Karl Marx was a German scholar who lived in the nineteenth
century. He spent most of his life studying, thinking and writing
about history and economics. A many years of study, much of it spent
in England, he believed that he understood more deeply than anyone
who had ever lived before him why there is injustice in the world.
He said that all injustice and inequality is a result of one
underlying conflict in society. He called it a ‘class struggle’,
that is, a conflict bet the class of people who can afford to own
money- producing businesses, whom he called ‘capitalists’ or ‘the
bourgeoisie’, and the class of people who do not surplus money to
buy businesses and who are therefore forced to work for wage whom he
Marx said that, because it was always in the economic interest
of capita to take advantage of or ‘exploit’ workers, nothing could
persuade capitalists change their ways. In other words, peaceful
progress toward equality and social justice was impossible. The only
way to establish justice, he said, was for t workers to overthrow
the capitalists by means
of violent revolution. He urged workers around the world to revolt
against their rulers. “Workers of the world unite!” he wrote.
have nothing to lose but your chains.”
Another thing Marx taught was that organized religion, the
churches, helps capitalists to keep the workers quiet and obedient.
Religion, according to Mar ‘the opiate of the masses’. The church
tells working people to forget about the injustice they meet in
their lives and to think instead of how wonderful it will be in the
after- life when they go to heaven.
Marx, with his colleague, Engels, spread his ideas in two
famous books, Capital’ and The Communist Manifesto’.
In the early years of the twentieth century, Russia was ready
for the idea Marx. The Russian people were extremely discontented
with their ruler, Tsar Nicholas II, who had little interest in
governing and was neglecting the count badly. Making conditions even
more miserable for the people were the hardships the First World War
and a particularly cold winter.
By 1917, the Russian people were desperate enough to accept a
revolution. fact, they got two for the price of one, the first in
March when the Tsar was deposed and a provisional government was set
up. Then in November a political called the Bolsheviks led a further
rebellion that ousted the provisional government. The leaders of the
Bolsheviks, Lenin and Trotsky, began to build a Russia, one built on
the ideas of Marx, where everyone was equal, where all property was
owned by ‘the people’ rather than by capitalists and where the wo
were in control of the government.
Not long afterward, Communist Russia was attacked by Britain,
America and France, who wanted to get rid of the communist
government. They were afraid the workers in their own countries
might be inspired to imitate the example of Russia Trotsky, a highly
intelligent and energetic communist leader led the defense Russia
with great success.
After Lenin’s death in 1924, a power struggle began