[From the name of the German economist and social thinker Karl Marx (1818-1883).]

  1. (politics) A theory of economics and society asserting that social and political change is determined by control over the means of economic production. Marxism inherited its dialectical understanding of history from Hegelianism, but opposed Hegel's idealism with a supposedly-scientific dialectical materialism. Although many Marxists claim that in theory their philosophy is a form of humanism, in practice Marxist political systems such as Leninism and Maoism have proved to be forms of collectivism and therefore quite the opposite of humanism. (To be fair, in reaction to some of his early followers Marx said that he was not a Marxist.)

The Ism Book by Peter Saint-Andre

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