Marxism is a scary word for some who believe in capitalism. But it could be argued that no one knows just what Marxism really is because Karl Marx didn’t express his ideas in a coherent, systematic manner.
Countless writers on Marx have tried to provide the analytical rigor which many claim is lacking in his work. The result is an equally countless number of interpretations of Marx’s ideas.
On a theoretical level, Marxism has been adapted and expanded to account for political and economic phenomena that Marx didn’t adequately address, some of which were nonexistent in his time.
As for the implementation of his ideas into real social practice, parts of the so-called Third World have adapted his ideas to mostly agricultural forces of production, often combined with militaristic relations of production.
According to G. A. Cohen the relations of production refers to the uniquely social aspects of production in a given society, usually the legal or brute force mechanisms of exploiting labor, extracting surplus and maintaining a state of social dominance of the few over the many.
And Cohen says that the forces of production refers to the way a given society actually produces commodities. The forces of production include raw materials, tools, technology and knowledge of how to organize labor power and use available tools. While some writers use the term ‘economics’ to include the forces of production, Cohen and other theorists say that economics more properly refers to the relations of production.
In both the so-called Third World and the economically wealthy G8 countries, Marx’s analysis doesn’t adequately account for the possibility of various forms of corruption.
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