Difference Between Marxism And Communism

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According to the Oxford Dictionary, Marxism is defined as ‘the political and economic theories of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, later developed by their followers to form the basis of communism’ (Oxford Dictionary). These theories were first set out in the Communist Manifesto and later in Das Kapital and formed a ‘scientific’ interpretation of history based on the ideas of class struggles and how economic development and social change would lead to an eventual state of Communism (Corrin & Fiehn, 2002). The ‘class struggle’ as described in Marxist theory is a fundamental difference between Marxism and Socialism, with Communism as the ‘end-product’ (Spalding, 1999). According to Marxist ideology, this class struggle takes the form of a revolution…show more content…
As a source this is incredibly valuable as within it Marx lays out the fundamental principles of Marxist ideology. The limitation of this book as a source is that the language used is archaic and it was written at the request of the Congress of the Communist League, meaning that whilst it contains the essential core of Marxist ideology, it was influenced by the Communist League and their ideological…show more content…
Lenin outlined the Bolsheviks key belief and interpretation of Marxist ideology to suggest that the ‘organisation must inevitably be not very wide and secret as possible’ (Wood, op.cit. See Appendix 2). This assertion that the party must be small and secret demonstrates a key difference in Bolshevism than in the original Marxist theory. The belief that the party should consist mainly of ‘professional revolutionaries’ led to the split of the Marxist party into factions; the Mensheviks and the Bolsheviks (ibid. See Appendix 2). The pamphlet, which was written and published by Lenin in 1902, is a useful source in determining some of the differences between what would become ‘Bolshevism’ and Marxist ideology. It is valuable as it outlines some of Lenin’s interpretations and views of Marxist ideology and his stance on how the revolution should occur. However, this pamphlet was written with the objective to not only express Lenin’s views but in order to persuade others to share his view. The source was also written just before the Bolshevik-Menshevik split, and could have been written to provoke a reaction from those who did not share the same views as Lenin as well as to persuade others to join Lenin’s

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