Essay Questions On Marxism

Marxism Essay Examples

To what extent is Marxism a flawed political ideology?

Ever since Marxism was established as a political ideology it has been subject to much scrutiny; as Karl Marx gave his opinions of society based on either scientific evidence or personal belief, it was only natural that some would disagree and thus criticise his convictions. The majority of Marx’s ideology was based on the idea… View Article

The highlight reel of marxism in American football

Abstract: During many weeks in 2010, the Football dilemma started to arise as a social issue in society. Raising the question of what should be done if any by the National Football League to prevent traumatic and sometimes deadly hits on the field. Varying degrees of opinions as to what should be done; questions include… View Article

The US 1900 To World War II

Populism in America came about when farmers made up a huge percentage of the population.  These farmers realized that the economic environment of the times were not encouraging for them.  In the 1870s they experienced hardships that prompted them to move westward in search of better opportunities, from their homes in Ohio, Alabama, Virginia and… View Article

The Visions And Intensions Of Karl Marx

From the content of the Manifesto of the Communist Party, it is seen that Marx and Engels are not talking of any freedom but freedom from exploitation, freedom from class oppression, and freedom from class conflicts. In this sense, society cannot be considered free until it replaced capitalist exploitation with the free collaboration of all… View Article

Marx’s Theory of Alienation

Marx used the ‘theory of alienation” to expose what he claimed as a highly exploitative, unfair social relationship existing in a capitalist system which effectively divides society into two opposing groups. He argued that this unfair social relationship came into being because of the “concept of private property” which, according to him, refers to a… View Article

Radical And Liberal Theories Of Inequality

Social inequality (as a general philosophical and social concept including, before all economic inequalities along with the modern racial and gender issues of disparity) has always been a characteristic feature of human society therefore it is not surprising that majority of ancient and contemporary social philosophers are involved into discussion of how the inequality came… View Article

Karl Marx and Alienation

Karl Marx in his time was known for his research on the alienation of the employees in the workplace. It was during that time in the Industrial Revolution did Karl Marx publish his book Das Kapital which not only criticized the system of capitalism but also the state of the workers working at long hours… View Article

Marxism in the USSR

Marxism has been the prevalent ideological engine of the former Soviet Union during the Cold War. However, upon the economic collapse of the former Socialist Republic, the ideological thought of Marxism still further remained or spread in other countries but utterly disappeared in the newly formed Russian Federation. One reason why is because the very… View Article

Morality depends on God’s command

Humans, from the cradle to the grave, are taught to respect society and its many pre-existing intricate systems, often with no rhyme nor reason.  How can one really know what, and if, social systems are beneficial to them, when one is forced to live under the watchful eye of the society who created these systems,… View Article

Fantasy V Reality – Streetcar Named Desire

Fantasy v reality Remember: AO1 communicate clearly the knowledge, understanding and insight appropriate to literary study, using appropriate terminology and accurate and coherent written expression. DuBois World * “old south” mindset * Aging Southern belle who lives in a state of perpetual panic about her fading beauty * Beginning she was half sane, then contributing… View Article

Prewar Marxism in Japan

Marxism was coined after its proponent, Karl Marx who believed that the abuses of capitalism would eventually lead to uprisings of the masses particularly of the working class. According to him, the aggrieved plight of the working class will become the key in unleashing the inevitable clashes between the classes. In his argument, Capitalism will… View Article

Karl Marx and Human Nature

I have taken for my study one chapter from the book Marx and human nature by Norman Geras. In the second chapter Norman Geras deals with the human nature and historical materialism. Although many Marxists denied Marx’s theory of human nature that there was a human nature to be found in Marx’s words, there is… View Article


While Liberalism was a philosophical system that produced capitalism as an economic system, Marxism was a reflection of the problems that existed in a capitalistic society. Therefore, Marxism was the idea behind two new economic systems, socialism and communism. Liberalism is the idea of universal human rights, equality and the protection of private property. Capitalism… View Article

Social Control and the American Dream

The American Dream, by definition, is the traditional social ideals of the United States, such as equality, democracy, and material prosperity. To an individual, this means that they are born equal to everyone around them; that they have the same opportunity as the person next to them to work hard in order to achieve their… View Article

Compare and Contrast Two Sociological Theories We Have Looked

In this essay I am going to be looking at two of the main sociological theories; Marxism and Functionalism. In the main body of the essay I will be looking into the history of these theories, when did they become popular and why were they so? I will then make a comparison of the two… View Article

E491: History of Literary Criticism

Karl Marx Study Questions
Selections from Norton Anthology

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from Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 (1844)

1. What basic philosophical error does Marx say the Political Economists commit when they enunciate the laws of economics? (765)

2. What does Marx appear to mean by his term "alienation"? In what senses are workers alienated? Why, according to Marx, is this process of alienation inherent in capitalist production? (765-67)

3. How does Hegel's Master/Slave dialectic apply to Marx's commentary about workers' alienation? How, for example, does the capitalist relate to the worker and to commodified objects? How do workers relate to the commodified objects they produce and to their employers? (765-66, general question)

4. Why, by implication in Marx, is labor central to human existence? What fundamental assumption/s about human beings underlie Marx's theory of alienation and his comments about labor? (general question)

from The German Ideology (1845-46)

5. What is a camera obscura? What does this term imply about the possibility of arriving at true statements about human relations? Does the figure imply that we can actually perceive ourselves and the world directly? (768)

6. What basic philosophical error does Marx accuse German Idealists like Hegel and Kant of committing? (768)

7. Why is it that "Morality, religion, metaphysics, [and] all the rest of ideology [...] have no history"? What constitutes real history, as Marx sees it? (768-69)

from The Communist Manifesto (1848)

8. In what sense might Marx's notion of history as "the history of class struggles" be indebted to Hegel? How does Marx's formulation of the concept of struggle differ from what Hegel discusses in the Master/Slave dialectic? (769-70, general question)

9. Trace the development of the bourgeoisie. That is, within and against what historical conditions did this class arise -- how did feudalism generate the bourgeoisie, and how did the bourgeoisie come into conflict with the basic property relations of the feudal order? (770-71)

10. What distinguishes the "epoch of the bourgeoisie" from all previous ones? How does this distinction spell trouble for the continued existence of capitalism, according to Marx? (770)

11. How does Marx interpret the activities of the "executive of the modern State"? (771)

12. In what sense is the bourgeoisie a "revolutionary" class? How does it strip away the illusions held by members of pre-capitalist societies? With what does it replace them? (771-72)

13. On the whole, what attitude does Marx suggest that his readers should take towards the advent of the capitalist order? Is its coming a positive development in human affairs? (772-73, general question)

14. We know that market societies produce objects for sale as commodities, but in what sense might they be said to "manufacture" new desires? Why would that be necessary? (772)

15. On 772, Marx describes capitalism as an international phenomenon that tends to give a "cosmopolitan character" to production and consumption all over the world. How would you relate his comments to what people today are calling "globalization"? Is capitalism fully compatible with the idea of separate, sovereign nation-states? (general question)

from Grundrisse (1857-58)

16. How does this selection demonstrate that Marx's status as an "economic determinist" (one who sees economic affairs as the direct basis for our ideas about the world and ourselves) is more complex than some of his "vulgar Marxist" followers?

17. What is the source of Greek myth?

18. What, according to Marx, accounts for the fact that we can still enjoy Greek art even though we no longer believe in the Greeks' mythology? To what extent is he describing a kind of "nostalgia" for an irrevocably lost stage in human development?

19. Our Norton editors call this selection from Grundrisse a rather hasty formulation, not a truly "thought-out" formulation of the relationship between art (an amazingly sophisticated element of the "superstructure") and the material basis of life. Nonetheless, what suggestions does the selection hold for us regarding the task of literary criticism and theory?

from "Preface" to A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy (1859)

20. What assumptions does Marx the "scientific socialist" make in this selection concerning the process of history and our ability to comprehend that process, describe it, and even make predictions on the basis of our understanding?

Capital, Vol. 1, Ch. 1., Section 4: "The Fetishism of Commidities and the Secret Thereof." (1867)

21. What is a fetish? Look up the word in a good dictionary or impress me with your knowledge of anthropology or comparative culture studies. What fundamental misconception about the relationship between humans and the world of nature does fetish worship indicate to a Western, "scientific" philosopher like Marx?

22. What is a "commodity"? How does it differ from an ordinary object? (777)

23. How does the fetishism of commodities have its origin "in the peculiar social character of the labour that produces them" (777)? What does the exchange of commodities obscure or mystify?

24. On 780 and following, how does Marx use Daniel Defoe's tale about Robinson Crusoe to explore the assumptions of political economy?

25. Explain Marx's use of human relations under feudalism and in a "peasant family" (780-81) as a counterweight to the capitalist economic system. But is Marx actually praising feudalism or advocating that we should return to something like it?

26. How might a system function so that "[t]he social relations of the individual producers, with regard both to their labour and to its products . . . [would be] . . . perfectly simple and intelligible"? (781)

27. What basic criticism does Marx level against a commodities-based society on page 782? What is the point of his quip on 783, bottom, from Shakespeare's Much Ado about Nothing?

Edition:The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. Ed. Vincent B. Leitch. New York: Norton, 2001. ISBN: 0393974294.



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