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Marxism analyzes and criticizes capitalism and proposes its replacement by socialism, and then by communism. Marx regards capitalism conventionally as the private ownership of the means of production. He also regards capitalism as necessarily resulting in a struggle between the working class—the proletariat—and the exploitive capitalist class—the bourgeoisie. Marx predicts that struggle will precipitate a move from capitalism to socialism—the public ownership of the means of production—with the proletariat overthrowing the bourgeoisie. In time, the economic transition will progress to communism, in which there will be no private property and all people will be members of one class whose individual and collective interests are identical.

Marxism reflects the theory of the German philosopher and journalist Karl Marx (1818–1883), although much of so-called Marxism since Marx’s death ...

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