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Unformatted text preview: 28 Political Ideologies UNIT 26 MARXISM Structure 26.0 Objectives 26.1 Introduction 26.2 What is Marxism? 26.2.1 Utopian and Scientific Som 26.2.2 Evolutionary and Revolutionary Som 26.3 Basic Principles of Marxism 26.3.1 Dialectical Materialism 26.3.2 Historical Materialism 26.3.3 Theory of Surplus Value 26.3.4 Class Struggle 26.3.5 Revolution 26.3.6 Dictatorship of the Proletariat 26.3.7 Communism 26.4 Theory of Alienation 26.5 Theory of Freedom 26.6 A Critical Appraisal and an Overview 26.7 Let Us Sum Up 26.8 Some Useful References 26.9 Answers to Check your Progress Exercises 26.0 OBJECTIVES In this unit, you will read about the theory and practice of Marxism, propounded by Karl Marx and others. The basic tenets of the philosophy comprising of dialectical and historical materialism, the theory of surplus value, class struggle, revolution, dictatorship of the proletariat and communism are discussed at length. After going through the unit, you should be able to: • Discuss the pre-Marxian strands of som such as utopian som; • Enumerate, describe and discuss the basic postulates of Marxism; • Comment on other important components of the Marxist theory such as the theories of alienation and freedom and finally; and • Critique Marxism as well as comment on its contemporary relevance. 26.1 INTRODUCTION The present unit aims at examining and explaining the principles of Marxism, which is the most revolutionary ideology of our age. Along with liberalism, Marxism ranks as the most important philosophy of our time. Liberalism, Idealism and Marxism are the three important theories of Political Science. C.L Wayper has divided various views regarding the state into three parts, viz., the state as a machine, as an organism and as a class. In other words, the organic view of the state, the mechanistic view of the state and the class view of the state. The organic view is idealism, the mechanistic view is liberalism and the class view is marxism. The present unit is subdivided into the definition of Marxism, Utopian and Scientific Som, Revolutionary and Evolutionary Som, the main principles of Marxism, a critique and a conclusion. The main principles of Marxism, are seven, viz., Dialectical 29 Gandhism (Dharma, Swaraj, Sarvodaya and Satyagraha) Materialism, Historical Materialism, Theory of Surplus Value, Class Struggle, Revolution, Dictatorship of the Proletariat and Communism. The concept of Alienation and freedom generally associated with younger Marx or the humanist face of Marxism have also been dealt with. 26.2 WHAT IS MARXISM? Marxism generally refers to the ideas of the German philosopher, Karl Marx. But Marxism does not mean exclusively the ideas of Marx. It includes the ideas of Marx, Friedrich Engels and their supporters, who call themselves Marxists. Thus, Marxism refers to the body of ideas, which predominantly contains the ideas of Karl Marx....
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