Chapter 18 • Revolutions of Industrialization



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Possible answers:

• Many of Marx’s and Engels’s predictions still ring true. For example, the industrial revolution has both revolutionized the productivity of modern economies and brought much of the world into a single economic system.

• The new system is prone to crises of overproduction.

• Labor has to a certain extent become a commodity

• In some places a communist system was instituted following a revolution.

• There are tensions between proletariats and bourgeoisie in the system.

• The monotony and the discipline of the factory system as described by Marx does exists in some industries.

• However, many of the most industrialized nations in the world have not experienced proletariat revolutions or instituted communist systems.

• In those nations that did experience communist revolutions, the system was not able to operate in the manner conceived by Marx.

• What Marx describes as the lower middle class have not disappeared.

• The family remains more than merely an economic unit.

Q. How do Marx and Engels describe the socialist society that will follow the collapse of the capitalist system? Why do they believe that only a revolution, “the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions,” will enable the creation of a socialist society?

• The socialist society will centralize all instruments of production in the hands of the state and eliminate all class distinctions. Public power will lose its political character as it will no longer be used to oppress one group to the benefit of another. It will create a system where the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all.

• Marx and Engels foresaw only revolution achieving a socialist society because they believed that class struggle was the primary motor of historical change. The very basis of the capitalist bourgeois system in the accumulation of private property makes it impossible for the two systems to co-exist, and it is based on the exploitation of proletariats, so there is no way to modify the system to diffuse class conflict or satisfy the needs of the proletariat.




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