Karl MarxKarl Marx was a German scholar who lived in the nineteenth century.
Hespent most of his life studying, thinking and writing about history andeconomics. A many years of study, much of it spent in England, he believedthat he understood more deeply than anyone who had ever lived before himwhy there is injustice i world.He said that all injustice and inequality is a result of oneunderlying conflict in society. He called it a ‘class struggle’, that is,a conflict bet the class of people who can afford to own money- producingbusinesses, whom he called ‘capitalists’ or ‘the bourgeosie’, and theclass of people who do not surplus money to buy businesses and who aretherefore forced to work for wage whom he called ‘workers’.Marx said that, because it was always in the economic interest ofcapita to take advantage of or ‘exploit’ workers, nothing could persuadecapitalists change their ways. In other words, peaceful progess towardequality and social justice was impossible. The only way to establishjustice, he said, was for t workers to overthrow the capitalists by meansof violent revolution.
He urged workers around the world to revolt againsttheir rulers. “Workers of the world unite!” he wrote. “You have nothing tolose but your chains.”Another thing Marx taught was that organized religion, the churches,help capitalists to keep the workers quiet and obedient. Religion,according to Mar ‘the opiate of the masses’. The church tells workingpeople to forget about the injustice they meet in their lives and to thinkinstead of how wonderful it will in the after- life when they go to heaven.Marx, with his colleague, Engels, spread his ideas in two famousbooks, Capital’ and ‘The Communist Manifesto’.
In the early years of the twentieth century, Russia was ready for theide Marx. The Russian people were extremely discontented with their ruler,Tsar Nicholas II, who had little interest in governing and was neglectingthe count badly. Making conditions even more miserable for the people werethe hardships the First World War and a particularly cold winter.By 1917, the Russian people were desperate enough to accept arevolution. fact, they got two for the price of one, the first in Marchwhen the Tsar was deposed and a provisional government was set up. Then inNovember a political called the Bolsheviks led a further rebellion whichousted the provisional government. The leaders of the Bolsheviks, Lenin andTrotsky, began to build a Russia, one built on the ideas of Marx, whereeveryone was equal, where all property was owned by ‘the people’ ratherthan by capitalists and where the two were in control of the government.Not long afterward, Communist Russia was attacked by Britain, Americaand France, who wanted to get rid of the communist government.
They wereafraid the workers in their own countries might be inspired to imitate theexample of Rus Trotsky, a highly intelligent and energetic communistleader, led the defence Russia with great success.After Lenin’s death in 1924, a power struggle began between Trotskyand a leader within the Communist Party named Stalin. While Trotsky was abrilliant intellectual and an idealist, Stalin was a simpler, quieter sortof person, who based his power not so much on plans and ideas as onalliances with other member of the Communist Party. While Trotsky believedin Russia’s trying to assist two all over the world to rise up in communistrevolutions against their bosses, S wanted Russia to take care of its ownbusiness.The rivalry between the two leaders went on for several years.Eventually 1929 Stalin gained the upper hand and drove Trotsky from Russia.Stalin later up a scheme to industrialize the backward country which hecalled the Five-Yea Plan.
It included a number of Trotsky’s ideas whichStalin had previously opposed.As Russia developed under Stalin, members of the Communist Party tookfor themselves many privileges. All the original communist ideals of Marxreceived service, but it became clearer and clearer that members of theCommunist Party becoming a ruling class that was not equal to non-members.Most important of all to Stalin was ensuring that he remained inpower.
H often used the most brutal tactics. Chief among his creations weretwo highly effective political weapons – an efficient propaganda machinewhich more and m promoted the idea of Stalin as a great, nearly god-likeleader, and a secret p force which kept the country quiet through the useof terror. At one point during his rule,