Essay on the Relevance of Marxism in the 21st Century

It has been alleged that Marxism is essentially based on class analysis. But, today there are complex, multiple and even overlapping identities that demands tools and techniques beyond those offered by Marxism. These points have been raised by genesis of post-structuralism/post modernist framework of political analysis.

They decry the ideal of universalism and foundationalism having a epic of history. Rather they emphasize fragmentation and contingency as the basis of every social experience. It has been hinted that political theory can no longer have grand vision culminating in the realization of a communist or other society but different arrangements may be devised by people to suit their requirements. This line of thinking is accruing out anti-universalistic thrust advocated by post modernists.

Secondly:

Francis Fukayama points out that the collapse of communism in Soviet Union and move towards market economy in China marked the “triumph of liberal democracy as the only nobler form of government. It has been alleged that if anything, Marxism does not present a viable future in an ever changing world. Its bureaucratic centralism has been dubbed as a form of totalitarianism.

Thirdly:

The economic determinism of V Marxism neglects the autonomous role of politics and culture in collective life. Perhaps it fails to show as to why people respond differently to similar situations of crisis and upheaval.

Fourthly:

The revolutionary tinge of Marxism is the cause of contention. Many believe that it destroys the achievement of history in a single stroke of violence. Rather, peaceful transfer of power has become an accepted norm throughout the world.

Fifthly:

The rigidity and formalism inherent in Marxist predisposition render it difficult to deal with changes that one inherently local and expedient. High degree of centralization and control creates apathy among masses.

Despite, its failure and crisis Marxism continues to inspire millions of people throughout the globe. The reasons are:

Firstly:

Class analysis continues to offer the most viable and pragmatic tool of analysis in a highly in egalitarian social world. Perhaps none can deny that the world continues to be divided among ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’. Though there are other interests and categories but any broad categorization in the political analysis inevitably involves the issues relating to class.

Secondly:

The revolutionary potential of Marx continues to inspire people who have not benefited from capitalist ventures. The mechanism of rising expectations is being sought to be achieved through method devised by Marx.

Thirdly:

The highly egalitarian tinge of Marxism remains the only best alternative to liberalism. Regimes not benefiting from the capitalist modernization may get lured to doctrines that they may find more viable and attractive. As such, both people and the leadership in the developing world seek to interpret Marxism in their own way to suit their local milieu.

Fourthly:

The global economic integration in its longer turn is bound to produce, situations of scarcity and inequality wherein the deprived and isolated people would look to Marxism.

Failure of Marxism-Communism and its current crises is seriously a handicap for Marxist. But, it is survival of capitalism in its most robust form that makes Marxism more pronouncing.

Fukayama may say that there are no alternative to liberal democracy, but reality reveals that Marxism continues to inspire million who feel that they are cheated by modern capitalistic enterprises and its ethos. As such, Marxism is bound to bounce back the moment rises of capitalism become evident.