What Is Scientific (Marxist) Socialism, What Does It Mean?July 1, 2021
Scientific socialism is a worldview that combines materialist philosophy with the dialectical method. According to scientific socialism, science is real science only when it starts from nature.
History, on the other hand, consists of the human part of natural history. Changing the world is possible by knowing how the world is changing and by using this knowledge to accelerate the change.
The founders of scientific socialism, or Marxism, were Karl Marx (1818-1883) and Friedrich Engels (1820-1895), authors of The Communist Manifesto (1848). Although Engels made important contributions to the Marxist doctrine, it was Marx who came to the forefront, who gave his name to the doctrine and whose synthesis called scientific socialism emerged.
The synthesis in question is fed by three approaches:
Hegel’s dialectical philosophy of history,
The English economic doctrine, which is called classical economic policy, and
It is said that Marxism first of all puts Hegel’s dialectic on its feet, walking on its hands. Hegel was using the dialectic for an idealistic thought. His pure idealism was reaching conservative conclusions in the field of politics. However, the dialectical method inspired by Heraclitus was based on the struggle of contradictions and contradictions, based on movement and struggle in essence.
Marx, a Hegelian in his youth, adapted the dialectic to matter, more precisely to materialism. What is materialism? To repeat briefly, there is a certain relationship between “spirit” and “matter”, “thought” and “being”. According to materialists, the first and essential is matter. It is not the spirit that creates the universe and matter; on the contrary, it is matter that creates the soul, that is, the universe, nature. In short, the soul is nothing but a higher product of matter. The mode of existence of matter is motion, in other words, motion.
It is not possible to come across an inert substance anywhere at any time. For Marxists, it is a dialectical movement, not a mechanical one. Every change arises from the clash of opposing forces. If something changes, it is because it contains its opposite. Dialectics, in short, is the science of contradictions. According to dialectical thought, every change takes place in two processes: First, there is a quantitative (quantitative) change; this then turns into qualitative change. To put it more clearly, quantitative change results in a qualitative change after a certain point.
According to Marxism, by applying the dialectical method to matter, laws governing nature and society can be learned, and society can also be changed – like nature – based on these laws. According to Marxism, the history of humanity consists of the struggle of man with nature on the one hand and man with man on the other. More accurately, history is the history of class struggles. Based on these explanations, we can say that Marxism is both a determinist (necessary) and voluntarist (voluntaristic) thought.
Marxism borrowed the idea of determinism from English economic teaching. According to British economists such as Adam Smith and David Ricardo, during the production of wealth, relations between people (worker, boss, peasant, artisans, etc.) are formed against their will. These are necessary relations that people cannot change of their own will, that is, relations between classes created by relations of production. The source of “class” and “class conflict”, which are the basic concepts of Marxism, is based on French socialism.
Having produced a very important work called Capital (1867), which covers all three fields of philosophy, economics and sociology, Marx made an important contribution to the science of economics with the “surplus value” theory he developed. In summary, “surplus value” is when the worker creates more value than he receives in wages, and the difference goes to the employer. According to Marx, this exploitative relationship between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie leads to the absolute impoverishment of the proletariat.
As will be understood, scientific socialism is neither just a doctrine of economics nor merely a doctrine of politics. In the broadest sense of the word, this philosophy is a worldview (Weltanschauung). In this sense, Marxist thought is a philosophy that aims not only to explain the world but also to change it.
In order to explain the scientific socialism’s view of politics, it is necessary to talk about Marxist sociology and historical materialism. “Historical materialism” consists of the application of the materialist dialectical method to the history of societies. History is the work of people, but it is their social situations, that is, material conditions, that determine their consciousness and direct their thoughts that make history.
The thing that primarily determines the consciousness of man is production that meets his needs that affect his existence. The most objective element that determines production is the production technique. The production technique is the work of man, but it produces results that cannot be controlled by man. The production technique determines the production style. The mode of production, on the other hand, gives birth to the social structure.
The whole of the production relations constitutes the economic structure of the society, namely the infrastructure. scientific socialism