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Manuri Ardo


Civ 101

Prof quesenberry


The Contributions of liberalism and Marxism on the modern

world civilizations


Liberalism and Marxism are theories of international relations that have played a vital role

on today’s world civilizations. Liberalism and Marxism have hugely contributed to the

modern world civilizations through their supporting ideas and programmes they advocated,

and also through the rejected social and political norms they advocated. First of all, this

paper aims to discuss the idea of these theories, then figure out their contribution on the

modern world civilizations. The paper will first start with liberalism, its definition, its

classification, the supporting ideas and programmes of liberalism, and how they contributed

on the modern world civilizations, the rejected social and political norms of liberalism, and

how the rejection of the norms contributed on the modern world civilizations, then lastly the

liberal’s goal. The paper will then move to Marxism, its definition, the terms involved in

Marxism, how capitalism and socialism operates, class relations and societal conflict,

Marxist critics on capitalism, Marxist law, Marxist view, and lastly its contributions.

Liberals define liberalism as “a political philosophy that was found based on the ideas of

equality and liberty”. Liberalism originates in the 17th century by john lock. John lock was

an English philosopher, who was described generally as the father of modern liberalism.

John lock, being the first person to develop the liberal philosophy, he described some basic

principles of the liberal movement. These principles are, “the right to private property and

consent of the government”. During the age of enlightenment, liberalism became a divergent

political movement, and it became a popular movement among the western world

philosophers and economist (Minegue et all, 2009).

Classification of Liberalism

Liberalism has been classified into two classifications. These are classical liberalism and

social liberalism. Classical liberalism is a political ideology that advocates civil liberties in a

state under the rule of law, and also lay emphasis on the freedoms of economic. So basically

classical liberalism is based on fighting for liberty in every society. Liberals define Social

liberalism as “a political ideology that believed individual liberty requires a level of social

justice in every society”. John lock argues that every human being has a natural right to

three things, which are, the right life, right to liberty and the right to property. Therefore

government must not violet those rights for its social contract. So basically social liberalism

is based on equality. It’s believed is that, everyone must be treated equal in every society,

and government must not intervene in individual’s life in order to deprive his liberty.(

Minegue et al, 2009).

The supporting ideas and programmes of liberalism

Liberalism has generally, both classical and social liberalism come up with some ideas and

programmes in order to make life easy for humans, which has contributed enormously on

the modern world civilizations. These ideas and programmes are:

 Freedom of speech
 Freedom of the press
 Freedom of religion
 Free markets
 Democratic societies
 Secular governments
 Gender equality
 International cooperation

First of all, freedom of speech is the process when individuals have the right to express the

their opinions in their society. So liberalism came up with the idea of freedom of speech in

every society. So this idea of freedom of speech has contributed on the modern word

civilizations, because having the right to express your opinion is part of civilization.

Freedom of the press is also close to freedom of speech, but is just that in freedom of press,

you express your opinions through books, newspapers and magazines. Freedom of religion

has also contributed to the modern world civilizations, because when you have the right to

choose your religion is part of civilization. Free market, having the right of free markets is

also part of civilization. Democratic societies, this also contributed to civilizations in the

modern world, by given people the right to choose their representatives and leaders. Secular

governments, to ensure that governments is not connected to any religion an spiritual

matters, which has also contributed. Gender equality, some even believed that it is this

supporting idea of liberalism that gives rise to feminism movements. So having gender
equality is also part of civilization. The last but not the least, international cooperation,

which also has contributed to civilization.

The Rejected social and political norms

Liberalism has rejected some social and political norms in order to make life easy for

humans. These are:

 Hereditary privilege

 State religion

 Absolute monarchy

 Divine Right of King

Hereditary privilege is a system where a single family will have the privilege of inheriting a

title in a society. So liberalism believed that hereditary privilege is not a good political

norm, therefore liberalism rejected that. State religion, liberalism also believed that having a

state religion is not the way, which is why it supports the idea of freedom of religion, and

rejected state religion. Absolute monarchy, liberalism also believed that ruling in the system

of Absolute monarchy is not the best way of ruling. This why liberalism support and

advocates the idea of democratic societies, and reject absolute monarchy. The last but not

the least, Devine right of king. In this system, the king or ruler drives his right to rule

directly from the will of God. So liberalism also rejected that, because it is a government

that is connected with religion. This is why liberalism supports the idea of a secular

government. So I believed the rejection of these social and political norms has also

contributed on the modern civilizations, because through the rejection of these norms, many

citizens acquired their rights.

Liberal Goal

According to John lock, “Liberals are committed to build and safeguard free, fair and open

societies, in which they seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and

community, and in which no one is enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity ...

Liberalism aims to disperse power, to foster diversity and to nurture creativity.”


Marxism is a method of socioeconomic analysis that analyses class relations and societal

conflict using a materialist interpretation of historical development and a dialectical view of

social transformation. Marxism originates from the mid-to-late 19th century works of

German philosophers Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. It is the political and economic

theories of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, later developed by their followers to form the

basis for the theory and practice of communism (Ollman, 2011).

Marxist methodology originally used a method of economic and socio-political inquiry

known as historical materialism to analyse and critique the development of capitalism and

the role of class struggle in systemic economic change. According to Marxist perspective,

class conflict within capitalism arises due to intensifying contradictions between the highly

productive mechanized and socialized production performed by the proletariat, and the

private ownership and appropriation of the surplus product (profit) by a small minority of

the population who are private owners called the bourgeoisie

Terms Involved

One cannot explain Marxism theory without defining three terms. These are: Capitalism,

Socialism and Communism

Capitalism is a political and economic system, where individuals own the means of

productions and control of the economy in a society.

Socialism is a political and economic system, where Government owns the means of

productions and control of the economy, planning the best for people in a society.

Communism, it also a political and economic system that works like socialism, but

communism is a level of socialism.

How capitalism operates

Below is a pyramid showing how capitalist system operates

If you look at the above picture, it shows how capitalism works, it is showing that, in a

capitalist system, the bourgeoisies are just after their profit, and the proletariats are those

suffering. If you take a good look at the button of the picture, the proletariats are saying

“we eat for you” meaning they eat just to work for the Bourguasis, but the BUrguasis

said “we rule you, We snoot you and We Fool you”.

How socialism operates

Below, is a pyramid showing how socialism work

If you look at the above picture, it shows how socialism works. It is basically showing that

in a socialists system, the proletariat have more freedom, because if take a good look at the

button of the picture, the proletariat said “we eat you” meaning they are benefiting from the

government, while the government only said “we rule you”.

Class Relations and Societal Conflict

Marxism believed that there are two classes of people in this world. These are the

Bourgeoisies and the proletariats.

Bourgeoisies are those that own the means of productions, while proletariats are the working

class. Under Bourgeoisies, there are petite bourgeoisies. Petite Bourgeoisies are small

business owners, sometimes served as landlords. Under Proletariat, there are Lumpen

Proletariats. Lumpen Proletariats are those that have no use for the class struggle, such as :

Criminal. Prostitute and a beggar

However, Marxist believed in a capitalist system, there must be sort of inequality between

the bourgeoisies and the proletariats, because the bourgeoisies are indirectly oppressing the

proletariats. So Marxist believed that an oppressor will never offer freedom until tht

oppressed ones demand for it. So this is what will give rise to the class struggle or societal

conflict. The class struggle will give rise to the struggle for socialism. The struggle for

socialism is the struggle for proletariats democracy. The struggle for proletariats democracy

will result to socialism. Socialism will eventually result to communism.

Marxist Critic on Capitalism

According to the Marxist theoretician and revolutionary Vladimir Lenin "the principal

content of Marxism" was "Marx's economic doctrine”. Marx believed that the capitalist

bourgeois and their economists were promoting what he saw as the lie that "The interests of

the capitalist and of the worker are one and the same"; he believed that they did this by

purporting the concept that "the fastest possible growth of productive capital” was best not

only for the wealthy capitalists but also for the workers because it provided them with

employment (Ollman, 2011).

Marxist Law

Marxist came up with the law of the negation of the negation. Marxist believed that one

cannot undergo a development without negating the previous mode of existence. So they

believed the transition from private ownership to social ownership, is the negation of the

negation, and is an inevitable way of human development. Thereby Socialism is the

negation of capitalism.

Marxist View

According to Karl Marx, “you hate Authoritarian Governments, yet have no problem with

hierarchical capitalist structures.” So Karl Marx viewed capitalism as a sort of Authoritarian

government. So there is no way one can hate Authoritarian rule, and at the same time be ok

with hierarchical capitalist structure. He also stated that “The Proletarians have nothing to

lose but their chains” .So believed that when socialism arrived, the proletarians are not

going to lose anything rather they are going to benefit from it. Thus, the bourgeoisies s are

those that are going to lose.

Marxist Contributions on the Modern World Civilizations

Socialism has contributed to a strong central Government to safeguard social justice and the

interests of people in societies.

 Worker safety
 Slavery abolition
 Eight hour work day
 Social security
 Rights of minorities
 Defending trade unions
 Defending the poor
 Defending collective bargaining
 Social welfare


In conclusion, I believed liberalism and Marxism have really played a vital role on the

modern world civilizations through the supporting ideas programmes, and also though the

rejection of some social and political norms. So with above mentioned and explained

supporting ideas and programmes of liberalism and Marxism, and the rejected social and

political norms, liberalism and Marxism have a huge potion on today’s world civilizations.

Minegue et all, 2009, Liberalism Politics. Retrieved {online} see more at:


Liberalism: History, Ideology, and Influence Chapter 4 / Lesson 3 Transcript reatreaved {online}

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Student daily news, 2010. Liberals beliefs, retrieved {online} see more at:


All about Marxism, 2002. Retrieved {online} see more at: http://www.allaboutphilosophy.org/what-

is-marxis m-faq.htm

Ollman Bertell, 2001. What is Marxism? A Bird's-EyeView. Retrieved {online} see more at:


Britannica, 2003, Marxism. Retrieved {online} see more at: