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Karl Marx And The Authorship Of Communism

3229 words - 13 pages

It has been said that Karl Marx wrote his theories concerning socialism from a liberal starting point. This essay will discuss this possibility, in relation to socialism and if Marx's theories would in fact, create a conflict free world. There are two main areas within this question: firstly, the differences and similarities between socialism and liberalism, and how it is possible to write one from the starting point of the other, and secondly, whether socialism, if followed properly, would in fact cause conflict to cease. To understand the similarities and differences between liberalism and socialism and to better understand whether Marx did in fact right from a liberal perspective, authors such as Kamenka, Swingewood, Sargent, Spiegal and Wehling, and Marx, will be used. The second part of the question regarding the conflict free world requires not only ideological study to show what this means, but also an exploration into the reality of conflict resolutions and how this affects Marx's theories on socialism. For this section, authors such as Galbraith, Neuman, Western, Furze and Stafford, and Marx, will be used to expound both ideological and actual projections of the outworking of a conflict free world.Marx equates the rise of liberal thought with the rise of capitalism, stating that feudal exploitation became transformed into capitalist exploitation, noting that the industrialist capitalists wanted to displace the guild masters and the feudal lords, both parties that previously held the wealth. This exploitation, however, when seen from a liberal perspective, is a natural and essential quality that helps society to function, and is not seen as exploitation at all, rather as a free exchange of equivalents: labour for wages. However, this "equitable" trade has a side effect of ensuring that bureaucracies remain in power because they control the resources. These capitalist burghers, or richer merchants of the time, who now possessed the financial means, developed a political system wherein they could attain still more wealth, and, as a side effect, power. Thus the "bourgeoisie" or ruling capitalists were founded. Liberalism, as defined by the capitalist burghers, was concerned with the individual; their rights, freedoms, advantages, opportunities and desires. In contrast feudal government was seen as oppressive, hindering the individual's chance of making capital and advancing socially. Spiegal and Wehling equate freedom of trade from governmental interference, and the pursuit of capital, as Liberalism, claiming that States should allow the market to function autonomously, with tariffs and barriers removed, so that all free capitalists may benefit. Cohen and Kennedy claim that the liberal ideals of capitalism were unstoppable, and that this caused the demise of feudalism, becoming the foremost political agenda. Marx noted that the "transformation of land into a commodity is the final ruin of the old aristocracy and the complete triumph of the...

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