A critique of #liberalism from a #Marxist perspective.

1. Marxist Analysis of History

  • Class-Based Analysis: Marxists analyse history based on class struggles and material conditions, rather than simple “common sense” ideas or metaphysical concepts.
  • Material Conditions: Ideas, including those of influential thinkers like Marx, are shaped by the material conditions of their time.

2. Historical Context of Liberalism

  • Western European Phenomenon: Liberalism developed primarily in Western Europe within a feudal background.
  • Urban Centres and the Rise of the Bourgeoisie: Economic and technological developments in urban centres led to the rise of the bourgeoisie (burghers), who eventually clashed with feudal landlords.
  • Guilds and Standardization: The formation of guilds standardized production methods, leading to increased productive capacity and economic power for the bourgeoisie.
  • Class Struggle and Political Power: The #bourgeoisie eventually overthrew the #feudal order, leading to bourgeois democratic revolutions in Europe during the 18th and 19th centuries.

3. Ideological Tenets of Liberalism

  • Individual Liberty: Claimed to support individual freedom, but in practice, this freedom can be suspended at will.
  • Anti-Concentration of Power: Advocates for a plurality of power to prevent tyranny, but often consolidates power when necessary to protect capitalist interests.
  • Constitutionalism: Constitutions serve to protect capitalist relations and private property, often disregarded when inconvenient for the ruling class.
  • Pro Minority Rights: Initially meant the rights of property owners (bourgeoisie), not class, racial or ethnic minorities.
  • Sanctification of Private Property: Private property is central to capitalism and liberalism, and its protection is paramount for maintaining bourgeois power.
  • Capitalism: Liberalism supports capitalist economic structures, often contradicting its own ideals of freedom and equality to do this.

4. Critique of Liberalism

  • Contradictory Philosophy: Liberalism claims to champion individual liberty and anti-tyranny, but primarily serves the interests of the bourgeoisie.
  • Superficial Plurality: The appearance of multiple parties and democratic plurality is a façade, with fundamental capitalist interests remaining unchanged.
  • Constitutional Limitations: Constitutions are tools to maintain capitalist order, with true reforms (like abolishing private property) being impossible within liberal frameworks.
  • Selective Minority Rights: The protection of minority rights under liberalism prioritizes property owners.
  • Economic Supremacy: Liberalism’s main function is to protect the economic supremacy of the capitalist class, and it can easily and quickly transition to #fascism when capital feels threatened.


Liberalism, according to a Marxist, is a tool for maintaining bourgeois power and protecting capitalist interests. It presents itself as a philosophy of freedom and equality, but is contradictory in implementation to serving the ruling capitalist class.

#KISS our “common sense” is a problem on this path.