Marxism

Article

August 19, 2022

Marxism is a school of social, economic and political thought based on the theories of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, 19th-century German philosophers, as well as economists, sociologists, journalists and socialist revolutionaries. Born in the second half of the nineteenth century in the European context of the second industrial revolution and the workers' question, it has then received over time, especially in the twentieth century, notable and varied interpretations and derivations in forms that are also very distant from the original formulations and in open contrast between They.

Social and political doctrine

Historical-philosophical context

Moved by the criticism of Hegel's dialectical philosophy, to the theoretical battle against his followers of the so-called Hegelian left (among others, Ludwig Feuerbach, Bruno Bauer, Arnold Ruge and Max Stirner), to the eighteenth-century tradition of philosophical materialism of the Enlightenment matrix (among the others, Voltaire, the Baron d'Holbach, Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, Claude-Adrien Helvétius and Denis Diderot), to the political economy of the classical school (mainly headed by the thought of David Ricardo, Adam Smith, Adam Ferguson and Jean Charles Léonard Simonde de Sismondi) and to the original contributions made to the proto-computer scientist Charles Babbage in the field of technological development and innovation and to the consequent theme of the division of labor (gone down in history as the two principles of Babbage), to the so-called utopian socialism, French and not (among others, Charles Fourier, Henri de Saint-Simon, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, William Thompson, Robert Owen, Constantin Pecqueur and Friedrich Wilhelm Schulz), the social anthropology of Lewis Henry Morgan and the evolutionary theories of Charles Darwin, Marx developed a revolutionary critique of modern society, collected, in particular, in his fundamental work (although it remained unfinished), namely Capital.

Socialist movement

The socialist movement was born and developed in parallel with the second industrial revolution (19th century). Socialism is characterized by the questioning of the property principle, consequently to the rejection of liberal individualism, and is therefore the bearer of a radical change in society; thus the political-social relationship affirmed by the French Revolution is overturned, in the sense that now the social is the area of ​​discussion. The socialist objective therefore appears to be the achievement of social justice: this concept recalls three main elements, the eighteenth-century reflection, thanks to which the principle of equality was elaborated, the romantic climate, which played an important role in its elaboration , and the social conditions of the first industrial revolution, a decisive reason for the departure of the doctrine from abstractness. Thus this term, "social justice", comes to indicate the search for a possible balance of property, the end of exploitation and individualistic selfishness, a morality of solidarity among men, etc ... The liberal century had created its antithesis: while liberalism, sweeping away the closed and rigid society typical of the Middle Ages, was the regime of political freedom and economic power of the bourgeoisie, socialism addressed the exploited classes, proletariat and peasants, promising them a world in which the power of man over man was abolished; in this sense the root of social injustices was identified precisely in capitalism. There are many socialist currents that developed over time: anarchism (Michail A. Bakunin, Pëtr Alekseevič Kropotkin), the various national exponents, English (Robert Owen), French (Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, Louis Blanc, Louis -Auguste Blanqui), Italian (Leonida Bissolati, Carlo Cafiero, Andrea Costa, Anna Kuliscioff, Errico Malatesta, Filippo Turati), German, the scientific socialism of Karl Marx and Fr