However, it is also very clear that Marxism was not some invention that suddenly emerged from the thoughts of these magnificent brains. The socioeconomic changes of that time provided the basis for the emergence of the true proletarian ideology.
The actual content and the form of that ideology, however, were the product of the struggles waged in the most important fields of thought of that time.
Marx and Engels being deep intellectuals had a wide and deep grasp of the latest advancement of thought in the most advanced countries of the period. They, thus, could stand on the shoulders of the great thinkers before them, absorbing whatever was good, and rejecting what was wrong in them. And it was thus that they built the structure and content of Marxism.
Let us see which were the main fields of thoughts on which they based their ideas. Thus therefore we can also understand the main sources of Marxism.
1) The first source of Marxist thought was German Classical Philosophy. Any ideology has to have its grounding in some philosophy and both Marx and Engels, as we have seen, had a strong base in German classical philosophy.
German philosophy had, during the period 1760 to 1830, grown to become the most influential school in European philosophy. It had its base in the German middle classes. This class was intellectually very advanced but had not developed the political strength to make revolution, or the economic resources to make an Industrial Revolution. This was what probably inclined them towards elaborate systems of thought.
However, this class, having many civil servants, had many contradictory aspects. It sometimes leant to the industrial bourgeoisie and proletariat on the one side and sometimes to the feudal classes on the other. This was thus reflected in German philosophy having both a progressive as well as an anti-progressive aspect.
This was particularly seen in Hegel’s philosophy upon which Marx and Engels largely based themselves. They therefore rejected all the anti-progressive aspects that upheld the existing feudal society, and developed upon the progressive and revolutionary parts, to lay the foundations of Marxist philosophy.
2) English Political Economy was the second important source of Marxism. England being the centre of the Industrial Revolution it was but natural that the study of the economy and its laws should reach its peak in this country. It was a new field of study, which basically started with the growth of modern capitalism. It had its firm basis in the modern industrial bourgeoisie and played the role of justifying and glorifying capitalism. It also provided the intellectual arguments for the rising bourgeoisie in its struggles with the feudals.
In England its period started with the publication in 1776 of the world famous book The Wealth of Nations, by Adam Smith. He basically argued that if capitalism were given the fullest freedom to grow it would lead to the greatest progress of humanity. He thus provided the argument for the reduction of controls of any sort by the feudals on the capitalist class.
David Ricardo was another famous classical economist who played a crucial role in the battles of the bourgeoisie with the landlords. He was the one who pointed out that as capitalism progressed the average rate of profit of the capitalists fell. His very significant discovery was the development of the labour theory of value, which showed that all economic value is created by labour. Other later economists analysed the causes of economic crises under capitalism.
English political economy basically served the interests of the industrial bourgeoisie. It therefore played a revolutionary role against the feudal classes. However the economists very often did not carry forward their analysis beyond the point where it hurt bourgeois class interests.
Thus, for example, Ricardo, though he developed the labour theory of value, did not expose the exploitation of labour by the capitalist class. This was done by Marx. He took ahead the work of the English economists beyond the limits of the capitalist class and drew the necessary revolutionary conclusions from them. It was thus that Marx developed the principles of Marxist political economy.
3) The third source of Marxism was the various socialist theories, which mainly originated from France. These theories represented the hopes and aims of the newly emerging proletariat class. They were both a reflection of, as well as a protest against capitalist exploitation and oppression of the working class. France at that time was the main centre for revolutionary groups and revolutionary theory, which inspired the whole of Europe. It was therefore natural that socialist theories too mainly came out of France.
Most of these theories had major defects, as they were not based on a proper scientific analysis of society. Nevertheless, they represented a break with the individualism, self-interest and competition of bourgeois revolutionary theory. They also pointed the way forward for the proletariat from capitalist society. Marx thus made a study of these theories of socialism and communism before formulating the Marxist principles of scientific socialism.
While in Paris, he spent a considerable amount of time with the leaders and members of the numerous French revolutionary and socialist groups. Marx took what was best in socialism and gave it the scientific basis of the doctrine of class struggle. He thus developed the principles of Marxist scientific socialism.
This then is the story of how Marxism emerged from the three great sources of ideas in the then most advanced countries of the world. The three Sources of Marxism – German philosophy, English political economy and French socialist theories – corresponded to the three main component parts of the new ideology – Marxist philosophy of dialectical materialism, Marxist political economy and Marxist theory of scientific socialism. In the following pages we will try to understand the essence of each of these parts.
The Basic Formulations of Marxist Philosophy : Dialectical and Historical Materialism
As we have repeatedly seen earlier, Marx and Engels always insisted that all philosophy should be practical and linked to the real world. This was expressed in the most clear manner by Marx in his famous saying, “The philosophers have always interpreted the world in various ways; the point, however, is to change it.”
By this, Marx meant that he did not want to become a philosopher like our rishis and munnis sitting on some mountain and meditating regarding supernatural things. He did not see much point in thinking and contemplation unless it was linked to the practical world. His basic search was to try to understand how the world was changing and thus to participate in actual practice and change today’s world and society.
He thus was interested in a philosophy that would be applied in social practice.
In order to do this Marx had to take a stand with regards to the basic division in all philosophy – the division between idealism and materialism. This division is regarding the basic question as to, which is primary – spirit or nature. Those who take the stand that spirit is primary belong to the camp of idealism, whereas those who take the stand that nature is primary belong to the camp of materialism. Idealism is always connected in one way or other to religion. Being men of practice, who were absolutely opposed to religious beliefs, it was but natural that Marx and Engels established Marxist philosophy firmly in the camp of materialism.
In doing so they were definitely influenced and aided by the writings of Feuerbach and other materialist philosophers of that time. However these philosophers were mechanical materialists who understood nature and society to be like a machine turning round and round without any development or real change. Marx rejected mechanical materialism because it did not give any understanding of historical change and development.
For this Marx had to turn to dialectics, which is the science of the general laws of motion. The essence of dialectics is that it understands things in their inter-connections and contradictions. Dialectics thus was able to provide the science of development that Marx knew was necessary to change the world.
At that time Hegel’s philosophy and laws of dialectics (which Marx studied deeply) were the most advanced in Europe. But Hegel had developed his philosophical laws in an idealist way by only making them applicable to the field of thought. He belonged to the camp of idealism and refused to recognise that nature and material social being are primary, and spirit and ideas are secondary. He thus did not accept that his system of thought itself was a product of the development of human society to a definite stage. He refused to understand that his laws of thought were themselves reflections of the laws of nature and society.
Thus, as Marx said, Hegel’s dialectics, by being idealist, was standing on its head – that means it was absurd and illogical. Marx turned Hegel’s dialectics the right side up – that means he made it rational – by putting it on the basis of materialism. Marx took Hegel’s dialectical laws and gave them the approach of materialist philosophy. He thus made Hegel’s laws of thought also into laws of nature and society. He thus formulated Dialectical Materialism, which is the essence of Marxist philosophy.
By giving dialectics a rational and materialist basis Marx changed it into a philosophy of revolution. Marx and Engels applied dialectical materialism to the study of society and history and thus discovered the materialist conception of history. The materialist conception of history was a new and revolutionary way of understanding society and social change.
It explained the basis of social changes and political revolutions not as an invention of some brilliant men’s brains but as the product of the processes within society. It showed all revolutionaries that the path to social change lay in understanding society and accordingly formulating the ideas to bring about change.
The starting point of the materialist conception of history is the level of development of the material productive forces i.e. tools, machinery, skills, etc. Marx says that according to the stage in the development of the productive forces we get definite relations of production i.e. relations of ownership and control over the means of production.
Thus, for example, backward productive forces like the wooden plough, and wind, hand and animal operated mills give us feudal relations; modern productive forces like tractors, harvesters, etc., when they are widespread, give rise to capitalist relations of production. These relations of production constitute the economic structure of society, or the economic base of society.
On top of the economic base of society arises a legal and political superstructure with definite forms of social consciousness. Further, Marx says that it is the mode of production (consisting of the productive forces and relations of production) that conditions the social, political and intellectual life in general.
Thus, for example, the feudal mode of production gives rise to very severe oppression on women and lower castes and a very undemocratic political system; the capitalist mode of production, on the other hand, reduces social oppression and brings some bourgeois democratic rights.
At a certain stage in the development of the productive forces they come into conflict with the existing relations of production. These old relations of production start preventing the development of the productive forces. Unless these production relations are changed the productive forces cannot develop. This period when the relations of production start acting as chains on the development of the productive forces is the beginning of the epoch of social revolution.
Revolution is needed to change the relations of production i.e. the relation between the various classes in society. Once this happens and the relations of production or property relations are broken i.e. the economic base is changed, then the change in the whole superstructure follows quite quickly.
This materialist conception of history was the first great discovery of Marx, which he accomplished in 1844-45. It was the foundation on which the other great pillars of Marxist theory were built.
In later years Marx and Engels, and the other Marxist Teachers further developed Marxist philosophy. However its essence remained the basic principles of dialectical and historical materialism mentioned above.
Struggle Against Utopian Socialism and the Establishment of Scientific Socialism
Utopian socialism is the term used to describe the main trends of pre-Marxist socialism, which arose and became prominent in the first half of the nineteenth century. The terms ‘utopians’ (derived from the idea of Utopia, which is supposed to be a state of things where everything is perfect) and ‘socialist’ became popular first in the 1830s.
They were used to describe a group of thinkers who developed theories to transform society on a more egalitarian basis by removing the individualism, selfishness and competitiveness in human nature. Many of these thinkers or their followers tried to implement their theories by setting up ideal communities where all the members worked, lived and shared the fruits of their labour on a cooperative basis.
They believed that such ideal communities would provide the example that would then be followed by the rest of society. They thus did not rely on the actual processes in society for building their schemes of socialism. Rather they thought that the rationality of their plans and ideas itself was sufficient to convince people and change society.
Utopian socialism was first and foremost a reaction to the oppression and exploitation of the working class under capitalism. The working people had fought bitterly for the overthrow of feudalism. However the bourgeoisie’s slogans of freedom, equality and fraternity had only meant freedom for the capitalist class and intensified exploitation of the workers. The various socialist doctrines arose as a result of the emerging class contradictions between the capitalists and workers and as a protest against exploitation.
They attempted to build a system that would provide justice to the toilers.
The anarchy of capitalist production was another cause for the new socialist theories. The utopian socialists attempted to build rational systems that would provide for the needs of humankind in an orderly and harmonious fashion. Some of them even tried to convince capitalists and government officials that their socialist systems where much more rational, planned, and therefore desirable than the existing capitalist system. They even thus attempted to get funds from the rich for their projects.
The main defect of pre-Marxist socialist doctrines was that they did not have a real basis in the class contradictions and class struggles unfolding in society. Though their ideas were themselves the product of the class contradictions within society, the utopian socialists did not realise that it was absolutely necessary to wage the class struggle in order to achieve socialism.
Though their ideas were in reality a reflection of the aspirations of the infant proletariat, the utopian socialists did not recognise the central importance of the revolutionary role of the proletariat in bringing about socialism.
When Marx and Engels came into contact with the socialist and communist groups they started trying to convince the followers of the utopian socialist theories of the incorrectness of their ideas.
They participated intensively in the debates in the various revolutionary and working class groups where these theories and ideas were being discussed.
Their main aim was to give a scientific basis to socialist theory. For this they had to expose the defects and wrong understanding of the earlier socialists and place socialism on the sound basis of the Marxist theory of class struggle.
As Marx himself pointed out the theory of class struggle was not something new invented by him. In fact the earlier socialists and even bourgeois writers were quite conscious about and wrote about classes and class struggle. However the essential difference of the Marxist theory of class struggle is that it showed how the class struggle led inevitably to socialism and communism.
Marx first of all showed that classes are not something that have always existed in human society. He showed that there was a long period in human history when there were no classes at all (i.e. during primitive communism).
There would also be a period in the future when there would again be no classes. Secondly Marx particularly analysed the present day class struggle between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat and showed how this class struggle would inevitably lead to revolution by the workers and the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat i.e. socialism. Thirdly, Marx pointed out that this dictatorship of the proletariat was itself a period of transition to a new society.
The proletariat could only develop by destroying itself as a class, by abolishing all classes and establishing a classless society i.e. communism.
It is this theory of class struggle that Marx and Engels developed, propagated and brought into practice throughout their lives. It is this Marxist theory of class struggle that converted socialism into a science, which laid the basis of scientific socialism. With this, socialism was no longer to be seen as the product of some brilliant mind, but it became the necessary outcome of the struggle between two historically developed classes – the proletariat and the bourgeoisie.
Because of scientific socialism the task of the socialists did not become one of trying to develop the most perfect, harmonious and rational system of society like the utopian socialists had tried to do. Under scientific socialism the task was to analyse society, to analyse the history and economic basis of the class contradictions in society, and from this economic basis to find the way to end all class conflict and bring socialism and communism.
The scientific clarity of Marxist socialist theory was so great that most sincere elements in the various socialist and communist organisations of the 1840s soon rejected the pre-Marxist and non-class varieties of socialism. Marx and Engels soon became ideological leaders within the socialist movement. When a new international organisation was formed in 1847 uniting workers, intellectuals and revolutionary socialist groups of various countries they at once became its leaders.
They suggested its name, The Communist League, and it was they who were appointed to draft its programme. This programme is the world historic Communist Manifesto.
The Communist Manifesto was not only the first programme and general line of the international proletariat. It also laid down the basic principles of scientific socialism and the approach to all other types of socialism. With its quick translation into numerous languages, the Manifesto soon spread the basic ideas of Marxist scientific socialism throughout Europe and then throughout the world. The basic principles outlined in this document have in essence remained firm for more than 150 years, upto this day.
As we have seen earlier Marx developed his principles of political economy in continuation of and in opposition to the bourgeois political economy of the English economists. Most of Marx’ earlier economic writings from 1844 to 1859 were in the form of a critique of bourgeois political economy. He countered the claims of the bourgeois political economists that capitalism was a permanent and universal system.
On the other hand he proved that capitalism could exist only for a limited period and was destined to be overthrown and replaced by a new and higher social system. His later economic analysis, particularly the various volumes of his main work, Capital, concentrated on discovering the economic laws of capitalism. The in-depth analysis of the relations of production in capitalist society, in their origin, development and decline, thus forms the main content of Marx’ political economy.
Bourgeois political economists always made their analysis in the form of a relation between things i.e. the exchange of one commodity for another. Marx however showed that economics deals not with things but with relations between persons, and in the last resort between classes.
Since under capitalism it is the production of commodities that dominates, Marx started his analysis with an analysis of the commodity. He pointed out that the exchange of commodities was not a mere exchange of things but actually an expression of the relation between individual producers in society who have been linked by the market.
Though commodity exchange has existed for thousands of years, it is only with the development of money and the birth of capitalism that it reaches its peak linking up the entire economic life of millions of individual producers throughout society into one whole. Capitalism even converts the labour power of the worker into a commodity that is bought and sold freely in the market place.
The wageworker sells his labour power to the owner of the means of production, i.e. the capitalist. The worker spends one part of his working day producing the equivalent of his wage, i.e. producing what is necessary to cover the cost of maintaining himself and his family. The other part of his working day is spent producing for the maintenance and growth of the capitalist. The worker gets absolutely no payment from this production which is for the capitalist. This additional value which every worker produces, over and above the value necessary to earn his wage and maintain himself, Marx called surplus value.
It is the source of profit and the source of wealth of the capitalist class.
The discovery of the concept of surplus value exposed the nature of exploitation of the working class. It also brought out the source of the antagonism between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. This class antagonism was the principal manifestation of the fundamental contradiction of capitalist society: the contradiction between the social character of production and the private character of ownership. This discovery of surplus value was referred to by Engels as the second important discovery of Marx (along with the discovery of the materialist conception of history). Lenin called the doctrine of surplus value as the corner stone of Marx’ economic theory.
Marx also analysed in detail the periodic economic crises that repeatedly affected capitalism.
He explained capitalist crises also as another manifestation of the fundamental contradiction of capitalism. He thus exposed the falsehood of the bourgeois economists who at that time propagated that capitalism could not face any crisis, as the operation of the market would solve all problems. They tried to present that whatever was produced by the capitalist would automatically be sold in the market place.
Marx however exposed that the nature of the working of capitalism itself would lead inevitably to crisis. He showed how capitalists in their desperate urge to earn more and more profits went on madly increasing production. However at the same time every capitalist tried to maintain a higher rate of profit by cutting the wage rates of his workers and throwing them into poverty. The working class composes the largest section in society and the poverty of the working class automatically means the reduction of their capacity to buy the goods available in the market.
Thus on the one hand the capitalist class goes on increasing the production of goods being supplied to the market, whereas on the other hand it goes on reducing the buying capacity of a large section of the buyers in the very same market. This naturally leads to a severe contradiction between the expansion of production on one hand and the contraction of the market on the other hand.
The result is a crisis of overproduction where the market is flooded with unsold goods. Numerous capitalists are thrown into bankruptcy. Lakhs (100,000s) of workers are thrown out of their jobs and forced into starvation at the same as the shops are filled with goods that remained unused because there is no one to buy them.
Marx further concluded that the anarchy of these crises of capitalism could only be resolved by resolving the fundamental contradiction of capitalism between the social character of production and the private character of ownership. This could only be done by overthrowing the capitalist system and establishing socialism and communism, and thus giving a social character to the ownership of the means of production.
Marx showed that the social force that would bring about this revolution had been created by capitalism itself; it was the proletariat class. It was the proletariat alone who had no interest in continuing the present system of exploitation and private ownership. It alone had the interest and capacity to establish socialism.
Marx analysed how every crisis intensified the contradictions of the capitalist system. He described the process with each crisis of centralisation of capital into the hands of a smaller and smaller handful of capitalists. This proceeded alongside the immense growth in the misery and discontent of the vast mass of workers. As the contradictions of capitalism sharpened, the revolutionary upheavals of the proletariat grew in strength, finally resulting in revolution, the confiscation of the capital of the capitalists and the building of a socialist society with a social character of ownership suited to the social character of production.
In this way, Marx, starting from the economy’s most basic unit – the commodity – brings out the nature of the economic laws governing capitalism. He thus exposes the scientific economic basis for the socialist revolution and the road to communism.
Marxism Fuses Its Links with the Working Class
As we saw earlier Marx and Engels were deeply involved in the revolutionary communist groups of the eighteen forties. They thus came to lead the Communist League which was an international body uniting the revolutionaries of various European countries. They also drafted its programme – the Communist Manifesto –, which acquired world historic significance. However at that time – in 1848 – the influence of Marxism had yet to reach the vast working class masses. The influence of the Communist League was limited and it consisted mainly of exiled workers and intellectuals. In fact at that time Marxism was just one of the many trends of socialism.
The 1848 Revolution, which spread insurrection throughout the European continent, was the first major historical event where Marxism proved itself in practice. Marx and Engels were in Brussels when the Revolution first broke out in France.
The Belgian government fearing the spread of the Revolution immediately expelled Marx from Brussels and forced him to leave for Paris where he was soon joined by Engels.
However as the revolutionary wave spread to Germany, both decided to immediately move there in order to directly participate in the revolutionary events.
There they tried to consolidate the work of the Communist League and the workers’ associations.
They brought out a daily newspaper, the Neue Rheinische Zeitung, which served as an organ of propagation of the revolutionary line. The newspaper took a line in support of radical bourgeois democracy as the completion of the bourgeois democratic revolution was then the main task in Germany.
However the paper simultaneously served as the organiser of the emerging revolutionary proletarian party in Germany. Marx and Engels even tried to form a mass workers’ party by uniting the workers’ associations of various provinces of Germany. The paper lasted for one year. With the collapse of the revolution in Germany and other parts of Europe, the paper was forced to close down and Marx was expelled by the Prussian King.
He retreated to Paris but had to soon leave from there too because of persecution by the French authorities. Engels continued in Germany fighting as a soldier in the revolutionary armies till the very end. After military defeat, he escaped, and towards the end of 1849, joined Marx, who had by then settled in London. England then continued to be their centre till the end of their lives.
The defeat of the 1848 Revolution had spread confusion among the revolutionaries and proletarian activists throughout Europe. Most of the earlier dominant trends of socialism could not provide any proper understanding regarding the reasons for the course of events during the revolution. It was in such an atmosphere that Marx took up the task of explaining the social forces behind the initial victory and later defeat of the Revolution. Since France was the centre and principal starting point of both the upsurge and decline of the revolution, Marx concentrated his analysis on the French events.
This he did through his brilliant works, The Class Struggles in France, 1848 to 1850 and the Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte. They were Marx’ first attempts to explain current historical events by means of the materialist conception of history. He analysed with complete clarity the class forces behind each of the major turns and twists in the revolution. He thus provided the class basis for revolutionary proletarian tactics. By exposing the role of various classes at various stages, he showed who were the friends and enemies of the revolution and therefore the approach of the proletariat to each of them.
In the following period, Marx continued his writings on all the major political events throughout the world. In all these writings he presented a clear perspective from a proletarian viewpoint. This distinguished them from all other varieties of socialism, which proved incapable of providing real answers to the continuously changing world situation. It clearly established the superiority of Marxism over other brands of socialism as a practical tool for understanding and changing the world.
Simultaneously, Marx and Engels worked energetically to unite the weak and fragmented organisations of the working class.
The Communist League, which had its main centre in Germany, faced severe repression from the Prussian police. Many of its members in Germany were put behind bars and the organisation itself was finally dissolved in November 1852. During the long period of reaction after the failure of the 1848 Revolution Marx and Engels tried continuously to reorganise and revive the working class movement. Besides writing and publishing their works extensively, they maintained constant contact with the working class organisations in various countries, particularly England, France and Germany. Their constant attempt was to form an international organisation of the working class and to set up separate parties of the proletariat in the industrially developed countries.
The main work in this respect was done by Marx. He worked throughout this period under very difficult conditions. After having been driven out by the governments of various countries, even after Marx settled in London he was under constant surveillance of the secret police, particularly of Prussia. Besides the political repression Marx’ economic situation was always very bad. Due to the poor and disorganised state of the revolutionary working class movement at that time it was unable to support him as a full-timer.
Thus his only source of earnings was the small payment per article which he got for writing for a large American newspaper The New York Tribune. This was of course totally insufficient for Marx’ large family. They thus faced constant poverty, debt and even starvation. Many a time things from the house had to be pawned to provide for food. Marx had six children but only three survived beyond childhood. When his baby daughter died the burial had to be delayed for a few days till some money was collected for the burial. Marx himself faced constant serious illnesses, which he had to struggle against to complete his work.
Throughout all these economic difficulties the main support for the Marx family was Engels. After the failure of the 1848 Revolution Engels had been forced to take up a job in his father’s Manchester firm. He worked there for twenty years, first as a clerk and then for the last five years as a partner in the firm till 1869. During this period he had a substantial income, with which he would regularly help Marx.
Engels’ help however was not merely economic. Though he did not get much spare time because of his job he put in all efforts to continue study and help Marx. They corresponded very regularly and constantly exchanged ideas. Marx always consulted Engels on major questions, particularly on decisions regarding the international working class movement.
Their efforts finally bore fruit in 1864 with the formation of the International Workingmen’s Association – the First International. Marx soon became its leader and was primarily responsible for drawing up its first programme and constitution. The International’s programme however did not contain the strong words of the Communist Manifesto.
The First International, unlike the Communist League, was not an organisation limited to small groups of revolutionaries. In fact many of the sections of the International, especially those of England and France, represented organisations with a vast mass following of workers. However, most of these organisations did not have a clear and correct understanding.
Though they were composed predominantly of workers the level of consciousness was normally lower than that of the selected revolutionaries of the Communist League. The programme and constitution thus had to be formulated keeping this in mind.
The correct line had to be presented in a manner acceptable to the member organisations of the International. Marx, with his great ideological depth and practical organisational experience was at that time the only person capable of thus drafting these documents and was therefore given this task. In subsequent years too, it was he, who drafted all the most important documents of the First International.
It was thus Marxism alone that could provide the ideological, political and organisational perspective for the First International. Implementation of this perspective meant constant struggle against the various anarchist and opportunist trends that arose within the movement.
Among other things the anarchists opposed a strong organisation whereas the opportunists opposed resolute struggle. Fighting both deviations, Marx and Engels worked to build the International into a mass organisation of struggle, uniting the workers in both Europe and America. This they largely succeeded in, doing leading at the same time to the formation of independent proletarian parties in many of the industrialised countries of the world.
By the time of the historic Paris Commune of 1871, Marxism had advanced very far from it’s position at the time of the 1848 Revolution. Marxism no longer remained as merely one of the trends of socialism. The earlier brands of Utopian Socialism had been swept away by history and it was Marxism alone that retained full practical significance. Marxism also was no longer restricted to small groups but had become a mass phenomenon. Its influence extended to the proletarian movements in various industrialised countries.
It provided the ideological leadership to independent proletarian parties.
It headed a massive proletarian movement, which had begun to challenge the bourgeoisie. Marxism had fused its links with the vast working class masses.