Marxism in “Viva la Vida” Poster Interpretation

Viva la Vida


In the poster, a section of members of society is seen oppressing some individuals, by threatening and even eliminating them. The strong have weapons that are used to subjugate and force the weak to obey. Some of the weak members of society are unhealthy, as can be viewed from the picture since their bones are protruding meaning that they do not have balanced diets. The rich are capable of dominating and suppressing the poor irrespective of their gender since the woman is seen carrying the flag, meaning the authority. In other words, the rich are always in possession of governmental power, which is regularly used to perpetrate crime.

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The poor are forced to live under the mercy of the rich since state machinery serves the interests of the rich. In the picture, the police, who possess guns, is seen helping the rich to frustrate the poor in society. From the poster, it is evident that societies consist of tension, competition for resources, power, and prestige. In other words, social order consists of groups and individuals trying to advance their interests. The rich decided to do away with the poor to possess scarce resources.


Marxism can indeed be used to interpret the poster since the approach emphasizes the materialistic interpretation of history. The theory criticizes the existing social arrangements and distribution of resources. As a result, life is dependent on the production and distribution of goods and services. The work that people do in society is very important, as it defines their position in society. In this regard, the means of production are the most important compared to other forms of productions in society.

There are two main parts, which are the base and the superstructure. The base may include the means of production such as tools, raw materials, and skills. On the other hand, the superstructure includes culture, ideas, politics education system, and religion. From the picture, it is clear that the main aim of the owners of the means of production is to control capital. A small minority in society controls capital while the majority languishes in poverty.

The kind of relationship that exists is unequal since the goods produced are meant for the market but not for local consumption. In the picture, the relations are characterized by exploitation since the rich use the poor to produce goods. In case the poor individuals try to demand their rights, the rich use the state machinery to disperse and frustrate them. Even the superstructure such as the education system and religion serves the interests of the rich since it pacifies the population. From the poster, the flag means that the ideas of the rich are to be obeyed always. In other words, the ideology of the bourgeoisie is the most dominant in society. In society, no one serves the interests of the poor since the learned are paid by the rich to justify, legalize, and rationalize the actions of their actions.


However, Marx used the idea of dialectics to explain how the change would be achieved in society. He noted that the existing social arrangement, which is the thesis, would generate its social opposite referred to as antithesis. From the struggle, a qualitative social form would be formed referred to as the synthesis. Marx noted that workers would be able to do away with injustices, like those witnessed in the poster through a revolution.

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1. StudyCorgi. "Marxism in "Viva la Vida" Poster Interpretation." January 20, 2021.


StudyCorgi. "Marxism in "Viva la Vida" Poster Interpretation." January 20, 2021.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "Marxism in "Viva la Vida" Poster Interpretation." January 20, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Marxism in "Viva la Vida" Poster Interpretation'. 20 January.

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