I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this series on Marx so far. Now we enter a new phase of our Marx Madness series. If you missed the first post, you can catch up here.
Karl Marx, The Myths Part Four
There are so many prevalent myths about Marx and Marxism that have existed even since his day that Marx even said: “I am not a Marxist.” While I can’t get into all of them I can explain to you the most common and why they started.
Myth 1: Karl Marx was the founder of Communism/Socialism.
Before I started researching this topic I believed this one too. Communism has existed in one form or another for millennia. In fact, it was the ancient Greek philosophers who first toyed around with the idea of socialism. However, it was not until the 18th century that the idea became widespread.
Myth 2: Marx came up with the maxim “From each according to his ability, to each according to their need.”
Marx did not come up with this saying, we know that much. However, the exact origins of this phrase are unclear.
Myth 3: Marx believed that Russia was a great example of his theories.
We have to keep in mind that he lived decades before the Soviet Union arose. Marx actually thought that the US would be the proving grounds for his ideas.
Myth 4: Marx thought that his theories would have to be proven true by force.
This one is interesting. Marx believed that you could predict certain things kind of like how you can predict that it will be colder in December than in July. (That applies to us Northern-Hemispherians, If you’re down south it’s the opposite.) He saw the world as progressively getting more and freer. He looked at the small city-states in the beginning as the least free. After that came kingdoms, where the king didn’t have absolute control but the people were not free. Then came the Capitalistic age (1600’s to the present). Marx postulated that the next stage would be a “dictatorship of the proletariat.” That idea formed the basis of his theories.
If you have any questions about Marx or his theories please contact me and I will put them into the next installment!
Well, that’s all the time we have for today. Come back soon for the next edition of Marx Madness! Karl Marx, The Man, The Myths, the Legend.
I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. As always if you have any questions or comments don’t hesitate to contact me in private by heading over to the Contact Me page, or just commenting below.
If you would like to read more on the topic of Karl Marx and his writings, I would highly recommend the book Marxism by Thomas Sowell.