Why did Karl Marx believe that capitalism would eventually collapse and be replaced by communism? To what extent were his predictions confirmed by the history of the twentieth century?
Karl Marx is regarded by many as the first social scientist ever. Although it is argued that Adam Smith was the first great economist, and David Ricardo the first great modern economist, Marx is undoubtedly the economist that has had the biggest impact on economic history. It was he that masterminded the concept of a socialist utopia, which ultimately led to over a third of the world been ruled under the communist regime , a model that Marx concocted. Born on 5 May 1818, in Trier, one of Germany's oldest cities, Marx was the first economist who infused history, philosophy, economics, sociology and political theory all into his work. Marx was ahead of his time, his theories were ground breaking, only time would tell whether his predictions would come to fruition. Marx's main claim was that capitalism would eventually fall due to its own internal contradictions and faults, to be replaced by a socialist utopia, so to speak. Marx had many complex motives behind the eventual fall of capitalism, he delves in to great detail about these reasons in his masterpiece Capital (1867), in this text Marx writes about how the capitalist system will falter over time due to the way it operates. It is these faults of the capitalist system that are brought in to question when analysing an issue of this nature, what weaknesses did Marx identify in his writings and were these weaknesses evident in the capitalist system come the end of the twentieth century? A major argument that Marx put across in his scripts was that capitalism would force society to polarise, causing two classes within society, the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. These classes were at both extremes of the social spectrum, the bourgeoisie been the rich "fat cats" who reeped the fruits of capitalism, they were normally the factory...
Bibliography: K. Marx, The Communist Manifesto, published 1964 by Monthly Review Press
D. Mclellan, Karl Marx, Selected Writings, published 1977 by Oxford University Press
E.M. Wood, Democracy against Capitalism, published 1995 by Cambridge University Press
Suchting, Marx: An Introduction, published1983 by Wheatsheaf Books Limited
F. Engels, The Priciples of Communism, translation by P. Sweezy, published 1964 by Monthly Review Press
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