Economist, philosopher, sociologist, revolutionary socialist and journalist Karl Marx is regarded in history as the Father of Marxism, where much of the philosophy has to do with his obsession with the ideas of George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, who has been called the “Aristotle” of modern times” and used his system of dialectics to explain the whole of the history of philosophy, art, science, religion and politics. Basically, Marx was a communist, political journalist and an advocate for human rights, but his philosophy—Marxism—is a very important aspect in some of the world’s societies to identify. Here are its strengths and weaknesses:
List of Strengths of Marxism
1. It tends to create a system of true equality.
Although Marxism’s system of government is considered as communism, it places an emphasis on human rights, with its foundation encompassing equal gender roles, health care and access to education. As Marx believed, there should be equality before the law and societal services, where everyone has an equal stance and opportunity with no dominant gender. This means that every person would be able to get access to the most important things he needs regardless of whatever he does, wherever he lives or how much he makes to provide a better living for those depending on him.
2. It offers benefits to the society.
If you look at the Marxist theory, it considers society as a whole, which means that it acknowledges all the social forces involved, including the power interests of different groups. Stressing the role of class struggle or conflict within society between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, it is effective in explaining change in society. In essence, it organizes society under capitalism, where the bourgeoisie tends to maximize profit with the proletariat.
3. It helps with capitalism.
Ironically, when huge multi-nationals dominate the entire world economy, capital advocates would tell us that the future lies with small businesses or always state that “Small is beautiful”. However, we can consider that the youthful phase of capitalism is gone beyond recall. But as far as Marxism is concerned, free competition inevitably begets monopoly, where the struggle between big and small capitals always yields to the same result. In modern times, the vast power of multi-nationals and monopolies seems to exercise a total stranglehold on the world, holding access to economies of scale, staggering sums of money, ability to manipulate commodity prices and even the influence of government policies. Now, Marxism was able to predict the inevitable tendency towards monopolization, where free competition was a standard.
4. It reduces the tendency of debt.
Under the Marxist philosophy, communities will be working together to achieve success, where all people would come together to provide for each other, with the help of the government distributing resources as required.
5. It protects the rights of unions.
Rather than exploiting managers, Marxism encourages unions to stand up for personal rights, creating a system of checks and balances for a maximum production level to be achieved. As it is believed that this philosophy never exploits workers by management, followers believe that unions are definitely a great idea.
List of Weaknesses of Marxism
1. It tries to abolish religion.
Under Marxism, you would have the freedom to have your own faith, but you would not have the freedom to practice it in a way that is organized. As you can see, religion would ultimately place one group in a superior role over the others, which goes against the equality principle of Marxism. This means that there would be no organized religion, which would affect prominent beliefs followed around the world, including Christianity and Judaism. As Marx felt that religion was used to control people, Marxism would not allow people to be free of choosing their spirituality.
2. It negatively affects the educational system.
It is important to note that Marxist education implements one that is absolutely state- controlled, which means that it regards too much importance to the role of the state in education, which means that the methodology of teaching, curriculum construction and examination system would be determined by the state and it does not allow other agencies in education—local or regional—to have their say. Marxist philosophy on education sees economics lying at the root of every human activity, though this is not absolutely factual on scientific point of view, as economics occupies the pivotal position in the curriculum is one of the main objectives to acquire productive skills, which would result to creative faculties of children being neglected.
3. It does not value the concept of private ownership.
While you are given a place to live as part of a community and contribute to the common good, you will have no private property ownership, which means that you might not have much control over your residence and your contributions. In Marxism, there will be the idea that private properties and businesses should be abolished, which makes it impossible for anyone to take business advantage of someone else, giving him no reward for working.
4. It limits opportunities for entrepreneurs.
If you are in doing business under Marxism, then basically, you would be working for the government, which means that are not going to work as an entrepreneur, freelancer or sole business owner because everything would run through the government.
5. It can lead to communism.
Communism is a possible occurrence in Marxism, as this philosophy is believed to lead to dictatorship. As you can see, it would not allow anyone to be an individual, which is believed to lead to a dangerous society without anybody being motivated.
In theory, equality sounds great, seeing a lot of examples where people are treated fairly, but keep in mind that an individual is taken out of the scenario under Marxism. The strengths and weaknesses of this philosophy show some sets of benefits and drawbacks, creating a system of government that is prone to abuse, that is why Marx to fix its flaws. But by examining its key strengths and weaknesses, we will be able to decide whether it is best for society or not.