1) “The 20th century brand of socialism, following the Bolshevik victory as the prototype of socialisms, has nothing to do with socialism as envisaged by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.” Discuss how different is prevailing socialism from that of Marx’s socialism

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Topic: Political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.- their forms and effect on the society

1) “The 20th century brand of socialism, following the Bolshevik victory as the prototype of socialisms, has nothing to do with socialism as envisaged by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.” Discuss how different is prevailing socialism from that of Marx’s socialism. (200 Words)


  • thevagabond85

    Is question not asking about Marxism vs neo-marxism?

    • yes we can

      madhav, your 1 point in last paragraph is gr8 .

    • yes we can

      yes but question include socialism also

  • Aim_2016

    The history of socialism is rooted in the advent of French revolution and later industrial revolution, when people began thinking rationally regarding social problems. Specially, poverty came to be seen as a consequence of social practices and not divine will. In such situation, some sociologists like Marx, postulated that the society needs to be liberated from the clutches of bourgeoisie class, so as to ensure equal distribution of wealth and remove majority of social ills, like poverty, illiteracy, diseases, etc.

    Marx and Engels saw only economic inequality as the only reason for the lack of equality in the society and that implementation of a Communistic society will solve all the problems.
    The Bolshevik revolution on the other hand, had several other causes, like:
    1. Loss of faith in leadership of Czar
    2. Russia’s disastrous involvement in WW 1 and the impending social crisis
    3. Repeated dissolution of Duma by the Czar, so as to further legitimise the autocratic rule

    The prevailing socialism in the world is different from Marxism in several different ways:
    1. Today, most country’s follow democratic socialism, where both public and private sectors can flourish, whereas Marx wanted to remove private sector
    2. Marx wanted the proletariats to snatch power from the bourgeoisies by means of a bloody revolution, but in today’s scenario, cooperative co-existence is witnessed between both lower and upper classes
    3. According to Marx, the society is polarised into only the weak lower classes, who are in majority and powerful upper classes, who are in minority. But in reality, there is a large economic hierarchy, according to the economic strength of different people
    4. According to Marx, economic equality will solve all problems, but in present world, various other parameters, like traditions, caste, religion, etc. exist, which impose inequality in the society.
    5. Marx’s socialism is anti-religion, where he proposes religion to be a drag on a person’s development. But according to Weber, religion and economics are related and complement each other, which can be seen in today’s society too.

  • Madhav Binzani

    Socialism envisaged by Karl Marx was based on revolution of proletariat i.e the working class against the exploitation of bourgeoisies i.e the capitalist class. According to Marx, Working class will overthrow the capitalist class and all the capitalist owned industries will be owned by the the working class, which he described as a socialist society and there on stateless and classless society will be developed which will be the true communist society.
    However this never happened and some thinker says that Russian revolution is the closest of socialism. But there are sharp differences between the both.
    1. Marx said that change was to be brought by the people (mainly working class) against the capitalist class, but Bolshevik Revolution was directed towards autocratic rule of Tsarist rule and not against the capitalist class.
    2. Marx never said about single party led socialism but he trusted people with the revolution of change. This does not happened in Bolshevik Revolution and Bolshevik party dominated the revolution.
    3. According to Marx, all the factories and industries in a socialist society should be governed by workers, but Bolshevik nationalised all factories and took it in state control.
    4. Marx talked about disappearance of state, but after Bolshevik revolution, state was the prime instrument of control.

    In today’s world we follow socialistic principles but not socialism as dictated by marx.
    1. Marx wanted stateless and classless society but we see today state is becoming more powerful with the help of caste and class division.
    2. Marx philosophy was directed towards a society with no money,no commodity, no wages/salaries and just free individual completely dealienated from society, but the scenario is completely different.
    3. Communist country like China are dominated by single party rule which is not Marxian socialism.
    4. Marxian socialism was based on individual centric approach whereas in this globalising world society’s are becoming more and more relevant.
    However different the socialism is today, the contribution of Karl Marx to it cannot be neglected. He showed the mirror to the evils of capitalism and his philosophy forced them to change their way of working and gave a working class perspective in science of politics.

    • Lovedeep singh

      Really good

    • Aj854


    • Prash

      take a bow…
      also , a point of private property can be added as it exists today in socialistic country while marx was completely against it


      Marx’s socialism was based on individual centric approach while today societies are becoming more relevant, can u elaborate it because how much I know about socialism it mainly focus on collectivism some time it is criticized because of giving more importance to collectivism over individuals and when we talk about globalization it means expansion of capitalism where individualism reach at its pinnacle at the cost of society.

      • Madhav Binzani

        Yes, u r right…..
        After reading comprehensively, i found that marx was more a collectivist than an individualist and globalization is leading to more and more individualistic societies…..
        That point should be reframe…
        Thank you for enlightening me….

    • R1

      accha hi…par you have mixed Marx socialism and communism.

    • Nivedita Singh

      Please explain 2nd point clearly in second para…..

      Rest is good

  • AaNchaL

    please review

    • FinalAttempt

      u clearly elaborated all aspects of both the socialism.. but u can add its impact of real world..

    • Rudrani M

      Your answer is very good. Here are a few points you could have also added
      1. There is a difference between Marxian socialism and the prevalent concept of socialism. Whereas for Marx it is the final stage of progression of society ( history of society will end here because there will be no contradiction in the economic infrastructure) for Lenin and others present socialism is a transitionary stage. After socialism stage a final stage of communism will come in which the state will wither away.
      2. Marxian economic infrastructure was based on the idea of associated mode of production but for Lenin and others it was commodity mode of production.
      3: Marxian revolution was characterised by a socially conscious working class revolting together. There will be no leader, they will be united by their understanding of the inherent contradiction. Their alienation Unites them. ( subjective understanding of objective reality ). For Lenin and others, the revolution will be carried out a vanguard party, which will lead the generally disgruntled workers but not necessarily having subjective understanding of objective reality.
      4. Finally for Marx, socialism is a way of life where there will be no state, no class and everybody will voluntarily contribute for the betterment of society. But for lenin socialism is a concept of strong state which will work for the common benefit of whole people

      • Sam10

        Well framed lucid answer. Just onething can’t we end answers with some concluding remarks to make it open ended

        • Rudrani M

          I couldn’t get you..

          • Sam10

            I was talking about concluding rather any flat ending…

            • Rudrani M

              This isn’t my answer, I just gave few points to Anchal.. I write my answers on a paper..

              Regarding conclusion, yes it is must and conclusion should be satisfactory with future plans or supplemented with government initiatives or schemes..

              In this case conclusion could be of their comparison in some realistic way, but open ended conclusions according to me should be avoided…

              • Sam10

                Okay….relax…take it lightly….
                One more thing..how is the objective is different from feature.? Can i use ojective as a feature in context of the question related to ipr policy??

                In these question where a particular philosophy (having lots of subjectivity involved) has been the point of discussion then how will an open ended conclusion make sense??
                P.s. just a doubt..without any other intent

  • Shiuli

    • We Stand for JUSTICE

      don’t you think the question demands just basic difference between the two…i feel there’s no need for citing specific examples, general view is the demand i feel…pls also review mine

    • Pinnacle

      Nice answer shiuli.

      Please review my answer of Q.6 (IPR Policy)

    • Mustafa Ali Shah

      i don’t think there is a need to mention russian revolution in detail.. the questions asks differences between prevailing socialist models and the one envisaged by marx..

      • Shiuli

        Agreed.. I misread and thought there’s a fullstop between Discuss and How.. Anyways, thank you for pointing it out..

  • Ambarish

    Socialism as envisaged by Marx was based on egalitarian principles. It was democratic with the ultimate authority vested in the hands of the people. Marx was highly skeptical of the state and the state had a minimal role to play in his conception of a future society. He even wrote that gradually the state would wither away.
    The socialist experiment in USSR, though popular and backed by the people was not without its share of contradictions and opposition. The inconvenience of dealing with opposition and voices of dissent was done away once Lenin consolidated his grip on power. Slowly the ‘communist’ state denigrated from being socialism based on democratic principles and popular support to a command system disguised as the “Dictatorship of the proletariat” – however in reality there were no members of the proletariat calling the shots
    The Soviet brand of socialism came in full bloom under Stalin. This period was characterized by brutality, suppression and setting up of a police state. This myth was bursted when the USSR disintegrated under its own contradictions and lies perpetrated by 70 years of Communist Rule

    Socialism in the present day context
    Socialism has been nearly wiped out from all over the world. Though quite a few countries pay lip service by inclusion of words such as “Socialist” in their names or constitution none of them overtly follows this agenda. The years especially post recession have led to socialism/ democratic socialism gain currency in the first world highlighted by the rise of left leaning leaders such as Bernie Sanders in the USA, Jeremy Corbyn in the UK and Tspiras in Greece. At the same time, socialism has seen its currency wane in strongholds such as Latin America where we increasingly find right wing govt being voted in power. In India itself we find the CPI CPM facing an identity crisis
    Modern day socialism differs from Marx’s socialism one key parameter: ownership of resources. A wide majority of leaders and political outfits swearing by the side of socialism have acknowledged this as to be a utopian dream. Instead they envisage a socialist state to be a state which fulfills its basic responsibilities towards its citizens on a rights based approach

    The development of politics in the coming decade along with the rise of some socialist leading personalities coming to power would help us give a clearer picture of socialism in the world

  • We Stand for JUSTICE

    pls review

  • Saurabh

    Please review…

  • ankgarg0402

    Socialism, in general, is an economic and social system based on public or collective ownership of the means of production as opposed to capitalism.

    The Bolshevik version of socialism envisages a State with a one-party rule (no recognised opposition); having primary means of production under its control and centralised planning. On the other hand, Marxian socialism professed free association of individuals with no State, labour or money; all of which was considered forms of repression.

    The Bolshevik version saw its version as a transition phase to communalism which was similar to Marxian version of socialism. On the other hand, Karl and Engels saw no distinction between i.e. Socialism is Communism.

    The theory of State never existed in the Karl and Engels version of Socialism while Bolshevik interpreted it to have ultimate power in a single power ruled by him.

    It can be argued that the twentieth century Socialism had nothing to do with that envisaged by Marx and Lenin. In fact, the noble principles that gained aspirations of the repressed commons were misinterpreted to gain absolute powers and authoritarian rule.

  • Mahi

    Socialsiam is an ideology which gives primacy to state in the process of economic development .
    According to marx capitalism is an exploitative system where capitalist oppress proletariat. Marx wanted a revolution which will overthrow the capitalist system to bring socialism which will leaf to communism.

    Socialsiam according to marx is an intermediate stage where property and means of production would be own by the state. And the concept of private property would wither away.

    The Bolshevik revolution which overthrow czarist rule had promised that life of workers and farmers would improve. But it didn’t happen , the consolidation of land and other measures brought more hardship to the people. The five year plan though succeed in soviet union but ultimately it broke down in 1991. And slowly market driven capitalism came.

    The prevailing socialism is much different from that of what marx envisioned.
    Now very fee countries subscribe this philosophy and that too in modified form . eg Nehruvian socialism in India where both star ownership and private property was allowed.
    The star though is welfare oriented but market has its own role to play.

  • nikhil

    Twentieth century socialism

    1.single party rule with no opposition

    2.state ownership on means of production

    3.centralised planning

    4.revolution after 1917 was not socialist but democratic

    5. also known as guild socialism, anarchist socialism and
    market socialism

    6.real socialism

    Marx Socialism –

    Association of free individuals

    2. Dealienated society ,no commodity ,no money ,no salaried labour and no state.

    3. Production in the hands of associated individuals

    4. Basis of this socialism is human emancipation

    5. No differentiation between socialism and communism.

  • El Nino

    The prevailing socialism, developed after Bolshevik victory, differ from Marx’s socialism on two fundamental Grounds:

    i. Party and state – Marx’s socialism, an association of free individuals and completely de-alienated society with no commodity, no money, no waged or salaried labour and no state. All these are considered as instruments of exploitation and repression of a class society used to rule the majority by a group of minority.

    The Twentieth century socialism is a system of party–state, in total opposition to Marx’s socialism. China, Cuba, Vietnam etc are rules by single party and exists in the form of a state.

    ii. Source of production – Marxian socialism is based on the “associated mode of production” but in present socialist states mode of production is controlled by the state.

    iii. Socialism to communism – Marx’s socialism is the final state of affair and there was no concept of transition to communism. But the present idea of socialism only the transition towards communism.

    The present the concept of socialism and capitalism is merging in the form of welfare state. China has allowed private investment and large scale production and U.S has social sector schemes like Obama care. Important thing is that rights of people should be protected to fulfill the dream of Karl Marx.

  • Prash

    “The 20th century brand of socialism, following the Bolshevik victory as the prototype of socialisms, has nothing to do with socialism as envisaged by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.” Discuss how different is prevailing socialism from that of Marx’s socialism. (200 Words)
    Socialism prevailing in current time is very much different from what has been suggested by Marx and Engels.Following significant differences can be cited to justify the point –
    a. Marx stated for dictatorship of proletariat as a next stage from capitalistic society while currently dictatorship of state has been observed in many socialistic societies like Russi, China.
    b. Rather than democratisation and decentralisation of power, power can be seen to be concentrated in single party.
    c. Marx predicted a stateless and casteless society. However, hold of states is tightening in present socialistic countries.
    d. While Marx and Engle was against any private property, it can be seen in limited form in current socialistic societies.
    e. Distorted versions of socialism like War communism by Lenin has led to diversion of resources and impoverishment of people rather than welfare.
    f. Coexistence of socialistic and capitalistic societies can been seen together contarary to Marx prediction of complete downfall of capitalistic society.
    As MArx did n’t suggest a way to achieve socialism. Hence, different ways to achieve it has led to its different variations like Communism, Maoism etc. But surely, roots of all these branches converge at MARX and Engles.

    • Prash

      words -196

      • SYA

        Good answer Prash. What I can suggest here is you could have given little background about how bolshevik by cutting few differences or merging 2 into one . Still the answer is satisfying .
        please review my answer .


    The socialism concept given by Karl marks – state controll factors of production, is different from modern socialism where the state is facilitator, controlling strategic industries. India is an example to new socialism, a mixed economy.

    Post economic depression of 1935, WW 2, western countries like USA, UK has partially turned to mixed economy, evident was state intervention in health, education, socio economic policies.

    M N Roy, Bhagat Singh, Nehru were few of our freedom fighters who apprised Karl Marx socialism however post independence we had not fully followed the ideals of socialism.

    Karl Marx socialism, anti to capitalism is nowhere being followed in the world. Sovereign nations are intervening to the needs of their citizens especially poor by allowing capitalists in large scale production – FDI, indigenous investment.

    The countries which were followed purest form of socialism -China, Russia are also manipulated to the contemporary era.

    • naren

      mixed economy is like a diplomatic policy while socialism and capitalism policy are like one way , there is no second thought. Today’s world depend solely on diplomatic relationships. For instance TPP, ASEAN, G20 etc.

      • ESWAR

        What is ur opinion on CHINA, Cuba communism. Does communism and socialism same? Please discuss dost

  • Bunty kumar

    No comment on this question why

    • ESWAR

      Communism, socialism are same in practice or different. Please discuss

  • SYA

    Please review
    14 mins

  • Nicky

    Modern and prevailing socialism is a evolutionary form of socialism whereas Marx advocated for revolutionary socialism. Main differences between the two forms:
    i) Marx emphasises on “action” of individuals whereas prevailing socialism is theoritical.
    ii) Vision of marx is “stateless” or communist society whereas prevailing socialism still insists on the role of state.
    iii) Socialism is a intermediary stage towards communism.
    iv) Economic means of production are held in the hands of public; Whereas in the prevailing socialism means of production are under the control of state.
    v) Marxian socialism calls for partyless system whereas present system has dominant communist parties.

    Neverthless of these differences, both forms of socialism works for the welfare of the society and don’t give importance to “Right to property” when compared to liberal societies. In both forms, individual is seen as part of society. Both oppose the globalisation of capitalism. Marx calls for classless society whereas in present form classes still exists. Marxian socialism has not been established in any state so far. The collapse of USSR and later Russia tilt towards liberalism shows the Marxism is not possible in practice. Though China claims to be communist state, it is really not. However, communist parties are still dominat in states like North Korea, Cuba and Vietnam.