The famous saying of Karl Marx, ‘Philosophers have so far interpreted the world in various ways; the point however is to change it.’ is the reason why the works of Karl Marx is still relevant and appreciated today. Marx developed a new model to interpret the world. His ideas influence the economy, politics, and society as a whole.
Marx put forward a picture of the world in terms of economy through historical events by making use of dialectics. Marx has explained the evolution of society from one stage to another where each stage gets better than the preceding one owing to negation of negation where he claimed that the capitalist society consisting of the Bourgeoisie (who owns the means of production) and the Proletariat (who sell their labour for wages) would evolve into Socialist Society that would lead to Communism where a classless society would be formed without the concept of private property. Even years after the demise of Marx, capitalism still prevails and is thriving, although it has been facing severe backlash from people all over. Protesting against the inhuman working conditions under capitalism, many European countries rebelled, although their voices were crushed under the capitalist shoe. Fortunately, in Russia, under the leadership of Lenin, the Communist Party rose to power, followed by many other countries like Cuba, Egypt, and a few more, and many other countries adopted the socialist model. However, it cannot be denied that these countries are gradually losing their ability to adhere to their socialist ideals, and as a result, capitalism has begun to creep back across the globe.
The 2007-2008 economic or banking crisis faced by the world brought Marx back to life when people raged against capitalism due to increasing rate of unemployment and poverty. In this context, the concept of Pauperization is well fitted where only the rich hands have hold over wealth and with the dominance of capital and increased automated machinery, employment opportunities are robbed off from people. Also, the society could relate to the concept of Alienation by Marx even today where humans feel a sense of psychosocial detachment from the society due to the routinized work they perform for salary. The need for money to survive in the world today has made people a puppet of capitalist enterprises where they are bound to face exploitation no matter what. Many a times the value of their salary is not at par with the labour they put to produce outcome. Continuous episodes of the same work exploit the employees and they feel alienated from their work-life as well as personal life. Lack of creative expression drains them off and frustration takes over. This sometimes creates havoc in the society and the personal life of people go downhill.
Like Marx said, Capitalism sows its own seeds of destruction, and this is actually happening in many countries, including India. A few democratic countries like Canada, Finland, and India introduced the policy of taxation where the rich pay a wholesome amount of tax to the government, and that tax is used for the service of the general public for their quality of life. This step has been working well so far, and it is making a difference in people’s economic and social lives. A lot of countries have understood the importance of a socialist democratic model and have adopted it to maintain the balance between the market and the state. Not just they adopted this model but also provided employment to many people.
Marxism is strongly relevant in India, especially in the present scenario. With the dominance of a few capitalists in the country, a gap has been created in terms of distribution of wealth between different sections of the society. More than half of the country’s wealth is in the hands of the capitalists. It is high time to realize Marx’s theory of contradiction and crisis of capitalism.
It has therefore been realized that the economic crisis has been present for a long time and is still present, but with greater intensity. Exploitation of the working class is still witnessed where the rich hold immense economic power that overpowers the superstructure. The working class does raise their voice, but they are brutally crushed. The dominant nature of capitalism and the fighting back spirit of socialism takes place simultaneously in all places which of course, fluctuates from time to time.
So, it can be said that Marx is still relevant today to a great extent, and Marxism is still a lens through which to interpret the world.