Is Marxism still relevant?


I had read a few books on Marx himself and got the gist of his theories but what sprung out was how Marxist/Marxologist writers claim that Marx’s ideas have sunk in relevance in the modern world due to the emergence of the privately employed skilled working class during the wave of free trade revival in the 1980’s. This is of course mostly relevant with Margaret Thatcher‘s supremacy in Britain and her positive decimation of Nationalized industry in Britain, but Ronald Reagan in the United States also held a prominent line of Laissez Faire politics. He championed a decrease of government interference in the economy- so basically deregulation leading to Free Trade. However did this move to the right really render Marx’s ideal utterly irrelevant?

Furthermore, I also noticed how, when reading “The Communist Manifesto”, I became more and more aware of the Bourgeoisie class in history-basically the rich merchant class which emerged in Britain around the 17th Century. Mostly visible in Britain due to the increasing access to emerging New World and Eastern (‘Old World’) markets. However when you look forward to the future we can see how effectively in Britain the Working Class has ceased to be incessantly persecuted and in a truly Capitalist fashion has access to the majority of commodities if it aspires to improvement. This is what i see as the essence of Capitalism; the competition that it inspires within each individual driving up standards and growing international trade. For those students of economics out there, there is no better way of increasing output, production and creating wealth, however those social historians among you this would sicken you to the very core.

Capitalism also has the affect of creating attributes such as greed and selfishness (this is of course an assertion, linking to a greater debate of whether Capitalism creates/created these attributes or whether it simply highlights them within one) and thus vastly degraded the human race socially. In this way we all work individually, for our own individual gain. Even if this is not evident within the characteristics of a particular individual he/she will still aspire to social advancement or possibly on a greater world stage national advancement. This brings us on nicely to the international issue of capitalism-the creation of international rivalries.

Individual Capitalists-whether they aspire for self advancement or not-all in the end mindlessly aid the global rifts which divide the world in national rivalries; over economic growth and technological advancement (encompassing both military and central government superiority as well as in consumer goods).

So in the end have we all become little Anti-Marxists, embracing the values of Capitalism and embracing the very things he despised? Or are we merely sedated for the time being with the bouts of advancement-both socially, economically and politically?

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8 thoughts on “Is Marxism still relevant?

  1. Aaron there was Socialist/Marxist uprisings in Africa (many of them) in the 1960s and 1970s none of them led to much greater conditions of the working classes. According to World Bank figures the average African income has increased by 40% since 1975 due to economic liberalisation i.e. moves towards Capitalism. On the subject of how Socialism/Marxism havent helped African nations one should read “Dead Aid” by Zambian Economist Dambisa Moyo.

  2. Unfortunately i think you’ll find that actually decimate means ‘to destroy a great number of’, in which case i could utilise the word in the context it is thus placed :). And unfortunately most of the general populace are ill educated on the subject so i thought it unfitting to bombard them with words and phrases that they know nothing about, it is unfortunate i know so i understand your criticism. I appreciate the feedback greatly, anymore would be held in similar regard.
    N.B. I have a new post if you are interested in Spanish Imperial history at all.

  3. It’s limited, condescending and poorly written in many parts. One particular aggravating use of language is the ‘decimation of Nationalised industry’. To decimate is to remove by a tenth, which means that either you have your statistics wrong on the amount of Industry that was privatised during Thatcher’s administration, or you have utilised this word, like so many others, to mean ‘destroy’ or ‘annihilate’. However I did like your questions at the end and your, albeit vague, comprehension of the general argument.

    • Aaron –
      Obviously your blog is great, as the only thing ‘Anonymous’ could pick you up on was an archaic meaning of the word decimate. Decimate did/does technically mean to remove/kill by a tenth, but it is so commonly used for destroy or, as you put yourself, ‘destroy a great number of’, that it is now correctly synonymous with these terms. This is also supported by an Oxford Graduate in linguistics (my sister), so has a great deal of reliability. And it isn’t ‘poorly written’; it is both smooth and eloquent.
      I would personally hope to read a bit more, but this doesn’t take anything away from it. Plus, it is nice to see someone blogging about these things and not just “omg my bf just dumped me!!! :'(“

      • Ah, well in all fairness, although Marxism is over 150 years old that doesn’t mean we have to speak in the same manner they did back then, haha.
        But yes i understand it is short, although i have a grasp of the argument i cannot boast to possess all the knowledge for a full intellectual essay on the debate so i thought it best to keep it that way. I have in preparation an essay on ‘Whether Socialism can actually work?’, so we’ll see where that goes, that may quench your Political thirst somewhat. If you have any ideas for a piece please inform me :), i would be most happy for some inspiration.
        Thanks again for the feedback guys.

  4. Well i think a Marxist revolution would be out of the question personally, however a socialist revolution would come about due to the class division and the monopolization that the Bourgeoisie possess on the economy. Really it is highly unlikely to happen in the near future in any developed nation-due to the fact i picked up on in the post about being sedated with technological advancement etc. However wouldn’t it be interesting if it happened in a third world nation, possibly in Africa? Highly unlikely i s’pose, African nations are used to entrenched seats of power-and as we know from Soviet History that entrenched role of Authoritarian/Totalitarian ruler is extremely hard to avoid.

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