Marxism is a movement that focuses on economic and social systems as the foundation. The theory and movement first originated from highly intellectual German Philosophers: Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.
The topic is so complex and voluminous, but in short, Marxism is best summarized as a movement or theory that focuses on the struggles of all working classes and how to best analyze the social changes of our Western societies.
Marxism is opposed to capitalism and prides itself in being an economic system that focuses on private ownership in the forms of creation and distribution of various products and goods. It is often characterized by an easy to compete market and the main motivation of the possible profits.
This movement focuses on socialism and providing control to public ownership, creation of goods, the trading or distribution of the goods in question.
Capitalism abides by the working class being able to work to the max of their capacity, sell and own their own labor or the hours put into each workday. Marx, one of the philosophers defined the classes by the characterizations of the members and their chosen ability to produce.
He recognized and made it clear that all throughout history. Most struggles were the result of separation into various work classes, which would result win wars and conflicts.
Capitalism merely provided enough wages or a salary sufficient enough to supply food for the workers and their families. Rarely ever was their excessive money that could be used elsewhere to make these workers and their lives easier and more meaningful. The worker becomes faceless and is just valued for their labor, and the hours put in.
The capitalists take the end product produced by these often thankless workers and sell it at a reduced cost that is still profitable for the owner/company. Very rarely is the product sold with the labor taken into account. Surplus value makes the difference between how a worker will be paid and the individual price tag for each good.
Poverty occasionally still occurs in huge amounts and is usually the result of an economic recession or depression. These recessions are caused whenever the working classes are incapable to pay the full price for these goods, and the capitalists are unable to purchase or show no interest in the produced goods. According to Marx, to offset this inequality and imbalance, a socialist revolution must begin.
Communism is the byproduct of socialism from this movement.
In fact, the socialist abides by the slogan of “From each according to his ability, to each according to his work.”
This slogan has often been manipulated with time and may change depending on the specific circumstances warranted.
How did these two German philosophers feel about religion? The workers controlled by capitalism and capitalists were often miserable and faceless, the beliefs in religion were often maintained and encouraged. Marx concluded that pain was a sign of being alive, and to make us aware of our sufferings.
Marx later concluded his findings in his writings “In towards a Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right”.
He made it very clear in his texts that the working class was indeed a different revolutionary class that was all too familiar with universal suffering.
This misery and constant sufferings endured by the working class made it necessary for religions and the stability that a religion often provides. In summary: Religion was highly encouraged and was often what encouraged hard workers to get through every single day; regardless of the circumstances.