What is Karl Marx & Revolution?
The core of Marxist is the concept of class struggle. In Marx’s time the oppressors were the wealth owners of the means of production (the bourgeoisie) and the oppressed were the working class (the proletariat). The ruling class always develops ideologies to justify and legitimize their exploitation.
In time, false consciousness would be replaced by class consciousness; that is, the recognition of a common class condition and the development of a common unity in opposition to capitalist exploitation. This would set the stage for revolution.
According to Marx and Engels, criminals came from a third class in society—the lumpenproletariat—who would play no decisive role in the expected revolution. Crime was the product of an unjust, alienating, and demoralizing social condition that denied productive labor to the masses of unemployed.
The origin of crime has come to be known as the primitive rebellion. Capitalist societies pass laws that criminalize any action that jeopardizes private property and tend to overlook many socially injurious activities viewed as economically beneficial for the ruling class.
Marx called the workers’ acceptance of ideologies that ran counter to their interests false consciousness.