What are the basic principles of Marxism as an IR theory?
Marxist conception of international relations.
The first thing to note is that there is not a Marxist conception of international relations. For pedagogical issues we talk about it, but what we will try to analyze is what has been the contribution that the Marxist theory has done in this field.
This leads us to the study of the Marxist theorists: Marx, Engels, Lenin, Rosa Luxemburgo... Their methodological contributions to international analysis and the confrontation between the "official" theoretical statements of the Communist Party from the Soviet Union, personified in Stalin and the Trotsky's permanent revolution, that was ...view middle of the document...
The consideration that the social class is the key actor in international relations, instead of the State. The state must be seen as an effect of social class, so it is a minor player, of this premise we can conclude an important element of the Marxist theory: the transnational character of the classes.
2. They defend a global society, so social reality is seen globally and they focus on the idea of totality.
3. Their perspective is dynamic and progressive, focusing on the social change theory. The vision of the society is that it is in a permanent change.
International society of Marx and Engels.
Marx and Engels did not develop a theory of international relations but left us an understanding of these relationships. We therefore note that there is not a Marxist theory of international relations but these authors devised a general theory of international society.
For Marx and Engels international society appears as a society in which the main actors are the social classes and not states, being the international relations immersed in the class struggle.
The Communist Manifesto (Alianza 2002, pg 17) states that:
"In proportion as the exploitation of one individual by another will also be put an end to, the exploitation of one nation by another will also be put an end to. In proportion as the antagonism between classes within the nation vanishes, the hostility of one nation to another will come to an end."
In relation to the colonial phenomenon, typical of Marx´s time, he analyzes it as the consequence of the capital accumulation. In their search for new raw materials the bourgeoisie starts to be interested in the colonial conquest.
The imperialism theory.
After Marx and Engels we find other Marxist authors who have examined more closely the new phenomena of international society as was the issue of imperialism. These authors are: Hilferding, Lenin and Rosa Luxemburg.
Rosa Luxemburg discusses the fact that capitalism in its own development transcends national boundaries producing a higher stage of capitalism that is named imperialism.
The phenomenon of imperialism is analyzed by Lenin, in one of his works to the specific analysis of this new phenomenon of capitalism, in his book Imperialism the Highest Stage of Capitalism (1917).
In relation to the phenomenon of imperialism, Lenin said that capitalism in its development needs to overcome its own internal contradictions and ensure their profit rates, this leads to the formation of monopolies in which the industrial capital is linked to financial capital. Lenin sees in the World Wars the necessity of the big capital to produce new divisions and a new balance of forces.
New research on the international Marxists. The dependency theory.
New research into the Marxist theory have come from the Third World economists which are part of the dependency theory. Their position is based on the unequal exchange between the center and the...