Karl Marx was an influential German philosopher. His wrote in the 19th Century, during the Second Industrial Revolution. His writings reflected his belief that the workers at the time were being abused by the owners of the businesses. He wrote his works as a means to encourage workers to revolt against this type of abuse. While the poor people of Europe who made up the abused working class responded to the idea of Marx’s writings, the governments did not appreciate his works. They did the best they could to crush promptly all attempts by the people to organize into Marxist groups.
A Paris Commune was formed in 1871. This developed after Prussia lost the Franco-Prussian War. One of the impacts of the war was the politicization of the working class neighborhoods in Paris. As these neighborhoods became political, they were made aware of the teachings of Karl Marx and the idea of Marxism. As a response to this, they formed the Paris Commune. The goals of the Paris Commune were to establish a socialist government that refused to recognize the authority of the French government. Marx was thrilled with this idea; he believed that this indicated that the people of Europe were willing to overthrow the governments, as well as the capitalistic forces that controlled their lives. However, Marx soon discovered that the governments of Europe did not approve of his ideas. They quickly went into the Paris Commune and destroyed it. However, while this was destroyed, small cells of communism continued to develop throughout Europe. Just as quickly as they developed, the governments sought to destroy them. This constant battle indicates how both the Europeans and the European governments responded to Marxist theory (Adler& Pouwels, 2012, pp. 462-63).
The continued attempts by the Europeans to form socialist sects indicate that they responded to Marxist theory with a positive idea. They obviously had been abused by the Industrial Revolution. The 1840s, in particular, had been a difficult decade for the workers. The Second Industrial Revolution gave the business owners essentially a complete license to abuse the workers with new methods. As the newer technology developed, workers become increasingly obsolete to the owners. They could be replaced in new ways, the owners had decided. The workers were beginning to feel more and more abused by this system. The response of the workers was to cling to Marxist theory. The response to this by the governments was to crush the rebellion by the lower classes.
It must also be noted that workers found similar theories other than Marxism. The recognition that the status quo could be challenged allowed workers and the lower class to develop new ways to challenge the system. These developed into anarchism, the labour movement, and syndicalism. Anarchism is the rejection of all political systems. This was common in the Mediterranean area. The labour movement developed in Great Britain. The Labour Party is still a dominant force in their politics even today. This movement was not as extreme as Marxism. Rather, it forces on a more modest attempt to gain improvements for the working class.
This allows for some level of negotiation between the management and the labor parties. As such, the government did not find this type of response by the people as threatening as it naturally would find anarchism. Syndicalism is also a more extreme belief system. This idea focused on the concept that the peasants and working class should be the only ones who have the right to govern, as they are the ones who actually produce the goods for society. This system developed predominantly in Spain, Portugal and also in Italy. It must be noted that the more radical systems on behalf of the people had the most radical response on behalf of the government. This, of course, is a natural consequence. While the system that developed in Great Britain was moderate, others were not. The Labour Party is therefore still in existence. Anarchy as a system is not.