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Major thinkers in welfareContemporary issues in historical perspective$
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Vic George

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781847427069

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847427069.001.0001

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Classical Marxism and welfare

Classical Marxism and welfare

Karl Marx (1818–83) Frederick Engels (1820–95)

(p.201) Ten Classical Marxism and welfare
Major thinkers in welfare

Vic George

Policy Press

This chapter examines the arrival of classical Marxism in northern Europe, which reflected the industrial transformation and rise in power and size of the working class. It looks at Marx and Engels' views on human needs and human nature, as well as the materialist conception of history. A critique of capitalism is provided, and the chapter also considers the relevance of Marxism to feminism and the position of women in society. The chapter introduces the concept of a communist welfare state, and shows that Marxism places social class at the core of its social theory. However, it also reveals that the views of Marx and Engels were neither detailed nor original.

Keywords:   classical Marxism, industrial transformation, working class, materialist conception, capitalism, communist welfare state, social class

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