Karl Marx political ideology was the famously known ideology of republicanism. Karl Marx expressed this republicanism ideology through the numerous books and other forms of publications that he did. The concept of republicanism ideology was based on the following political themes: “opposition to monarchy and to establish privilege, whether religious or corporate, and advocacy of a universal state based on the virtues of rational participation.” Marx advocated against censorship of the society members. He was of the opinion that censorship was a way of damaging the common good in the society. He argued that censorship was not a law promulgated by the state to its citizens, but it was a law of one individual against another. According to Marx, any law that tended to punish individual’s right to inclination was eliminating the citizens’ right to equality. To Marx, any law that brought division among the citizens was reactionary, and it ought to be eliminated as quickly as possible. Marx’s opposition to censorship was because it has a tendency of breeding corruption and opposition in the society.
Karl Marx political ideology also emphasized in political liberation. He argued that political liberation would result into liberation of both “the language of civic virtue and the language of individual rights.” In one of his written works, Marx examined the constitution of New Hampshire and Pennsylvania States as well as the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen in order to evaluate if political liberation truly results into liberation of civic and individual rights. Marx found out that, indeed political liberations resulted into liberation of the society. In a society where the political situation is well developed, the members live freely not only in thoughts, but also in the reality.
One of Karl Marx’s assumptions in his political ideology was that abolition of monarchy was only through large-scale political emancipation. Marx believed that partial emancipation would not help in full eradication of monarchy systems, which did not recognize equality of all. He also believed that large-scale political emancipation would assist in eradication of censorship. Marx also assumed that transformation of human nature contributed to human history. In his theory of human nature, Marx assumed that transformation of human nature entailed transformation of human beings as well as transformation of material objects.
In the year 1848, the entire Western Europe was locked by a wave of revolutions. It is during this time when Marx developed a number of ideas, and published in the ‘Neue Rheinische Zeitung’ newspaper. One of Marx’s ideas included the abolition of private ownership of property and land. To Marx, private ownership of property led creation of social classes, which led to exploitation of the poor by the rich: inequality. The other idea concerned the taxation system. Marx came up with an idea that advocated for grading of income tax according to individual’s income. He was of the idea that if one was earning high income, then, he/she was to pay high income tax. In the same way, those who earned low income were to pay low income tax. Another of Marx’s ideas was the elimination of inheritance rights, especially inheritance of property and land. The rationale behind this was to enable elimination of the private ownership of property and land.
Marx’s ideas of abolitions of private ownership of property and land, and elimination of inheritance rights were some of his revolutionary ideas. They are termed revolutionary because they contribute to economic changes in many parts of Western Europe. For instance, the ideas made a number of states, including Russia and German to declare devotion to communism. The governments of these states adopted Marxism principles and introduced state ownership of property, land, as well as other factors of production. These states practiced communal farming and/or state faring. All means of production were collectively owned, a thing, which led to formation of classless societies in these states. This led for achievement of equality, which Marx had advocated for, for a long time.
Marx also introduced the idea of centralization of transport and communication facilities to the state (government). This idea was closely related to the idea of centralization of all credit facilities in the hands of the government. Marx suggested creation of a national bank in every state, which would be supplied with state capital, accessible by all members of the state. Marx also brought the idea of equalization of obligations in all kinds of works between men and women. This idea also entailed establishment of agricultural and industrial armies, which would oversee the running of activities in these areas. The three ideas were also revolutionary because they contributed to the strengthening of socialism.
Another of Marx’s ideas was the grouping of manufacturing and agricultural industries together. This led to gradual elimination of towns and countries, whose existence had caused grouping of people into different social classes: upper class and middle class were those living in towns, while the low class (peasants) where those living in the countries (rural areas). Besides, the elimination of the difference between towns and countries led to equal distribution of population. Since agricultural and manufacturing industries would be found in both the towns and countries, people were no longer concentrated in the urban areas. Resources were equally distributed over the country, thus contributing more to the idea of socialism and equality.
The last of Marx’s ideas was introduction of free education. Marx was of the idea that every child was to access free education from a public school. He argued that by educating children, the society would benefit in the future from the innovations and inventions of the educated people in the society. This idea was also revolutionary because it helped in eradication of child labor in farms and factories.
Marxs’s ideas were very different from those of previous systems of government in Western Europe. For instance, those states, which practiced capitalism advocated for private ownership of property and units of production. Capitalist state of government did also not recognize removal of the distinction between towns and countries. Here, many agricultural and manufacturing industries were located in towns. Those residing in the countryside had very limited access to resources. They were peasants and practiced subsistence farming in small and unproductive pieces of land. Under the capitalists’ form of government, there was no free education for all. Those who were educated were the middle class and upper class people, who either had constant source of income through employment in factories or owned the factors of production.
In Russia, the working class welcomed Marx’s ideas, especially those that advocated for equalization of obligations in agricultural and manufacturing industries, and merging of agricultural and manufacturing industries. The working class believed that these ideas would make their lives better. However, despite the much support from the working class, Marx’s ideas were hard to apply in Russia. This is because, during that time, Russian economy was purely based on agriculture, where else, Marx’s ideas advocated more on creation of an industrialized society. The illiterate people living in the rural areas of Russia together with the conservatisms were against Marx’s industrial-based ideas despite the great emphasis on land reform, which was the biggest problem facing Russians who lived in rural areas.
Nonetheless, the working class still welcomed Marx’s ideas despite the opposition from conservatisms and rural-dwellers. Marx had placed a great deal of his efforts in supporting the industrial workers in advocating for equality, better working condition, and better pay. Marx required assistance in organizing the industrial workers. Trade unions were the best way to help organize industrial workers. In fact, trade unions had just emerged a few years before Marx started his political activities. However, during this period, trade unions were a great anathema in Western Europe since many of the rulers were capitalists, and did not believe in any form of equality. Therefore, their activities were banned in many states within Western Europe. Besides, even those who supported socialism during those days did not understand the importance of an organization for the working class. They termed it as useless and harmful to social development: especially due to strikes and boycotts. While there was a group of people who viewed trade unions as inclusive instruments of social change, they would not take part in them since they feared compromising the existing political order of the capitalist governments. It was clear that “none of these viewpoints understood the link of the trade union struggle for the emancipation of the working class and society from capitalist bondage and with the struggle for the capture of political power of the working class.”
Nevertheless, Marx felt that the working class was the only class that was capable of rebelling against the capitalist class. Thus, there was a need to organize them in groups, which would act as sources of strength to the class as they rebel against the capitalist class. In one of his publications: the Communist Manifesto, Marx said, “Of all the classes that stand face to face with the bourgeoisie today, the proletariat alone is a really revolutionary class. The other classes decay and finally disappear in the face of modern industry; the proletariat is its special and essential product.” This made Marx to increase his efforts towards formation of trade unions despite the opposition by the capitalist rulers.
Upon realization that formation of a political party for the working class was not possible without involving workers in large masses, the International Working Men’s Association statute was formed. It allowed association of trade unions with other organizations of the working class as well as individual membership to trade unions. This contributed greatly to strengthening of trade unions. Even after dissolution of the International Working Men’s Association, Marx continued to attach great value to trade unions. He continued to teach others about the importance of trade unions, and helped them unite the various signs of workers’ unrest through trade unions. He also worked closely with the leadership of the trade unions where he helped to establish, and gave them continuous guidance. Marx’s continued efforts in supporting trade unions were wide spread beyond Russia. The working class in America, France, German, and Italy started coming together as well, to fight against the capitalist class. After his death, the battle was picked up by Lenin, and later by the communist parties.