What are the essential elements of Marxism


The Marxism is a philosophical, historical-political and economic social theory that understands itself as a science. According to this theory, capitalist society is characterized by the existence of class antagonisms. While the class of the non-haves ("proletarians") has to sell their labor in order to be able to live, the haves - ie. H. the owners of the means of production - the non-possessors. To end this relationship of exploitation means to abolish private ownership of the means of production. The final historical state of a society of the “free and equal” is communism. “Marxism” is a collective term for a variety of related theoretical approaches and political positions; they are all based on the teachings of Karl Marx (1818–1883) and Friedrich Engels (1820–1895). Marxist theory sees itself both as a science and as a guide to action.

The goal of Marxism is a classless society in which “the free development of everyone is the condition for the free development of all”, says the “Manifesto of the Communist Party” by Marx and Engels. Guided by this ideal, he critically analyzes the existing conditions. In this way he wants to determine the conditions and ways with which these relationships can be overcome and transformed in a revolutionary way.

The contradictions that result from the opposition between “capital” and “labor” are decisive for overcoming the capitalist system. According to Marxist doctrine, these opposites, in particular their supposedly inevitable intensification, are the prerequisites for revolutionary changes in capitalism. At the end of the process should be communism - a new society in which this irreconcilable contradiction is abolished by the abolition of private ownership of the means of production. For Marxist-Leninists, the intermediate stage on the way is socialism.

The Marxism-Leninism was the party ideology of the "Communist Party of the Soviet Union" (CPSU) and thus the official worldview and state doctrine of the former Soviet Union. It was also binding for all socialist countries oriented towards the Soviet Union. Composed of the teachings of Marx and Engels and their further development by Lenin ( actually Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, 1870–1924), but also from contributions by Josef Stalin (1878–1953) and other later additions, Marxism-Leninism claims to be a logically self-contained scientific system Target for the construction of a socialist society under the leadership of the communist party, for the international class struggle of the proletariat and for the revolutionary change in the world.

According to the Marxist-Leninist point of view, history proceeds according to certain regularities. According to this, socialism as a “higher”, more humane and economically superior form of society will ultimately replace capitalism in a revolutionary way internationally. The carrier of the revolution is the “working class”. In order to fulfill its historical mission, however, it needs an “avant-garde” - a leader and teacher - namely the “new type” communist party. It is largely characterized by a strict centralism, which is provided with the addition "democratic" (ie: "democratic centralism"). However, this has nothing to do with democracy in the sense of the free democratic basic order of the Basic Law; it is characterized by the prohibition to form factions within the party.

Stalinism describes on the one hand the teaching of Leninism, which was further developed by Josef Stalin (1878–1953) from the mid-1920s, and on the other hand its practical expression in the Soviet system of rule. Characteristic of Stalin's dictatorship were ideological rigidity and the narrowing of Marxism-Leninism to totalitarian power politics and personality cult, abolition of civil rights and freedoms, all-embracing rule of the communist party, terror against large sections of the population, "Stalinist purges" with the murder of supposed and actual people political opponents, opposition members and entire population groups as well as the orientation of the world communist movement towards or its subordination to the foreign policy interests of the Soviet Union.

The Trotskyism as an international Marxist-Leninist current is based - regardless of its organizational fragmentation - on insights that Leon Trotsky (1879–1940) developed in the 1920s in opposition to Stalin. However, these can hardly be described as a self-contained teaching. The essential Trotskyist elements include the theory of the “permanent revolution” and the associated criticism of the “bureaucratic degeneration” of the Soviet Union, as it had occurred since the rule of Stalin, as well as the belief in the world revolution (in contrast to Stalin's “socialism in one country ”), the goal of establishing a“ dictatorship of the proletariat ”in the form of a council democracy and adherence to proletarian internationalism.

The specifically Chinese expression of Marxism-Leninism is called Maoism designated. The latter has developed over the course of decades. It was based on the ideas of Mao Tse-tung (1893-1976), especially after the victory of the communists in China in 1949. As revolutionary communism, Maoism emphasized the leadership role of the communist party in building up the peasant partisan war. Unlike Lenin, Mao advocated the strategy of "land surrounding the cities"; H. he attributed the leading role to the Chinese peasantry but not to the industrial proletariat: the peasants were seen as the bearers of the revolution and the mainstay of communism. Accordingly, the developing countries are the revolutionary center for Maoists.
In the Federal Republic of Germany, the Maoists are deeply at odds with one another and apart from referring to Mao's ideas, they have little in common. They reject the former Moscow communism, strive to build a communist cadre party and advocate the “dictatorship of the proletariat”, the armed uprising and the smashing of the state.