Mid –semester assignment 2
Marxist Economic Thought and Recent Global Developments
2. Marxist Economic Thought
3. The Neo-Marxist Economic Theory
4. Dependency Theory
6. Other Recent Global Developments
Marxist Economic Thought
In 1867 Karl Marx published Das Kapital, a work that systematically and historically analyzed the capitalist system. His theories would provide much of the material for arguments that have opposed development models based on capitalism and the laissez faire system.
Marx lived at a time when capitalism was at its prime - it was spreading throughout the world. Members of the capitalist class had become masters of both the social and political spheres. Their power was the fruit of the industrial revolution and of the many political and military battles that the capitalist class had waged against the nobility. The capitalists had joined with the working class to wrestle power away from the nobility. The first great battle, labeled the French Revolution, was fought in 1789 in France. In 1848, once again beginning in Paris, the capitalists staged a new revolution with the help of the working class. As a result of these victorious revolutions, the capitalists obtained political control. According to Marx, this allowed the capitalist class to create a government that would allow it to exploit the working people. Thus, for Marx the government was nothing more than a tool of the capitalist class.
Marx believed that just as the capitalist middle class had relied on revolutionary movements to wrestle power from the nobility, so, too, could the working class, called the "proletariat," eventually overthrow the capitalist middle class. For Marx, the eventual fall of the middle class was not only desirable, it was inevitable. He reached this conclusion based...