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What Is Marxist View on the Causes of the War?

Essay by   •  March 13, 2013  •  Essay  •  365 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,645 Views

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According to Marxism, wars in human history are always closely linked to social class economic interests and class struggle. Marxism accepts that capitalism; hence, the capitalist mode of production gives birth to two classes in society, the owning bourgeoisie and the working proletariat, which are inherently antagonistic towards each other's existence and prone to class conflict. Also, the capitalist states represents the interest of the bourgeoisie controls the means of production, which is basically the states materials power and economic foundations.

Marxists embrace the materialist conception of history, which puts forth the idea that historically crisis and change between classes are inevitable; capitalism is just a means to society's economic development and socialism as opposed to evolution be realized. Keneth Waltz offers his interpretation, "War is the external manifestation of the internal class struggle, which makes the problem of war coeval with the existence of capitalist states". These basic tenets of Marxism offer the underpinnings of the analytical framework Marxist use to view conflict in world politics.

In addition, Marx and Engels' idea of dialectical materialism offers an extremely valuable approach to the individual level of analysis of conflict and warfare in world politics. Historically, events that have culminated into conflict of social forces between one man and another, one class against another, or one society against another have all been driven by man's material needs. Material needs compass any resources, the ability to exploit all resources, and essential physical security of the resources and these capabilities. Therefore, economic interests on a micro level, as well as a macro level, have always influenced the individual's actions and the actions of any collective group of individuals.

In an influential tract titled Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism, Lenin advanced the Marxist thesis that Western imperialism - the late-nineteenth century scramble for colonial territories - was an unmistakable sign that capitalism was teetering on the brink of extinction. Imperialism, according to Lenin, was a logical outgrowth of the cutthroat competition characteristic of monopoly capitalism.

According to Marxism - Leninism, war is not inherent in human nature or society. Moreover, it is not eternal phenomenon. When class antagonism is put to an end to, there will be no more necessity of war.

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