Marx's basic ideas on Socialism can be classified as follows :
1. Economic Interpretation of History. - Economic conditions determine the course of history. Marx said that the class that possess economic power controls the governmental and social institutions. In an industrial society based on private ownership, the capitalist class is in control.
2. Class Struggle. - Marx viewed history as a struggle between conflicting economic classes. Under the system of private enterprise, the conflicting classes are the capitalist (bourgeoisie) and the worker (proletariat).
3. Surplus Value. - In return for their labor, workers receive a wage just above the subsistence level. The difference between the value of the goods the workers produce and the wages they receive, Marx called surplus value. Although created by the workers, surplus value is taken by the capitalists as profit.
4. Inevitability of Socialism. - In time, wealth will be concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, while the conditions of the workers worsen. Marx believed that eventually the workers will overthrow the capitalists and establish a socialist state.
Thus, Marx believed that socialism would be achieved not by appeals to the capitalist class, but by the working class as an inevitable result of the scientific economic laws. Marxism, therefore, is known as scientific socialism.