The Emergence of Communism

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Updated: Apr 29, 2022
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To begin, Communism or the Marxist theory was founded Karl Marx, a German philosopher who turned turned to journalism after being turned down for teaching jobs due to his political views. Marx’s investigations as a journalist led him to believe that there was systemic injustice and corruption in Germany where he lived. Leaving Germany a few years later, Marx met an old friend named Friedrich Engles in Paris, where they would soon collaborate and write the book: Manifesto of the Communist Party(1848).

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Marx and Engles felt that the poverty, disease, and early death that plagued the working class was a result of Capitalism, and that the only way of solving it was to replace Capitalism all together. As an alternative, they wanted the means of production, things like factories, railroads, and mines, to be owned by the government and used to benefit everyone, not just the owners. After Marx died in 1883, Engles become the main representative of the Marxist theory. Engles simplified Marxism is several areas, more or less transferring it, making it more rigid and determinant than Marx had intended it to be. After Engles died in 1895, supporters of the Marxist theory split in to two groups, revolutionists and revolutionary. Revolutionists favored Marxism before Marx’s passing, which had a more peaceful and gradual approach to the transition in to socialism. On the other hand, the revolutionaries would produce the front men of the Russian Revolution of 1917 and later define what we know as Communism today. Edward Bernstein, a revolutionist who became the foremen of the new Marxian theory, revised the theory in two main areas. Bernstein added an ethical element, where felt that humans should be treated with worth. He didn’t like that individuals were being used as human working machines by capitalists as well as being thought as expendable for war purposes by Communists. Bernstein also felt that trade-unions and working class political parties would provide opportunities for growth in societies, which was added in later down the line. On the other side, Bernstein’s biggest critic was Vladimir Lenin. Lenin, was head of the Russian Social-Democratic Workers’ Party took control over the Russian government in October 1917. Lenin made two radical changes to the Marxian theory, one of which being that instead of having a working class lead the party, Lenin wanted an elite party the was made up of extremist working-class people similar to hisself. Lenin wanted his party be secretive, tightly organized, and disciplined. The second change he made was that communism would be uprise in capitalist societies, because of a labor force that was used to trade-unions. Instead, communism would rise in failing countries like Russia at the time when Lenin took over the USSR. These beliefs show in what communism is today. After Lenin died Stalin would soon take over

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The emergence of communism. (2022, Apr 29). Retrieved from