Why Karl Marx Actually Loved Capitalism

By Joshua T. Garcia on Tuesday, April 29, 2014
“The classes and the races, too weak to master the new conditions of life, must give way.” —Karl Marx, ‘Forced Emigration’

In A Nutshell

One of the most enduring stereotypes about Marxism is its supposed opposition to and rejection of capitalism. However, Marx’s explanation of communism is not as simple as rejecting capitalism. Marx saw history as a progression of societies attempting to produce as much capital as possible through exploitation of class differences. Communism was Marx’s idealized society, the ultimate realization of human progress: Humans produce as much capital as possible, sans classes. For this reason, Marx saw capitalism as a massive improvement on previous modes of production, especially since it would lead to communism.

The Whole Bushel

Karl Marx, the infamous father of modern communism, cannot be spoken of without an attached stigma in many Western nations. Along with Friedrich Engels, Marx developed and popularized communism for a modern audience, ultimately giving rise to numerous revolutions and social changes, which may or may not have deviated from his precepts.

To many, Marx is seen as a great enemy of capitalism, one of the core principles of industrialized nations like the United States. However, Marx hated feudalism and tribalism much more than he did capitalism. That’s because capitalism and communism had one major thing in common: the ability to produce material abundance.

For Marx, history was a progression. All of human history was the result of class struggle and exploitation, and that class struggle and exploitation was done in order to produce more material goods for a ruling class. Societies in prehistory were equal, without class, but were subject to material scarcity. After leaving prehistorical conditions, humanity could produce more material abundance, but were divided by class. Tribalism led to ancient modes of production, which lead to feudalism, and finally, capitalism.

Capitalism did away with the superfluous class boundaries of feudalism (which Marx detested) and created an extremely successful economic mode of production based only on two classes: the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. The bourgeoisie control the means of production and therefore the profit; the proletariat control the labor.

Marx loved materialism and consumerism. He loved industrialization and hated rural life. He wanted all of humanity to be able to live in the material abundance of the bourgeoisie. For this reason, he liked capitalism; it had eliminated the perceived uselessness of the classes of the Middle Ages, created a government only for managing bourgeoisie affairs, and produced vast amounts of capital for more people. Only with capitalism is communism possible, for only capitalism produced enough material abundance to satisfy everyone’s needs and wants.

Communism is capitalism controlled by the masses, putting an end to class exploitation. Once the proletariat controlled all aspects of capitalism, Marx believed humanity would be free.

Capitalism and Marxism aren’t so diametrically opposed after all: Their end goal is to produce huge amounts of capital, in the name of materialism and consumerism, by means of industrialization.

Show Me The Proof

The Communist Manifesto, Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx
A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy, Karl Marx
Encyclopaedia Britannica: Karl Marx

  • Rijul Ballal

    I don’t think anyone has really tried communism before, I mean what Marx suggest is a uprising and change of the masses,while we only seem to see Stalinist regimes calling them selves communists.

    • inconspicuous detective

      i’ve always been really, really intrigued by how personality affects communist ideology and the use of policy.

      for example, stalinism, maoism, i’d wager north korean politics, vietnam communism vs. the kumere rouge style, etc. there are wars fought between these supposedly similar countries who should all be on the same side.

      • Giang Huỳnh Hoài

        Carl Marx’s ideas were never meant to be practical. His theory can be interpreted in many ways and those who came in contact with his work were just subjects of many bogus experiments. Mao, Ho Chi Minh, Poi Pot… are all from backgrounds where the states used history as a mean to control people. Thus they lacked the ability to ask questions and immediately idolised communism. Personality of course played a big role in how these states’ communisms eventually evolved. Because there wasnt any ground rules and these guys read with their head full of biases toward the ruling class. This lead to stupid decisions such as agriculture abolishing, trade shut down… The consequences of which is a reversion toward the Stone Age, only with more people and less land. These guys weren’t economists, they were blind idealists that pretty much ruined the chance of these countries had to develop.

    • kiki123

      you can’t go cold turkey and try communism from night to day. What Karl Marx projected was that Capitalism eventually progresses to communism. It evolves, it segues,

  • AllegraArmendariz

    In actual ways Karl marx want to fight in the right of Labour Interest even Any firm does not discriminate any worker during pay the income.

  • Ican Aja

    Carl Marx’s ideas were never meant to be practical. His theory can be
    interpreted in many ways and those who came in contact with his work
    were just subjects of many bogus experiments. http://www.rumah-hook.com/p/cluster-pondok-cabe.html