Why is Marxism still relevant?

Marxism is the political and economic theories of Karl Marx which was then developed by Marx followers to form the basis of communism. In this essay we will be talking about the political impact and the economic impact of Marxism and how it offers a good critique to capitalism. In addition, we will discuss what Marx has discovered economically that makes it such an effective critique of capitalism and finally there will be a conclusion at the end.

Marxism gives an effective critique of capitalism in today’s world. The strength of Marxism comes from the imperfection of capitalism for example in a capitalist world there will always be a boom and bust cycle. The financial crises of 2007-09 highlighted the greed of human to make money and this only occurred due to the economical environment that people are living through which is capitalism. The aftermath of the crisis was worse because bankers were not arrested and tax payers money were all used to bail out banks creating anger amongst the people. In addition, after the financial crisis the wealth gap between the top 10 percent and the bottom 90 percent significantly increased which shows another flaw of capitalism and this is what Marxism points out showing why it is an effective critique of capitalism.  Marxism argued that economies that produced services were doomed to fail and this can to an extent be backed up by the financial crisis of 2007-09. This shows how Marxism is still relevant today because it gives an effective critique of capitalism and brings us a new way of interpreting capitalism.

Furthermore, Marx investigated the production and circulation processes of “industrial capitalism, from which he formulated a labour theory of value for analyzing the exploitation of workers by the capital-owning class.”[1] In his analysis, Marx found out the cause of “surplus value, the methods employed by capitalists to increase surplus value, and the role of the price system in redistributing the surplus value among capitalists.”[2] Marx concluded that the “working class was bound to suffer impoverishment relative to the growing wealth around it, and, at times, absolutely.”[3] This conclusion is relevant today which is why Marx said that “the emancipation of the working class must be conquered by the working classes themselves.”[4] The election of Donald Trump and Brexit are two incidents which shows how the working class feel like they have not reaped the rewards of globalisation which shows how the conclusion of Marx that the “working class was bound to suffer impoverishment relative to the growing wealth around it”[5] still hold true. In addition, trans-national corporations exploiting people in China where workers are paid death wages which shows how Marx was right about what will materialize to the working class further showing why Marxism is still relevant.

Marx studied the processes of “capital accumulation-that is, of investment, growth, and cycles-in capitalist societies.”[6]  Marx concluded that business cycles were “endemic to capitalism, as natural and as inevitable as changes of the season; there was no remedy for them within the system of capitalism itself. The cycles were also functional for the (temporary) survival of the system.”[7] His conclusion is relevant today as the capitalist system that the western world runs upon always booms and busts with the most recent bust being the 2008 financial crisis. This shows that Marxism is still relevant today especially in the political economy as provides an effect critique of capitalism.

To conclude, Marx studied the economic cycle concluding that there will be a boom and a bust in a capitalist system which still holds today. In addition, Marx concluded that the working class was bound to suffer and this still holds true today with the working class suffering the most from the financial crisis and globalization. Furthermore, Marxism holds a different view of the world economy than capitalism does and the flaws of capitalism are critiqued by Marxism. Overall, I believe that Marxism is still very relevant today and will continue to be in the future for as long as capitalism exists.

Bibliography:

  • Gurley, John. G. Marx’s Contributions And Their Relevance Today. Vol. 74, 2nd ed. Nashville: American Economic Association, 1984.
  • Elster, J. (1986) An Introduction to Karl Marx. 1st Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  • Gurley, John. G. Marx’s Contributions And Their Relevance Today. Vol. 74, 2nd ed. Nashville: American Economic Association, 1984.

 

 

[1]Gurley, John. G. Marx’s Contributions And Their Relevance Today. Vol. 74,  2nd ed. Nashville: American Economic Association, 1984.

[2] ibid

[3] ibid

[4] Elster, J. (1986) An Introduction to Karl Marx. 1st ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

[5] Gurley, John. G. Marx’s Contributions And Their Relevance Today. Vol. 74, 2nd ed. Nashville: American Economic Association, 1984.

[6] ibid

[7] ibid

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