Marx and Revolution
An understanding of current tectonic shifts in the global economy is related to the processes that occurred in the past, with sometimes very distant from the modern times. Political scientists and reformist politicians have long been aware of the danger of undermining the state system on the part of groups that express specific political interests. Conflictological approach to the problem of the state to a great extent was influenced by the works of Karl Marx. Marx believed that people were naturally endowed with kindness. However, social institutions have a detrimental effect on their behavior. Thus, the society separates them. The unequal distribution of power is one of the main features of the society and, thus, the revolution is necessary for its redistribution.
According to Marx, political systems is a demonstration of the economy and material world (Kershaw). The process of economic production determines the nature of power in the community (Callinicos 86). All history of humanity and governance was accompanied by “a struggle between the “bourgeoisie” and the “proletariat”” (Kershaw). Those, who own the means of production, occupy a dominant position and have the power. Because they control the allocation of resources, they are interested in the promotion and protection of their power, which is caused by the class interests. Marx analyzed the class relations in different societies, including those in the capitalist countries of his time. On the one hand, there was a class of capitalists, who own the means of production and manage the economy. On the other hand, there were workers or proletarians, who sell their labor to the capitalists (Callinicos 137). He believed that the class interests of these two groups were in conflict, as capitalists sought to make more profit at the expense of workers, who were trying to spend less time and effort on work.
According to Marx, the economic system is determined by the structure of political power. Since the capitalists began to control the production, public institutions have expressed their dominance (Kershaw). For example, the religious system inspired people by the doctrine of happiness in the next world in order to divert attention from the exploitation of the lower classes in this world. The democratic form of government was considered as a political sign. While the workers were granted the right to vote, their ability to influence the authorities remained limited, because they did not exercise control over the economy. To protect and preserve their positions, capitalists could use the state apparatus: police, army, courts, and bureaucracy. However, the economy determines the political structure, which, in turn, hinders the conflict. The only way to improve the situation of workers is their political organization, the seizure of power in their hands, the reorganization of economic and social life in accordance with their class interests.
According to Marx, social revolutions are the expression of the essence of the natural-historical development of society. The horrible injustice of political systems was the basis of Marxist revolutionary philosophy (Kershaw). Revolutions are universal in nature and present the most important fundamental changes in the history of humanity. The law of social revolution refers to an objective need for a change of one socio-economic formation by another, more progressive one. The social revolution is a quantum leap in the development of society, which is accompanied by a transition of state power in the hands of the revolutionary class or classes and the deep changes in all spheres of public life.
While the political revolution aims to put mechanism of state power at the service of a new class, i.e. make it politically dominant, the economic revolution must ensure that the rule of the relations of production corresponds to the character of the productive forces and the interests of the progressive class. The revolutionary economic reforms end with the victory of the new mode of production. Similarly, a radical change in the formation of new consciousness, creation of a new spiritual culture takes place only during the revolution in a process of the creation of appropriate economic, political, educational, cultural and ideological background.
The Marxist theory of social revolution argues that the main cause of social revolution is the deepening conflict between the growth of the productive forces of society and outdated, conservative system of industrial relations, which manifests itself in the escalation of social antagonisms in the intensification of the struggle between the ruling and oppressed classes. The revolution is never the result of a conspiracy or a single arbitrary action that is isolated from the masses of the minority. It can only occur as a result of objective changes, driving the mass forces and creating a revolutionary situation. Thus, the revolution is not just random outbreaks of discontent, riots or coups. It matures in the process of historical development and breaks out at the moment due to a complex of some internal and external causes. Drastic changes in the reality of the day and in the public and individual consciousness require a new understanding of the problem of social reconstruction on the path of progress.
Revolution is associated with the political-military coup, followed by a change of the ruling regime and breaking the existing social and economic structure. The industrial revolution is distinguished not by the belligerent character of transformations, although it affected all spheres of public life. Thus, the industrial revolution gave rise to a new class - the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, which significantly reduced the number of classes the previous agrarian formations (feudal lords and peasants) (Fitzgerald).
The industrial revolution led to a radical change in human society. The technical side of it consisted in the development of machine production, bringing new energy sources to the process of production, the development of transport and communications. The industrial revolution caused a constantly growing need for labor migration (Fitzgerald). The car came just in time. It brought not just an opportunity to migrate, but also a new quality of life - the ability to live outside the city, go shopping, and travel.
The economic dimension was primarily reflected in the movement of the center of the economic life of the agricultural sector to the industrial. This was accompanied by upheavals in social structure. They were embodied in the speed up of urbanization, modification of the class composition of society (the emergence of the working class), the occurrence of the prerequisites for the formation of an industrial society (Fitzgerald).
The consequence of the industrial revolution was complex socio-economic changes in the structure of the economies of the countries, where it was held. The formation of machinery meant the appearance and increase of the surplus of goods. This, in turn, has become a very significant factor in the development of world economic relations, the formation of the world market and has served as a prerequisite for the formation of a global economy.
The industrial revolution is associated not only with the beginning of mass use of machines but also with changes in the entire structure of society. It was accompanied by rapid urbanization, a sharp increase in labor productivity, and the beginning of economic growth. The industrial revolution was characterized by a historically rapid increase in living standards. In fact, the industrial revolution made it possible to move from an agrarian society to the modern urban civilization.
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