Assess the view that Marxism is not relevant today
Marxism is a structural theory, seeing society and all its institutions controlled by the bourgeoisie to serve the ruling class interests. Traditional Marxism sees society divided into two classes: the ruling capitalist (bourgeoisie) class who own the means of production, and the working class (proletariat) who are the social relations of production and are exploited to produce profit. Yet, Marxism is a metanarrative which explains everything from a very narrow point of view – but don’t all sociologists? Who’s to say which perspective is correct? It’s useful to different perspectives that we can individually compare and contrast interlocking social issues with.
Like all sociologists, Marx was influenced by what was happening in society at the time he was writing – 1960’s. Marx lived at a time when European workers were beginning to question their low wages and poor working conditions and he identified with their radical ideas. Some would argue that his ideas are less relevant since globalisation. However, a counter argument of that is that Marxism is even more relevant in a gloablised world today where capitalists exploit the poorer nations and there is a vast gap between developing and developed countries.
Marx predicted that the working class would develop class consciousness and realise their true position as wage slaves. This would then lead to a workers revolution, where a classless, communist society would be established. However, this is criticised because Marxism exaggerates the potential for conflict in society and people are more accepting of their position in society today. On the other hand, Marxism is realistic for the potential conflict in society – the news is still full of conflict, wars, rape and crime!
However during the Russian Revolution, 1917, when society came closest to communism, there was still a socialist government. Marxists argue hat they introduced a distorted version of...