Communism

  • Advocates of Socialist theory like Marx and Engels, and later Lenin postulated that human history is advancing towards Socialism. But it is not the final form of society in which working class will be free of exploitation. Working Class will be free in higher form of Socialism called Communism.
  • Marx and Engels had preferred to use the term Scientific Socialism in their work ‘The Communist Manifesto’.  Socialism is considered to be the first stage of Communism.
  • Communism may be defined as a movement which seeks to eliminate capitalism. It aims to create a classless, stateless society through a proletarian revolution followed by the establishment of the dictatorship of proletariat.
  • In a communist society the state will wither away and the capitalist class will be non- existent. According to Marxism religion justifies exploitation and property in the name of God’s will. In a communist society there is no place for religion.
  • Key features of communism are Marxism as its ideological base;capitalism is an inherently evil system, faith in revolution and dictatorship of the proletariat. Communism is based on the ideas of Karl Marx.
  • The main tenets of Marxism are: - I) Dialectical Materialism, ii) Historical Materialism, iii) Economic Determinism, IV) Surplus Value, v) Class Struggle
  • Lenin formulated the theory of capitalistic imperialism. According to him capitalism leads to growth of monopoly capital which is used for exploitation of markets abroad or imperialism.
  • Lenin propagated one common revolution of the peasant and working class. According to the critics the theory of Dialectical materialism is borrowed from Hegel. Communism attaches importance to economic factor alone as sole determinant of social change, which is not always true.
  • The Marxist socialist view of the state is totally opposed to the individualist-liberal view. Marxism regards the state as a class state i.e. the instrument of the Bourgeois class for exploiting and suppressing the poor. It functions for protecting the interests of the rich.

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  • Q1

    The Marxist concept of state as an instrument of class exploitation has been weakened by rise of which type of state?

    Marks:1
    Answer:

    Welfare states

    Explanation:

    Welfare state has shown that state can also be an instrument for ensuring medical and pension benefits to workers besides providing free education. State thus cannot be dismissed as a mere instrument of capitalists for exploitation of workers.

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  • Q2

    Theory of surplus value has been criticised for ignoring…

    Marks:1
    Answer:

    Cost of material input, risk, management and marketing

    Explanation:

    Theory of surplus value stresses on labour as key and only ingredient needed for surplus formation. This is limited understanding of economic processes. It fails to account for  costs like entrepreneur risk, management, marketing and quality of raw material input in generation of surplus

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  • Q3

    A communist society will be ruled by…

    Marks:1
    Answer:

    Dictatorship of the proletariat

    Explanation:

    Communism holds that after the overthrow of capitalism by a worker revolution, the dictatorship of the proletariat will be established and operationalized. It will be used to eliminate all remaining features of capitalism.

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  • Q4

    Marxist theory is constituted of which of the following concepts?

    Marks:1
    Answer:

    All of above

    Explanation:

    Communism is based upon the ideas and theories propounded by Marx. The main theories that provide foundations to the ideology of communism are:- Dialectical materialism,  Historical materialism, Economic determinism, surplus value, class struggle and theory of classless and stateless society.

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  • Q5

    Enumerate any five criticisms against Communism ?

    Marks:6
    Answer:

    Critics have pointed out various limitations and contradictions in the theory of Communism.

    1) Communism ignores the existence of the middle class and wrongly accepts the existence of only two classes: the haves and have nots.

    2) Communism believes that class struggle is the only relation existing between the rich and the poor. But critics are of the opinion that it is unhistorical to say that history of society has been a history of class antagonism.

    3) The critics believe that the value of a thing depends on many factors like – the cost of production, market forces and negate the theory of surplus value.

    4) Marx has rightly emphasised the role of material factors in the evolution of the society but the critics say that he has arbitrarily divided the whole of historical process of evolution into five stages.

    5) Communism overlooks the merits of capitalism. The failure of communism in USSR and other east European countries and Vietnam and the adoption of capitalist economy by the socialist countries showcase the importance and value of capitalism.

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