Marxism Essay Example: Socialism Currents


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Similarities and Differences of Marxist Socialism Currents

Marxism Essay Example: Introduction

In nineteenth-century Europe, Marxist socialism seems to deal with different issues by sharing some common themes, but at the same time, it is a movement devoted to different views on some issues. Contrary to what was thought, Marxist socialism is an attitude that came out in the 19th century by thinkers who came before Karl Marx. But the intense industrialization that emerged after the industrial revolution caused many thinkers to react to the increasing class division. In contrast, Marx and Engels simply did not react and formed the basis of the Marxist idea of socialism. For this reason, they are considered the pioneers of socialism. One of Marx's most important works with Engel is “the communist manifesto” ("Working with Evidence," n.d.). The ideas set out in the Communist Manifesto constituted the most resonant ideas of the period. Especially by forming the basis of many different currents, feminism formed the starting point of ideas such as democracy and revolution. Socialist and communist thinkers such as Eduard Bernstein, Clara Zetkin, and Vladimir Lenin were so directly influenced that Marxist socialism was at the heart of it, albeit with very different ideologies.

Body Paragraphs

The first issue that Marxist socialism divided into different views in the 19th century Europe was in fact the neglect of the middle class and its exclusion from the equation. But the thinkers that Marx influenced did not quite agree with him. Eduard Bernstein, one of the most influenced thinkers who later took important steps, turned away from radical Marxist views as he approached socialism ("Eduard Bernstein," 2021). War for the working class to get their rights was a feared issue for everyone. It was a phenomenon that could not be difficult especially in politics and was often not accepted ("Different Threads," 2019). For such reasons, Bernstein had to change his Marxist mindset to a more democratic socialism in order to achieve change. In fact, Bernstein makes it clear in his thoughts and expressions that he deviates from Marx on certain issues. Their divergence confirms that a sizable middle class is ignored by Marx and that this class is a stable part of modern society. Democracy was a much more peaceful and realistic approach to gain acceptance among societies and bring the middle class closer to socialism.

Marxist feminism points to its advocating materialist thought, which has its roots in the material and economic state as its cultural foundation. In primitive society, other than the home-produced in-home production were also under the control of men. Later, Engels led to the concentration of production outside the home, thus creating a surplus in the productivity of men's labor that could be acquired as this wealth, which enabled the man to gain new economic power over the woman. In the later periods, Clara Zetkin carried out studies in order to find a more common view and made studies in terms of the system in which women can take part in the patriarchal system. The socialist current, which was generally effective in Europe, had to specialize at certain points. Marxist socialism focused on very general concepts and judgments, lacking in women's rights and women's place in society. In socialist thought, while men were trying to find the place of women in this thought, they were discussing whether giving rights to women would harm socialism. Famous German feminist and socialist Clara Zetkin worked to bridge the gap between the two social movements and fill the thought gap. According to Zetkin's mindset, feminism and socialism protect proletarian class rights at a common point. According to Zetkin, the rights of the sexes in the society cannot be seen separately and the protection of the rights in the working class is possible with a genderless perspective ("Working with Evidence," n.d.). However, the feminism Zetkin advocated did not include all women. Zetkin was extremely opposed to the inclusion of capitalist women in this struggle. This was because capitalist women were not doing enough for their freedom and rights. This point of view indicates that Zetkin does not fully protect women's rights ("Working with Evidence," n.d.).

Unlike Eduard Bernstein and Clara Zetkin, Vladimir Lenin believed in a much harsher and revolutionary socialism ("Working with Evidence," n.d.). No thought was suitable for Marxism that, in his opinion, was not a destructive revolution. Vladimir Lenin, leader of the Russian Social Democratic Workers Party, faced harsh reactions against socialism in Tsarist Russia. In the end, he believed that a new socialist state should replace Tsarist Russia. Believing in and trying to apply it, Lenin set out with a much more revolutionary spirit. It was a time when political parties and different ideas were prohibited in Russia at the stage when Lenin's ideas about socialism were formed. For this reason, a democratic transition process was unthinkable for Lenin ("Working with Evidence," n.d.). Lenin tried to take socialism to its next logical step through revolution, creating a powerful socialist organization that could be fought against the revolution. In Lenin's thoughts, the working class is not capable of assuming its own rights. For this reason, professional revolutionary identities that understand the politics that will represent them in politics should represent them. They differ with Marx on this. While Marx thinks the working class can do its own actions, Lenin thinks it needs a revolutionary intermediary ("Different Threads," 2019).

It is seen that 3 different Marxist thinkers who have been examined have dealt with Marxism differently in their special subjects. Eduard Bernstein argues that a much more balanced social structure can be established with democratic socialism. But in its approach to democratic socialism, it has moved away from the radical point of view in Marxism. Clara Zetkin, on the other hand, advocated the early equality of women by combining feminism and socialism.

Marxism Essay Example: Conclusion

But after all, the feminism he created while trying to build a bridge between Marxism and feminism is an idea that does not include all women. Finally, Vladimir Lenin believed in a revolutionary and more subversive Marxism that was absolutely free of all the ideas that posed socialism. In addition to all differences, there are basic Marxist elements such as the working class and protecting its rights at the basis of all ideas.


"Eduard Bernstein." Encyclopedia Britannica. Accessed March 27, 2021.

"Different Threads of Marxist Socialism in Nineteenth-Century Europe." Chat History. Last modified February 23, 2019.

"Working with evidence." In n.d.

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