Marxism implies a revolution, but does not give a credible reason for why there would be one.
The Marxist view of history appears to be
The Revolution will be televised… someday…. maybe
But why? What is the miracle? Especially considering Marx’s apparently constructivist nature, it seems likely that capitalism could be “stuck” in a permanent burgeious state. Indeed. It is easy to see how one can take Marxism to imply that this must happen, and that Religious Capitalism is the highest form of any existence.
Marx believed all politics to be derived from economics, but he was not an economic-determinist. Marx believed that ideas matter, and that one could change behavior with ideas. This is how he could say that religion is the opiate of the people — the people’s behavior is changed by the “drug” of religion.
A rational capitalist class would use this to their advantage. Accepting the Marxist notion that change is dialectic, the elite would steer this dynamic away from material redistribution (where they could be harmed) to ideology (so it would work to reinforce a capitalist system). So at a certain stage the capitalsits would establish a nonmaterial cultural hegemony that would divert change away from them while simultaneously reducing alienation.
In one word: religion
Future dialectical change would be ideological, with capitalism constantly producing enough wealth to buy off its enemies. That Marxism predicts the boom-bust cycle hardly matters: Shumpater‘s creative destruction predicts similar things, and capitalism is hardly the weaker for it. One could say that this Marxist-Gramscian Religious Hegemony is a horizontal diversion from the vertical march of history.
Changing Infrastructure, Changing Superstructure
Indeed, it might even be likely. A transition from capitalism to final communism is odd, because in Marxist thought it would be the first time in history a more productive economic regime is replaced by a less productive one. One could view this Marxist Theological Pacifism as a progression of both productivity and time, with no revolution ever.
A Marxist-Capitalist Theocratic Regime?
The problem is compounded by assuming that the capitalist population will be affected by evolution: capitalists who run their zones of controls in a manner that provokes revolution will be “weeded out,” leaving only those who are better at hegemonic manipulation.
However, all is not lost for the Marxist Revolution. If religion is the opiate of the masses — is faith also the opiate of the rich? Marx’s constructivism might allow “irrational” acts by classes, because all of their goals are constructed. Certainly it’s possible in Marxist thought for the rich to be so deluded they ignore material concerns at the same time that the poor are seized by them.
A problem with Marxism in general is its ignorance of linear algebra. The whole concept of dialectical struggle seems ignorant of multivariate optimization theory.
Marxism may be no more retro than Christianity… but such is a post for another time….