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The Communist Utopia of Karl Marx

Andrew Bryan


Philosophy 1000

MWF 12:00-12:50

A. Israilevsky
Karl Marx was born in Germany on May 15, 1818, to a middle class family,

eventually relocating to London, England, and became a man without state. He spent

much of his life studying political economy and Hegelian philosophy, and his ideas and

following are collectively known as Marxism. He was known primarily for his favor for

the communist political and social system, and authored a number of works outlining his

ideal society and the flaws of the existing capitalist societies. Marx was a radical atheist,

preaching that God was a myth, and that religion was the opium of the people (Marx,

1843). This ideology led to the persecution of people from all religions, including a

political ban on many Christian denominations. His belief, rather, was in the power of

science. He held science as the highest form of human knowledge, and believed that

through the power of science humanity could build the communist society. This was

Marxs revolutionary plan, his ideal society, where everyone was equal and cared for, as

he thought necessary. He devoted his life to the development of his communist utopia

and sharing his radical philosophy, which gained an incredible following, leaving Marx

among the most influential people to live. His anti-capitalist, anti-corruption mindset

spread like a wildfire.

Karl Marx developed his ideas from a hatred for the capitalist system. He

despised the imbalance of the classes, unequal education, minority oppression, and

alienation caused by the bureaucratic capitalist government and proposed an objective

contradiction to the capitalist problem through his communist ideology (Israilevsky,

2017). He claimed that all history of existing society is the history of class struggle,

arguing that throughout history, there have been two types of people- the oppressor and

the oppressed (Marx, 1848). The capitalist society, in his view, divided people into their
market value, and was the ultimate reason for human insubordination such as crime,

violence, drug use, and even things like psychological illness, poverty, and economic

crises. It has been a consistent problem through history, and he claimed, was an

essential part of human history. He believed that human history was a logical sequence

of socio-economic systems. The first of these was what he called the primitive phase,

where humans were communal and existed to help each other. As power became

noticeable, slavery developed, which was the second phase. From there society moves

to a feudal function, where it was all about who owned the most land. Capitalism

follows, with free markets and an open economy, where class separation came from

individual income. He believed that the next stage of evolution for humans was the

communist system, and he would argue against capitalism in effort to push humanity to

their next level of capability (Israilevsky, 2017).

Though he did adamantly despise capitalism, Marx was aware of the benefits of

such a society, and did see some good in them. He noted that capitalism was good for a

lot of reasons, but the negative effects of the society far outweighed the positive. Among

the things he believed to be efficient and good about capitalism was its effective

economic structure. Capitalism bolstered great universities where people could gain an

elite level education in a field of their choosing, leading to a workforce more prepared

than many other societies, which would advance science and technology (with help

from big corporations which would provide the funding for research and development of

new innovations). These were great things to further a society of business, and he

praised its economic ability. However, the pitfall of capitalism was not in its economic

capacity, rather in its tragic disregard for the individual citizens. Some of the biggest
issues capitalism created included the exploitation of the working class, where there

would be unequal distribution of the economy. The production of capital creates the

imbalance, and the capital is a symbol of social power, it is no longer seen as only a

personal power (Marx, 1948). The poor economic distribution would separate classes

and create poverty, crime, violence, and drug use, and psychological issues like anxiety

and depression would run rampant.

The cure for all of this, according to Karl Marx, was his communist utopia.

Communism would eradicate society of many of the fundamental issues created from

capitalism. Some of the ideas proposed that would be included in a fully functional

communist society include absolute equality in every sense of the word, absolute

mutual respect, and excellent and equal education for all citizens. He believed that there

was no reason for suffering or struggle, and that people should all get the exact same

benefits. There would be no private property in his communist society, everyone would

essentially own or have access to everything (within the law). He believed this sense

of equality would instill a sense of unity in the citizens of his society, where everyone

would be enthusiastic to work, everyone was viewed as equal, treated equally, and

given equal resources.

There are six essential stages to accomplish a full-fledged, functioning

communist society. It starts with the global recognition that capitalism is not ideal, and

the citizens must renounce it as a system. They have to turn away from it and cease to

support the system further. This would inevitably cause class struggle, as the

government would take extreme measures to counter what had happened. Communism

refers to the working class as the proletariat, and states that this class must overthrow
the capitalist regime through revolution in order to achieve its goals. This would be

something that needed to happen globally, not just by state after state. Once this

revolution has occurred, the proletariat will rule indefinitely- headed by one special

leader with the talents necessary to guide the rest of the way to communism. This is the

phase that usually ends the progression of communism, because it allows leaders to

become too power hungry, and they dont want to lose their position, leaving the society

in an authoritarian or totalitarian system ridden with flaws and mistreatment of the

citizens (Dhar, 2014). However, according to Marx, if this succeeds to his expectations,

the leader will build a socialist system in which people begin to work together to kill

remnants of capitalism bit by bit. There will still be some capitalist institutions, such as

economic/business functionality, but slowly each one will be knocked off as citizens

work together toward a mature socialist society. Once the adult socialist state has been

established, there will be total equality, no private property, no owners of the means of

production, and the proletariat will run supreme (Dhar, 2014). There will be no more

political parties, there will be no more police brutality, economy would be steady, people

would be out of oppression and poverty, crime and violence would cease, and humans

would advance as a race.

Marx had a different interpretation from most on the meaning of a dictatorship. To

him, and in his time, before leaders like Hitler and Mussolini, it was not viewed as

individual rule by one person or party, rather was attached with an ancient Roman

connotation, where the leader was elected for a certain amount of time to carry out

necessary actions and typically was only instated during times of crisis. It was his

explicit description of the proletariat dictatorship- rule by all common folk, all middle
class workers, the hefty majority of any advanced society (Ollman, n.d.). The power

would lie in the people, truly, without the interference of political partisanship alignment

and special interest groups manipulating the choices of the governing authorities with

bribery and special treatment. In Marxs utopia, the people are in charge, unlike the

utopian ideals of later regiments like Mussolini, Stalin, and Hitler. Marx saw communism

as the ultimate form of human society, the most ideal for everyone, and most perfect

and functional possible method of human community.

Throughout history, communism has been attempted and failed many times.

Currently, there are five existing communist states, including the Peoples Republic of

China, the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam,

the Lao Peoples Democratic Republic, and the Republic of Cuba. The most functional

and strict communist society is that of North Korea, according to Robert Service, author

of Comrades! History of World Communism (Porzucki, 2013). These countries are in the

socialism phase, where capitalist institutions still exist, though very few in number in

Korea, countries like China and Vietnam are quite active in the global economy. In

1917, the Bolsheviks (led by Vladimir Lenin) overthrew the existing feudal monarchy in

Russia, and successfully led the country into a socialist state, the first major attempt at a

communist society on a grand scale. Six years later, Lenin died, splitting the USSR

between the followers of Lenins second in command, Leon Trotsky, and Joseph Stalin,

general secretary of the Communist Party. The efforts made by Trotsky and his

followers proved futile, and Stalin later exiled him from the country as he assumed

control. The Soviet Union would succeed for over sixty years, until the eventual

resignation from presidency by Mikhail Gorbachev in 1991, after he had allowed the
creation of a multi-party system and elections for leaders and pushed the country

toward democratization with the help of the Bush administration and the United States

(Trotskyite, 2009).

Karl Marx had a big vision of how the world should work and influenced millions

for generations. Though he did not invent communism as a system, he had so many

publishings on the ideology and such a big following that Marxism has become

synonymous with communism. He coined the term capitalism which gained him huge

support. His ideas of equality in every sense- even down to personal possessions- and

his distaste for class struggle and class separation are among his key ideas. He wanted

to rid the world of capitalism, which he believed would eradicate many mental health

issues, crime, violence, and poverty, effectively creating an enthusiastic workforce that

was willing and able to do their jobs and would be able to afford a standard lifestyle and

get the same opportunity as everyone else. The economic infrastructure of capitalism is

founded on greed and manipulation, followed by lies and corruption, and the real power

of a country is in its backbone- the working class average people. The elite rich

capitalist society needed to be dissolved in order for humans to take their next step in

evolution, according to Marx, and through his teachings of equality, science, and anti-

religious efforts he would influence men in positions of power for generations to come.
Works Cited

A Brief History of Communism. (2009, November 23). Retrieved November 28, 2017,


Dhar, M. (2014, January 30). What Is Communism? Retrieved November 27, 2017,


Israilevsky, A. (2017). The Rise and Fall of the Communist Utopia of Karl Marx.

(Lecture, notes). Retrieved from our class November 13-17, 2017.

Marx, K. (1843). A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right (J.

O'Malley, Trans.; A. Blunden, Ed.). Oxford University Press (1970).

Marx, K., & Engels, F. (1848). Manifesto of the Communist Party. United States:

Hierofalcon (2017).

Ollman, B. (n.d.). Marx's Vision of Communism. Retrieved November 27, 2017, from

Porzucki, N. (2013, December 10). Retrieved November 28, 2017, from