By Rupert Woodfin, Oscar Zarate
Was once Marx himself a 'Marxist'? used to be his visionary promise of socialism betrayed through Marxist dictatorship? Is Marxism unavoidably totalitarian? What did Marx quite say? Introducing Marxism presents a primary account of Karl Marx's unique philosophy, its roots in 19th-century ecu ideology, and his radical financial and social feedback of capitalism that encouraged great 19th-century revolutions. It assesses Marxism's Russian disciples - Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin - who solid a ruthless dogmatic Communism. This publication examines the choice Marxist methods of Gramsci, the Frankfurt college of severe concept and the structuralist Marxism of Althusser within the Nineteen Sixties. It marshals postmodern interpretations of Marxism and increases the spectre of 'post-Marxism' in Derrida's disagreement with Fukuyama's 'end of historical past' doctrine. Marxism isn't easily a phantom of the 20th-century chilly warfare that when encouraged terror. It continues to be a powerful moral strength in our postmodern age of uncertainty.
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Extra resources for Introducing Marxism
Given a particular kind of technology, the absolute surplus value will simply be determined by the number of hours that the capitalist can get the worker to put in for no wages. In the 19th century, capitalists made workers put in extraordinarily long hours by our standards. Men, women and children were obliged to keep hours that we would find barbaric, and in appalling conditions. But there is a real limit to what a worker can be made to do before they collapse. They need some rest. 53 Relative Surplus Value To make as much profit as possible, capitalists had to find some means of increasing the rate at which the surplus value is produced.
A commodity can be used by the producer or by someone else. Any commodity can be exchanged for any other commodity, but in very different quantities. A pile of sand is a commodity because it can be used for something, such as building, but it would take a very large pile of sand to be exchanged for even a very small piece of platinum. 44 The question then becomes, what determines the ratios at which all these commodities are exchanged? What is common to them all that determines the rates at which they are exchanged?
Our ideas do not make the world, the world makes our ideas. Marx is therefore a materialist; Hegel, an idealist. We might now say that Marx failed, but his work was a towering intellectual achievement. 30 Marx and Engels believed it was the dialectic that made their theories "scientific", meaning free of mysticism and metaphysics, but also describing something like a scientific "law" which implied a kind of inevitability. 31 Modernist Optimism Marx and Engels were also part of a larger movement of the 19th century, "modernism".