Marxism, Socialism, and Class Conflict

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- After 1870, government functions expanded to include public education and national systems of welfare - As government responsibilities were enlarged, new taxes were imposed to pay for the additional programs. - Western Governments introduced civil service exam to test applicants on the basis of talent rather than on connections on birth alone. - Growing bureauary and improved recruitment, governments began to extend their regulatory apparatus, inspecting factory safety, then health of prostitutes, hospital conditions, and the introduction of passports and border control. - The chief political issues surrounded what was referred to as the "social question." - With the emergence of the social question, socialism and feminism became newly powerful political movements - Karl Marx promoted a more aggressive form of socialism after 1848. he blasted earlier theorists as giddy utopians. - Marx saw socialism as the final phase of an inexorable march of history, which could be studied dispassionately and scientifically. - History for Marx was shaped by the available means of production and who controlled those means, an obvious reflection of the looming role of technology in the industrial world forming at that time. - Marx's system was predicated on the inevitability of class conflict. He believed that modern political systems would be shaped by the resolution of the class struggle between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat - People would benefit justly and equally from their work, and the state would wither away; the historic class struggle would at last end because classes would be eliminated. - Marxist theory provided a context in which working-class movements could confront post-1870 governments. - It clearly identified capitalist evil. It told workers their low wages were exploitive and unjust. It urged the need for violent action but also ensured that revolution was part of the...
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