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16.1C: The Marxist Critique of Capitalism
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- Examine Karl Marx’s view on capitalism and the criticisms of the capitalist system
- Karl Marx saw capitalism as a progressive historical stage that would eventually stagnate due to internal contradictions and be followed by socialism.
- Marxists define capital as “a social, economic relation” between people (rather than between people and things). In this sense they seek to abolish capital.
- Revolutionary socialists believe that capitalism can only be overcome through revolution.
- Social democrats believe that structural change can come slowly through political reforms to capitalism.
- Marxists define capital as “a social, economic relation” between people (rather than between people and things).
- Normative Marxism advocates a revolutionary overthrow of capitalism that would lead to socialism, before eventually transforming into communism after class antagonisms and the state ceased to exist.
- revolution: A political upheaval in a government or nation-state characterized by great change.
- socialism: Any of various economic and political philosophies that support social equality, collective decision-making, distribution of income based on contribution and public ownership of productive capital and natural resources, as advocated by socialists.
- progressive: Favoring or promoting progress; advanced.