Marxist Socialist Movement Essay

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1771 Words
Date:  2022-05-26

Intense engagement with the history is an essential instrument for analyzing the present. The Russian Empire Socialist Revolution of 1917 sparked the beginning of a new era in Russia, which would later have effects to the other parts of the world. Before the revolution, Russia had a series of succession wars, which include the Crimean War of 1854, the Russo-Japanese War of 1904, and the World War I of 1914 (Selsam & Martel, 1963). In most of these battles, Russia suffered defeat, which caused disconnection among Russians and downfall to the country's economy and governance. Before 1917, three leading factions contributed to the eruption of the revolution. The peasants are one of the parties and formed the majority of the Russian population. The industrial working class working in factories mines and workshops in major cities formed the second faction. Most of these people were subjected to low wages and poor working conditions leading to strikes and conflict with authorities. Tsar of Russia was the third group, and although it comprised of the ruling family, the poverty levels in the countries caused an uproar in the nation. The individualistic nature of Tsar Nicholas II made people lose faith in the long-standing traditional autocracy. The upsurge of Russian Revolution in 1917 marked one of the most significant events of 20th century changing the social, political and economic outlook of Russia (Korsch, 2009). Therefore, this paper will discuss Marxist socialism, the achievement and failures of the movement and an evaluation of the future of both Marxist ideology and socialist movement today.

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Socialism is one of the most influential political philosophy aimed at bringing an egalitarian distribution of social, political and economic benefits. Some of the issues socialism focus on include incomes, wealth and social bases of self-respect within a society or country (Schumpeter, 2010). The model in which democracy is realized may be through ownership of essential parts or means of production. The spread of socialism theory was aimed at bringing to end capitalism which had taken entangled the society for years after European industrialization. Nevertheless, the individualistic nature of political leaders and oppression of the peasants by the elite class in the nation triggered Karl Marx to brand the socialism philosophy, which Vladimir Lenin later adopted and spread to the rest of the world (Selsam & Martel, 1963). Marxist was explicitly a revolutionary call for overthrowing liberal capitalist states.

The practical consequences of 1917 revolution were profound and global. The Russian revolution was an indication that the world was in a period when the strongest of the invaders were not compassionate, and their influence was weakened by entrusting the social and political affairs of a country to the poor, laboring, and proletarians' people. According to Lenin, capitalism was repressive and could only seize by having a revolution. The ideology caused division in Russia with the socialism party splitting between Lenin's Bolsheviks and Mensheviks. Lenin group attracted more support as compared to Mensheviks. Marxism gained popularity with Bolsheviks set to bring justice and cure Russia of social class differences. Nevertheless, the transformation comes with its consequences that were to be felt worldwide.

Essential Achievements of Marxist Socialist Movements

The revolution in Russia marked fundamental transformation points in the economic, social, cultural and political spheres. Likewise, international relations and industrial revolution were also evident in Russia, which had lagged behind as compared to its neighbors and other European nations who were undergoing industrialization. The following are some of the positive influence of the movement.

Alienated Capitalism

The Marxist Socialist Movement was neither bureaucratic nor totalitarian, but it was democratic. Therefore, through the Russian Revolution, the movement radically abolished private ownership of means of production. Initially, only the elite group of people owned factors of production with working class people and peasants just having the ability to sell their labor. The ascendency of a single group of people was oppressive and caused division in the country. Nevertheless, through revolution for the first time in the Russian and European history, the viability of a nationalized planned economy was practically revealed. Karl Marx had earlier clarified on his philosophy as an avenue to overpower class struggles caused by competing for socioeconomic interests. The world has realized that it is possible to run the society without moneylenders, landowners, and capitalists contrary to the previous theories.

Russia Entered Industrial Age

The movement created means for Russia to integrate with the industrial age. Before 1917, Russia was an agrarian nation, and industrial development had not been considered as a significant contributor to the economy. As compared to the neighboring countries, Russia had a long way to advance technologically. After the revolution, urban-industrial region emerged and became increasingly significant to the country's developments. In fact, a considerable number of people was drawn to the cities up swinging education and eradicating illiteracy. Therefore, since the revolution had abolished private property ownership of means of production and literacy levels had increased industries were also nationalized. By 1918, the control of industries, banks, mines, and transport sectors among other production sectors was nationalized. The development marked a new industrial era in Russia that other nations could emulate. Russia has therefore continuously been influential in countries where capitalism has not been productive.

International Influence

The Russian Revolution had a substantial international influence. Vladimir Lenin reign in government saw him push Russia out of the World War I change the balance of foreign forces in the war. Several nations took part in the Civil War and had to send their troops to Russia to have the conflict under control. The Soviet Union responded by actively sponsoring communist movements and revolutions around the world. Consequently, this efforts broadened Russia sphere of influence making Marxism theory one of the widely spread philosophy. The Western nations felt susceptible and started to view communism as a spreading threat. Some of the most influential countries during the time isolated themselves from the Soviet Union with the United States taking center stage. During the Cold War Russia and the United States emerged as superpowers with the rest of the world supporting one of the countries. Russia used socialist movement to develop its communism theory, which it advocated for during the Cold War while the United States held on to capitalism.

Gender Equality

Unlike in capitalist nations women in the Soviet Union had made large strides in their struggle for equality. The Bolshevik revolution had laid a foundation for social emancipation of women. The government not only gave women legal and political rights but it also secured them access to all forms of cultural and economic works. Therefore, the revolution was a milestone in the struggle for gender equality. Before then women were considered as appendages to households and were not to take part in political and economic activities. The Marxist Socialist Movement provided a mean to overcome gender discrimination in the social and economic spheres.

Failures of Marxist Socialist Movements

Despite socialist movement being a reaction against ravages and injustices posed by capitalism, the theory has also had its drawbacks. The following are the failures of Marxist Socialist Movements.

The Degeneration of Socialist Statism

Socialist statism comprises of the social democracy in the West and socialism in the East. The blows of the civil solidarity, new social movements, and New Right have destroyed the socialist statist today (Hobsbawm, 2010). The parallel downfall of the social democracy in the West, as well as the eclipse of socialism in the East, have made socialist statist to be in a deep crisis. The higher the level of statism the higher the incompatibility of the market economy and growing economy that increased the failure of the Marxist socialist movement.

The Incompatibility between Economic Growth and Planned Economy

The actual existing socialism was unsuited to the needs of the centrally planned economy and the growth economy. It lacked market forces that would be free to secure the extent of concentration required for the growth of a market (Ollman et al. 2016). On the other hand, it had a bureaucratic economic system, which made it hard for people to introduce products and technologies in the consumer goods industry, yet a decentralized information system was a requirement in the sector. Lack of a decentralized information system and market forces that focused on the growth of the market failed to support economic growth.

The future of Marxist ideology and socialist movement

Marxism movement emphasized on the close connection between any theory and the practical aspects. Therefore, although the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 and the spread of communism ideology has subdued, but the insights of Marxism are indispensable to the new post-Marxian field (Korsch, 2009). Today there is increased cases of inequality one of the characteristics accrued to capitalists where only a few are in control of the production factors. In the modern society, some of the issues Marxist Movement was eradicating are still dominant, and people continue to struggle while a small group has been benefiting from exploiting the majority who are subjected to a limited right of choice. Therefore, the future of Marxism can be evaluated from different outlooks based on the modern age issues. The socioeconomic strands in the contemporary society have opened means for return of Marxism and socialist movement since the other theories such as capitalist have also been challenged and have multiple weaknesses.

Marxist described the injustice of capitalist society as exploitative and which could only be rectified through socialist redistribution, political-economy restructuring and abolishing class division. However, today the mobilizing groups assume the catastrophic injustice in the society are caused by misrecognizing and devaluing the specific groups (Eaton, 1952). Marxism and multiculturalism were constructed to bring development and resolve the current socio-economic challenges mutually. As a result, neither redistribution nor recognition alone is sufficient to produce justice in an oppressive society. It is crucial to have a combination of other socioeconomic movements with Marxism to maximize their productivity.

Similar to socialism, some of the other progressive and reactionary engagements organized around civilization and nationality include feminist, gay, anti-racist, liberation, and ecological movements. Most of these movements started out from the Marxian elaboration of class struggle. For instance, the gender, class and racial identities were some of the specific and independent aspects Marxism and socialist movement were addressing to bring equality and justice. Therefore, despite communism collapsing there is a future for Marxist ideology and socialism.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Karl Marx ideology was aimed at attaining socioeconomic equality. Unlike in capitalism which is based on profit, survival for the fittest, exploitation, and under control of only a few people, communism aims at addressing current needs, focused at addressing the welfare of the least advantaged in the society, and setting a situation where workers rather than employers control the state. Therefore, socialism stood as...

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