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Encyclopedia > Orthodox Marxism

Orthodox Marxism is the term used to describe the version of Marxism which emerged after the death of Karl Marx and acted as the official philosophy of the Second International up to the First World War and of the Third International thereafter. Orthodox Marxism seeks to simplify, codify and systematise Marxist thought, ironing out ambiguities and contradictions. Marxism refers to the philosophy and social theory based on Karl Marxs work on one hand, and to the political practice based on Marxist theory on the other hand (namely, parts of the First International during Marxs time, communist parties and later states). ... Karl Heinrich Marx (May 5, 1818, Trier, Germany – March 14, 1883, London) was an immensely influential philosopher from Germany, a political economist, and a socialist revolutionary. ... The phrase Second International has two meanings: For the international association of socialist parties of the late 19th century, see Second International (politics) and a successor organization, the Socialist International For one of the Merriam-Webster dictionaries of American English, see Websters New International Dictionary, Second Edition This is... Ypres, 1917, in the vicinity of the Battle of Passchendaele. ... The term Third International has two well-established meanings: For the unabridged dictionary, see Websters Third New International Dictionary. ...


The emergence of orthodox Marxism can be associated with the late works of Friedrich Engels, such as Dialectics of Nature and Socialism: Utopian and Scientific , which were efforts to popularise Marx's work, make it more systematic and coherent, and apply it to the fundamental questions of philosophy. Orthodox Marxism was further developed during the Second International by thinkers such as Karl Kautsky and George Plekhanov. Kautsky and Plekhanov were in turn major influences on Vladimir Lenin, whose version of orthodox Marxism, known as Leninism or Marxism-Leninism became the official ideology of the Third International and Communist states. The terms dialectical materialism or diamat and historical materialism or histomat are associated with this phase of orthodox Marxism. Friedrich Engels (November 28, 1820, Wuppertal – August 5, 1895, London), a 19th-century German political philosopher, developed communist theory alongside his better-known collaborator, Karl Marx, co-authoring The Communist Manifesto (1848). ... Dialectics of Nature, by Friedrich Engels (1883), applying Marxist ideas to science. ... Karl Kautsky (October 18, 1854 - October 17, 1938) was a leading theoretician of social democracy. ... Georgi Valentinovich Plekhanov (December 11, 1856 – May 30, 1918; Old Style: November 29, 1856 – May 17, 1918) was a Russian revolutionary and a Marxist theoretician. ... Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, better known by the name   (b. ... Vladimir Lenin in 1920 Leninism is a political and economic theory which builds upon Marxism; it is therefore a branch of Marxism. ... Vladimir Lenin in 1920 Leninism is a political and economic theory which builds upon Marxism; it is a branch of Marxism (and it has been the dominant branch of Marxism in the world since the 1920s). ... The term Third International has two well-established meanings: For the unabridged dictionary, see Websters Third New International Dictionary. ... This article is about communism as a form of society and as a political movement. ... It has been suggested that Marxist philosophy of nature be merged into this article or section. ... Dialectical materialism is the philosophical basis of Marxism as defined by later Communists and their Parties (sometimes called orthodox Marxism). ... Historical materialism is the methodological approach to the study of society, economics and history which was first articulated by Karl Marx (1818-1883), although Marx himself never used the term. ...


Some characteristics of orthodox Marxism are:

// Sociological concept In social sciences, superstructure is the set of socio-psychological feedback loops that maintain a coherent and meaningful structure in a given society, or part thereof. ... When Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels created the ideology of Communism, many Marxists believe they inductively surmised what they saw as a law of history, an inexorable law, that ran throughout the course of history. ... Economism is an ideology in which supply and demand are the only important factors in decisions, and literally outstrip or permit ignoring all other factors. ... The word culture, from the Latin colo, -ere, with its root meaning to cultivate, generally refers to patterns of human activity and the symbolic structures that give such activity significance. ... The word gender describes the state of being male, female, or neither. ... This article or section should be merged with ethnic group Ethnicity is the cultural characteristics that connect a particular group or groups of people to each other. ... An ideology is an organized collection of ideas. ... False consciousness is the Engelsist hypothesis that material and institutional processes in capitalist society mislead the proletariat — and perhaps the other classes — over the nature of capitalism. ...

Critics of orthodox Marxism

There have been a number of criticisms of orthodox Marxism from within the Marxist movement. During the Second International, Eduard Bernstein and others developed a position known as revisionism, which sought to revise Marx's views based on the idea that the progressive development of capitalism and the extension of democracy meant that peaceful, parliamentary reform could achieve socialism. This view was contested by orthodox Marxists such as Kautsky and Rosa Luxembourg. (See anti-revisionism.) Eduard Bernstein Eduard Bernstein (January 6, 1850 - December 18, 1932) was a German social democratic theoretician and politician, member of the SPD, and founder of evolutionary socialism or reformism. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Rosa Luxemburg (March 5, 1870 or 1871 - January 15, 1919, in Polish language Róża Luksemburg) was a Polish and German Jewish Marxist politician, socialist philosopher, and revolutionary. ... In the communist or Marxist-Leninist movement, an anti-revisionist is one who favors a strict Stalinist or Maoist interpretation of Marxist-Leninist ideology. ...


Western Marxism, the intellectual Marxism which developed in Western Europe from the 1920s onwards, sought to make Marxism more sophisticated, open and flexible, examining issues like culture that were outside the field of orthodox Marxism. Western Marxists - such as Georg Lukacs, Karl Korsch, Antonio Gramsci and the Frankfurt School have tended to be open to influences orthodox Marxists consider bourgeois, such as psychoanalysis and the sociology of Max Weber. In parallel to this, Cedric Robinson has identified a Black Marxist tradition, including people like C.L.R. James and W.E.B. DuBois, who have opened Marxism to the study of race. Western Marxism is a term used to describe a wide variety of Marxist theoreticians based in Western and Central Europe (and more recently North America), in contrast with philosophy in the Soviet Union. ... Georg Lukács (April 13, 1885 - June 4, 1971) was a Hegelian and Marxist philosopher and literary critic. ... Karl Korsch (1886 - 1961) was born in Todstedt, near Hamburg, to the family of a middle-ranking bank official. ... Antonio Gramsci (IPA: ) (January 22, 1891 – April 27, 1937) was an Italian writer, politician and political theorist. ... Max Horkheimer (front left), Theodor Adorno (front right), and Jürgen Habermas in the background, right, in 1965 at Heidelberg The Frankfurt School is a school of neo-Marxist social theory (which is more akin to anarchism than communism), social research, and philosophy. ... Bourgeois at the end of the thirteenth century. ... Psychoanalysis is a family of psychological theories and methods based on the pioneering work of Sigmund Freud. ... Social interactions and their consequences are the subject of sociology. ... Maximilian Weber (IPA: ) (April 21, 1864 – June 14, 1920) was a German political economist and sociologist who is considered one of the founders of the modern study of sociology and public administration. ... Cyril Lionel Robert James (4 January 1901–19 May 1989) was a journalist, and a prominent socialist theorist and writer. ... W. E. B. Du Bois William Edward Burghardt Du Bois (pronounced ) (February 23, 1868 – August 27, 1963) was a civil rights activist, sociologist, educator, historian, writer, editor, poet, and scholar, and socialist. ...


In the postwar period, the New Left and new social movements gave rise to intellectual and political currents which challenged orthodox Marxism. These include Italian autonomism, French Situationism, the Hungarian Praxis School, British cultural studies, Marxist feminism, Marxist humanism, analytical Marxism and critical realism. The New Left is a term used in political discourse to refer to radical left-wing movements from the 1960s onwards. ... The term new social movements (NSM) refers to a plethora of social movements that have come up in various western societies roughly since the mid-1960s (i. ... For other meanings of autonomism, see autonomism (disambiguation) page Raised fist, stenciled protest symbol of Autonome at the Ernst-Kirchweger-Haus in Vienna, Austria Autonomism refers to a set of left-wing political and social movements and theories close to the socialist movement. ... The Situationist International (SI), an international political and artistic movement, originated in the Italian village of Cosio dArroscia on 28 July 1957 with the fusion of several extremely small artistic tendencies: the Lettrist International, the International movement for an imaginist Bauhaus, and the London Psychogeographical Association. ... Praxis school was a Marxist humanist philosophical movement that originated in Zagreb and Belgrade, SFRY, during the 1960s. ... Cultural studies combines sociology, social theory, literary theory, media theory, film/video studies, cultural anthropology and art history/criticism to study cultural phenomena in industrial societies. ... Marxist feminism is a sub-type of feminist theory which focuses on the dismantling of capitalism as a way to liberate women and states that capitalism, which gives rise to economic inequality, dependence, political confusion and ultimately unhealthy social relations between men and women, is the root of womens... The term Marxist humanism has as its foundation Marxs conception of the alienation of the labourer as he advances it in his Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844--an alienation that is born of a capitalist system in which the worker no longer functions as (what Marx terms) a... Analytical Marxism refers to a style of thinking about Marxism that was prominent amongst English-speaking philosophers and social scientists during the 1980s. ... In the philosophy of perception, critical realism is the theory that some of our sense-data (for example, those of primary qualities) can and do accurately represent external objects, properties, and events, while other of our sense-data (for example, those of secondary qualities and perceptual illusions) do not accurately...


See also

Classical Marxism Classical Marxism (sometimes known as Orthodox Marxism) refers to the social theory of Marxism as expounded by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. ...


 
 

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