OPTION 1: While the different threads of Marxist socialism in nineteenth-century Europe shared some common themes, it was also a divided movement. Based on the primary documents offered in the “Working with Evidence” section of Chapter 17, how would you describe those common perspectives? How would you describe the key differences and points of division? – Will send book screenshots either by upload or if that doesn’t work, by email.
The various strands of Marxism wanted to end the exploitation of the industrial working class by the so-called bourgeoisie “the ruling class.” Max inspired the idea that the ruling social class “bourgeoisie” were exploiting the workers “proletariats” through capitalism. For instance, the bourgeoisie was getting richer compared to the proletariats were getting poorer and were being treated unfairly with low wages and deplorable working conditions. This was a common viewpoint among all the socialists. However, the point of contention was based on how to achieve the goals of socialism. Max believed that to have a revolution, you would need a violent revolution which would build a society without classes and government. The essay will address the common perspective shared in Marxist socialism as well as significant areas of division.
Common perspectives among the socialists
Socialism was brought together by an idea of mitigating the social class problem in the society. A common theme among the socialist who believed in socialism was to end capitalism and allow the government to distribute resources fairly to all. To begin with, the socialist believed that capitalism which was introduced during the industrial revolution was the source of social classes that is becoming broader. All the different strands of Marxism wanted to put an end to the exploitation of the industrial working class in society. For instance, Marx offered a devastating critique of social inequalities, economic instability and exorbitant exploitation of the workers that came along with the industrial revolution (page 775). In addition, both Marx and Engels points out the issue of class struggle that exists in society. They provided ideas that informed the socialist movement in Europe.
Strayer, Robert W., and Eric W. Nelson. Ways of the World: A Brief Global History with Sources (Volume 2, Since the Fifteenth. Bedford/St. Martins, 2016.