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Is Marx still relevant today?

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Answered Same Day Apr 14, 2020


Soma answered on Apr 19 2020
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Is Marx still relevant today?
Is Marx relevant today being an issue of long standing debate. The era at which he lived is significantly different from our own. The relevance of Marx’s ideas can be analysed by removing the outdated elements from those capable of development in the cu
ent times. Marx was an insightful thinker and very much thorough in his research. He had a huge command in philosophical thinking and spend most of his time in the reading room of the British Museum. Born in an elite German Jewish family, his intellectual agitation was completely based on moral concern for the poor. Marx was the starting point for three important political struggles for the modern age: resistance to colonialism, the fight against fascism and the other one is emancipation of woman. Marxism is a strong and mass political movements that has starched across centuries and continent- an ideology for which several men and women have fought and died too. Marx was indeed a European but it is the Third World who has taken his ideas first and flourished vigorously. The different historical concepts of capital like mercantile, monopoly agrarian, industrial financial or imperial are significantly owed to Marxism. It is not the fact that his critics dispute the points. They argued that the system has unrecognizably transforms since the time of Marx and thus the ideas are no longer relevant in these days. The key aim of this paper to is thoroughly examine this claim. The cu
ent study has assessed Marx’s value theory in the contemporary political, social and economic problems. (EAGLETON, 2011)
Marxism: an old idea
It is often argued that Marxism is an old idea and we desperately need something new. But there are several great old ideas that are still relevant equally today like it was when developed. If Marxism is considered as an old idea, then capitalism is even older. Communist Manifesto can be considered as a modern book that explains the division of the society into class or the exploitation, oppression of women or the phenomenon of global crises of overproduction. Another popular claim against Marxism is that workers class does not exist. It is not true- the nature of the working class might have changed but it does not imply that they are not working class. The class struggle has continued today as evident by Chinese workers bitter struggle for their basic rights. (Grant, 2014)
Important Contributions of Marx and its relevance in contemporary problems
Marx was very much against state and views the state with cold eyes realism. He strongly believed that state is not a political neutral organ and not even least dispassionate in the conflict between labour and capital. Everybody accepts that state can be violent but Marx gave a new approach to the question that who serves this violence. But it is not true that all state violence are for protecting the status quo – similarly it is not suggested to dispense with police, law courts, prisons and parliamentary squads. In the Volume three of his book Capital, Marx himself has distinguished between the class specific and class neutral functions of state. He was on the belief that states can be used for the good. For example, running an orphanage for the poor children is not repressive at all but what he rejected is the sentimental myth of the state as a source of offering unity among different groups and class. He advocates that state is a more of a source of division that unity. States works to hold the society together but it ultimately turned out to be the interest of the governing class. There are times we he wrote and considers state as a direct instrument of the ruling class. The responsibility of the political state is not just preserve the interest of the governing class rather it must preserve the social cohesion. Vulgar Marxists tend to assume a one to one relation between the sovereign class and the state and there are instances when it was actually the case. For example, vulgar Marxism was found to be right during the tenure of Bush. On one hand he worked relentlessly to appear the capitalist system appear to be worst possible way, in other hand one makes wonder whether he was working for North Korean in a secret manner. (EAGLETON, 2011)
Revolutionary nationalism forced every corner of the world to rethink itself. If we consider that Marxism has lent considerable support for the liberation in Third World, it had insisted that their perspective should not be bourgeois nationalist rather international socialist. So Marxism is both an anticolonialism as well as a critique of nationalist ideology. Though Marx have found some progressive trends in colonialism but it did not deter him to denounce about the cruelty or ba
arity of colonial rule especially in India and cheered for the Great Indian rebellion movement in 1857. He also viewed Irish independence as an indication for socialist revolution in England. (EAGLETON, 2011)
Much of Marx’s work is identified as gender blind. If Marx workers is found to be eternally male, it is not because of capitalism but because he himself was a Victorian patriarch. Both material and sextual production have their own history which is significantly different not merged into one but their joint victims are found to have common interest in political emancipation. During the communist movement of early twentieth century the issue of gender colonialism and nationalism raised in systematically. Marxism is often accused by postmodernists for being a Eurocentric- being a European he tried to incorporate its own white western values in every aspect of the planet. So his social condition is no doubt pose a limit to his work. Being a middle class European intellectual, his own thought is called for the emancipation for factory workers. Marx is also criticized for so called Promethean strain in his work – it is the belief in man’s sovereignty over Nature. (EAGLETON, 2011)
In 1976, many people in the West thought of arguing...

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