The class struggle is a concept belonging to socialism, being its theoretical basis. It establishes that its existence is necessary, placing as antagonistic parties the working or working class and the capitalist bourgeoisie.
The principle of class struggle in a society or an economy is the cornerstone of the understanding or study of reality carried out by socialist, Marxist and communist theories.
The existence of a certain tension or conflict between different social classes (proletariat versus capitalist bourgeoisie) is a sufficient cause for the reorganization of a state with socialism as its axis and the equalization of every individual against the state.
Historical conception of the class struggle
Despite the fact that this concept is markedly socialist and widely developed in the theories of Marx or Engels, it is pointed out in these that historically the class struggle has existed long before the appearance of capitalist society as a result of industrialization.
In this way, phenomena such as slavery or the existence of feudal regimes with their corresponding vassals or commoners are understood as clear examples of the existence of inequalities in different societies over time.
At the same time, it is worth mentioning that there are different views and conceptions regarding the class struggle. Thus, we can find the anarchist, conservative and Marxist vision. From the anarchist conception, the class struggle is based on the origin of the term coined by Nicholas Machiavelli. For its part, the conservative vision is not marked by any historical moment, since it bases the idea that the poorer classes seek to enrich themselves and change their social status. Finally, the Marxist vision is clearly marked by the work of Karl Marx, who establishes his own vision of the subject.
Objectives of the class struggle
From a socialist theoretical point of view, the existence of the class struggle supposes the achievement of certain objectives:
- Social, political and economic progress can only be achieved through class struggle and the achievement (in its final state) of the dictatorship of the proletariat.
- It is necessary to place antagonistic elements in extremes: the proletariat that offers its capacity to work against the bourgeois class that owns the factors of production in a certain place and employs the former.
- The only way to abolish the struggle is by establishing an egalitarian and classless society. For socialism, we speak of the dictatorship of the proletariat by means of a revolution.
- The necessary step prior to that end would be the development of the corresponding class consciousness.