Marxism encompasses a history of literary criticism and theory habib pdf schools of thought associated with the philosophical, sociological, political and economic theories of 19th century German revolutionary socialist Karl Marx. Marxism is based on the analysis of class relations and societal conflict from a materialist interpretation of historical development and a dialectical view of social transformation. Marxism uses a methodology known as historical materialism to analyze and critique the development of capitalism and the role of class struggles in systemic economic change. This class struggle that is commonly expressed as the revolt of a society’s productive forces against its relations of production, escalates into a crisis which inevitably forces the transformation from capitalism to socialism.
The bourgeoisie becomes unable to manage the intensifying alienation of labor experienced by the proletariat, albeit with varying degrees of class consciousness. This crisis culminates in a proletarian revolution and eventually leads to the establishment of socialism—a socioeconomic system based on social ownership of the means of production, distribution based on one’s contribution and production organized directly for use. From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”. Marxism has developed into many different branches and schools of thought, though now there is no single definitive Marxist theory.
Different Marxian schools place a greater emphasis on certain aspects of classical Marxism while rejecting or modifying other aspects. Many Marxian concepts and non-Marxian concepts have been combined together which might result in these syntheses reaching contradictory conclusions from each other.
However, lately there is movement toward the recognition that historical materialism and dialectical materialism remains the fundamental aspect of all Marxist schools of thought which should result in more agreement between different schools. Marxism has had a profound and influential impact on global academia and has enjoyed expansion into many fields such as archaeology, anthropology, media studies, political science, theater, history, sociology, art history and theory, cultural studies, education, economics, ethics, criminology, geography, literary criticism, aesthetics, film theory, critical psychology and philosophy.
The term “Marxism” was popularized by Karl Kautsky, who considered himself an “orthodox” Marxist during the dispute between the orthodox and revisionist followers of Marx. Kautsky’s revisionist rival Eduard Bernstein also later adopted use of the term.