient during the industrialization period?

Male condom

Why did many Europeans migrate to the Americas during the 19th to early 20th century?

To escape potato famines in Europe

How did industrialized regions experience demographic changes during the industrialization period?

Decrease in both birth and death rates

Study Notes

Marxist Ideology

  • Karl Marx witnessed exploitation of industrial proletariat in 19th century Europe and wrote Das Kapital and The Communist Manifesto outlining his plan for creating a communist state.
  • Marx's plan involves a conflict between bourgeoisie and proletariat social classes, a violent rebellion of the industrial proletariat, and the overthrow of the capitalist/democratic state.
  • The workers seize control over factors of production and establish a temporary dictatorship of the proletariat, which controls all economic decision-making.
  • As class hierarchies dissolve, a harmonious, classless society develops, and the need for government control eventually dissolves, leading to a truly egalitarian communist society without formal government institutions and laws.

Key Principles of Marxism

  • A utopian economic system envisioned by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.
  • Believed to be the final step in the natural evolution from feudal, mercantilist, and capitalist systems.
  • All factors of production (land, labor, and capital) are controlled by the proletariat and shared equally for the benefit of everyone.
  • Private property does not exist, and goods and services are shared based on need and ability.

Social Reform and Trade Unions

  • Socialism had a major impact on 19th-century reformers, addressing issues of medical insurance, unemployment compensation, and retirement benefits.
  • Trade unions formed for collective bargaining, leading to strikes to address workers' demands for higher pay, safer conditions, and shorter hours.

Development and Expansion of Corporations and Financial Institutions

  • The ideas of Adam Smith and John Stuart Mill inspired capitalism and classical liberalism, the foundations of Western industrialization.
  • Large corporations formed monopolies, trusts, and cartels to eliminate competition, keep prices and profits high.
  • Examples of corporations include John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil Co. and German firm IG Farben.
  • Transnational businesses operated in more than one country, relying on financial institutions to support growth, such as stock markets, insurance, and limited liability corporations.

The Demographic Transition

  • Industrialized regions experienced a marked decline in both birth and death rates due to better diets, improved disease control, and the smallpox vaccine.
  • At first, mortality fell faster than fertility, but over time, declining birthrates led to lower population growth and relative demographic stability in industrial nations.

Population Growth

  • Population growth drove Europeans to migrate to the Americas from the 19th to early 20th century, with 50 million crossing the Atlantic.
  • Migrants included British, Irish, and Jews fleeing urban slums, poverty, and persecution.

Transcontinental Migration

  • Many migrants entered the United States, with the male condom being a safe and efficient means of contraception, leading to declining birthrates.
  • Raising children in urban areas was more costly than in rural society, and children were more likely to survive into adulthood.

Test your knowledge of Marxist ideology and Karl Marx's steps to achieving communism, including the conflict between bourgeoisie and proletariat, violent rebellion of the working class, and the establishment of a dictatorship of the proletariat. Learn more about Das Kapital and The Communist Manifesto.

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