One Common Agreement between Gandhi and Marxism Economic Determinism

Mahatma Gandhi and Karl Marx are two of the most influential thinkers in modern history. While they had significant differences in their political and economic beliefs, there is one common agreement between them: economic determinism.

Economic determinism is the idea that economic and social conditions determine the course of history. Marx famously argued that the class struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie would eventually lead to the overthrow of capitalism and the establishment of a socialist society. Gandhi, on the other hand, viewed economic freedom as a necessary component of political freedom and believed that the exploitation of workers and peasants by the ruling class was a significant barrier to social progress.

Despite their differences, both Gandhi and Marx recognized the importance of economic factors in shaping society. They understood that poverty, inequality, and exploitation could not be tackled without addressing economic issues. In Marx`s analysis, the economic structures of society determine the social and political structures that arise from them. Gandhi, too, believed that economic conditions were intimately linked to political and social issues. He argued that economic exploitation was a form of violence, and that any meaningful attempt to address social inequality needed to start with economic justice.

For both Gandhi and Marx, economic determinism was not a deterministic theory. They did not believe that economic conditions alone determined the course of history. Rather, they saw economic factors as powerfully shaping social structures and the choices available to individuals within them. Both recognized that people could resist economic structures and work towards change, but they also understood that these efforts were often difficult and required significant struggle.

In conclusion, the common agreement between Gandhi and Marxism on economic determinism highlights the importance of economic factors in shaping society and the need for economic justice as a pre-requisite for political and social progress. While there are significant differences between the two thinkers, their shared emphasis on economic conditions as a driver of social change underscores the continuing relevance of their ideas today.