Karl Marx's theory of communism has been said to be great in theory, but terrible in practice. His theory brought up some good points, but missed some important aspects of government and the world. Marx's theory had four main points that are listed below.
1. Economic forces control history more than any other forces.
2. History shows the conflicts among the classes of society.
3. The government helps one class to smother the others.
4. The only way to bring about social changes is with violence and force.
Each point is right in some ways and wrong in others. The points are described in more detail below in reference to right and wrong.
1. Marx was right that economic forces have been important throughout history, but they are not the determining factors for human behavior. For example, war can be fought for economic reasons, but it is usually fought for freedom and survival. Also, people do things out of love of others and their country. These factors and others influence decisions to act instead of the economical factor acting alone.
2. It is true that the economic classes oppose each other in many things, but developments after Marx's time disproved his theory that capitalism would destroy itself. He believed that the aristocrats and bourgeoisie would suppress the proletariat to the extent that the proletariat would revolt and form one class. That class would destroy capitalism. One development that occurred after Marx's death was the formation of labor unions. These unions improved the workers' working conditions, which helped to keep them from revolting against the other classes.
3. The theory that classes oppress each other was true, especially around Marx's lifetime, because the rich were the only people with power in government. These people ran the government in a way that benefited themselves but not the poor. The trend toward universal sufferage changed the government completely. More people, including the poor, were able to vote, causing the government officials to cater to them as well as the rich if they wanted to stay in office. Oppression among the classes in government was greatly reduced by this development.
4. Marx's theory that changes in government are brought about only by violence and force is completely wrong. Reforms in government, including the trend toward universal sufferage, were made peacefully throughout most of history. People have always known how to compromise and come to reasonable agreements.
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