Why I am a Marxist

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Why I am a Marxist

Post by GF on Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:22 pm

I've recently been undergoing something of a self-examination of my political and sociological views and values, in order to find out what it is I really believe and adhere to. In the end, I have come to a reaffirmation of my Marxist principles, and I'd like to explain, hopefully without too much rambling, why.

I am of the opinion that our political, economic, etc., views are dependent not only on the factual information we have access to or choose to use, but even more importantly on our own personal values. Thus, I began with an examination of what my subjective, personal values were. I found that I believe strongly in equality, for one. Even though we have spent thousands of years of human history living under the assumption that some people are going to have more wealth and power than others, I believe this is an outdated conception. There is no reason for this to be true. Just as Western Civilization has progressively become more and more politically democratic, with the idea that some groups or people ought to have more power than others having vanished, I believe it is ethically imperative that we extend this not just from politics. Essentially, my view is that in order to further the development of humanity and better its existence, we need to break free of this assumption that it is natural for some to have more wealth (i.e., power over productive capital) than others.

Another concept I find morally repugnant is that of exploitation, which is of course linked to my hatred for inequality. It derives from my belief in equality, that I outlined above, so I'll be brief with this. Exploitation is reprehensible because it results from unequal relations in terms of power between people or groups of people. Equality will result in an eradication of the capitalist form of exploitation.

Of course, modern society is plagued by both these ills. So my next thought was, how are they to be cured? But to find the cure one must first analyze the source of the problem, so I proceeded to do so.

The problem from which inequality and exploitation are both derived is that some people have more power than others, but what is power in modern society? There are many ways in which power of one group over another, oftentimes for exploitation, is manifested: sociological, political, etc., but the systemic problems that give rise to these forms of inequality have for the most part been eradicated. Instead they are manifested by individuals, motivated by their own interests, or by groups of people that are only together because for the time being all its members share some interests. The main systemic form of inequality and exploitation that remains is the economic one.

What is the economic problem? It is the severe inequality and wealth that has resulted from the exploitation of one class by another and is continually aggravated by such. What I mean by that is, the economic inequality that plagues modern society is a result of the fact that, quite simply, some people own the means of production, while others don't. Because there is a capitalist class that owns the means of production privately, it can exploit the working class and this is the result of economic inequality.

But what is the justification behind this system of class relations? Why does it exist? I came to the conclusion it was because of the idea of property that we hold in capitalist societies. At this point I began realizing how similar the views I came to were to Marx's, and I'm not going to explain just how the modern concept of property has arisen, there are plenty of authors that have done a better job.

To tie it all together, the conclusion I came to was that it is the capitalist idea of property, i.e., bourgeois property relations, that is behind the inequality and exploitation we see in modern times.

If we are to change society for the better, to fit these values, we need to abolish bourgeois property.

Thanks for reading!

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Re: Why I am a Marxist

Post by Socialist Warrior on Tue Apr 09, 2013 3:57 pm

I agree with much of what you said. The reason I take great inspiration from Marx-Engels-Lenin is that they gave us a real science to understand capitalism and a method to understand how economic social relations throughout history have determined the capitalist superstructure and economic exploitation today; as well as the tools necessary to overcome it.

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