Karl Marx's Theory of Capitalism Essay
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Karl Marx's Theory of Capitalism Marxism like functionalism is concerned with the overall picture of society. Marxism is seen as a conflict theory, Mainly because they see the primary interests of society as a whole as being made up of conflicting groups with conflicting interests or beliefs.
We are a very materialistic society. A society made up of those who have, and those who have not. Marxists sociologists say that there will never be true social harmony because there are too many inequalities within our cultural society.
Marx gave names to the haves and have nots, they are known as the Bourgeoise and the…show more content…
This arises from both its unfinished nature and Marx's shifting points of emphasis across his lifetime. The focus of Marx's work, however, was undoubtedly on the historical basis of inequality, and specifically inequality under capitalism. Marx's critiques of the capitalist system - its tendency towards crises, the necessity of inequality - are still relevant today.
Marx's powerful critique has as it basis a unique approach to reality - the dialectic. Taking from G.W.F. Hegel (1770 - 1831), Marx believed that any study of reality must be attuned to the contradictions within society and, indeed, he sees contradiction as the motor of historical change. Unlike Hegel, Marx believed that these contradictions existed not simply in our minds (i.e., in the way we understand the world), but that they had a concrete material existence. At the heart of capitalism was the contradiction between the demands of the capitalist to earn a profit and the demands of the worker, who wants to retain some profit to subsist. Over time, the workings of the capitalist system would exacerbate this contradiction, and its resolution can be had only through social change.
The Dialectical Method
The dialectical approach does not recognize the division between social values and social facts. To do so leads away from any real understanding of the problems people face. Additionally, the
Through out history money, wealth and capital have dictated a way of life to the masses. Wealth dictated the lives that the rich lived and the lives of the poor that worked for and surrounded them. In some cultures your class could never be escaped in life, you had to wait for your next incarnation, while in other cultures the idea of wealth transcended a life and allowed for growth from one class to another. This is the reality of a capitalist society that was first discussed by Karl Marx in the 19th century.
When Karl Marx first penned his shaping works on communism, he assumed that the relationship between workers and capital would always be opposing. While most rejected his overall theories, they did not argue with the basic idea that the interests of workers would always be at odds with those of owners. This is one of Marx's only theories that has proven to be true. As a consequence, over the years, that thought has guided the marketplace in terms of deciding wages, working conditions and other worker centered benefits.
The bourgeoisie (rich/owners class), by rapid improvement of production instruments and by powerful means of communication, drew all, even the most underdeveloped nations, into civilization through production. Their fast development and ability in many cases to exploit the worker allowed them to get a foothold in the market. So capitalism evolved into globalization. This is the major reason why all other systems, communism included, found themselves chasing the idea of wealth through production.
According to Marx, the 'capitalist mode of production' is a product of the 'industrial revolution' and the division of labor coming from it. By virtue of this division, Marx's capitalist reality is more and more splitting into two great factions directly facing each other off; these classes are; the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. The processes in which the two classes were formed and the setting in which they presently exist have molded their thinking and the products of their thinking. In other words, the 'human nature' of the members of both classes is largely shaped by their positions within the two groups. Given the conformist nature of the human person, considerable light may be thrown upon the major features of Marx's reality by means of an investigation of the types of 'human nature' that he assigned in this economic theory.
In Marx's capitalist reality, division of labor is a necessary condition for commodity production. This division attacks the individual/worker class at the very root of their life so that they are converted into 'a crippled being'. By the process in which they are crippled they experiences acute alienation, which defines them forever. The alienation according to Marx has several dimensions. In the first, the worker is estranged not only from the act of production, but also from the products of his labor. Next, because the workers activities belong to another, namely the capitalist, the worker translates this separation as a loss of his self. Which abstractly means that he is estranging himself from himself through the act of production. In the last form, the alienation takes the form of estrangement of one man to another man. Partly because the division of labor creates a hierarchical structure among the workers themselves and partly for the previous reason that the workers are the property of the capitalist and are seen as human capital.
Nevertheless the non-worker, the capitalist, is also caught in his own web of alienation. But there is a difference between the two and how they interact. By virtue of the property relationship of the worker to non-worker. The non-worker in theory does everything against the worker, which the worker does against himself; but he the non-worker does not do against himself what the worker does to himself. So, whereas the worker's activity is a torment to himself, the capitalists' activity is his means of support and success. Division of labor and the human nature that it has molded in all its alienated and crippling forms are, therefore, fundamental and integral parts of the paradox of facts that Marx implanted in his reality regarding capitalism.
But when Marx wrote this he did not realize or account for accumulation and the concentration of wealth in the hands of individual capitalists. This concentration takes place in a process of fierce competition among the capitalists involved. Consequently, concentration is accompanied by an increasing centralization of capital caused by the transformation of many small into a few large capitals. This advantages of the capitalist process of production, caused or may have even been invented to intensify mass misery, oppression, slavery, degradation and exploitation.
In the long run, in the past, or as we see today capitalism does cause oppression in three major ways. One is the simple systematic theory of the bourgeoisie versus the proletariat. The rich controlling the poor, the rich profiting from the poor, and the rich exploiting the poor and much as is today legally possible. The second is the breakdown of the worker in order to have more control. In past capitalism this has been much clearer but it still exists today, workers fear the people they work for, therefor they don't demand the necessities they need to work. They fear the non-worker and don't demand what they need because they have been broken down, dehumanized, and forced to fight their internal feelings as opposed to their outer conditions. The final way that capitalism breeds or causes oppression is through its growth and profit potential. Just as when the capitalist idea was first imagined it still moves amazingly fast. Money can make more money easier and quicker that people with no money trying to make it. This is why the bourgeoisie have stayed in control and the oppressed proletariat have remained in their positions. Their oppressed positions caused by capitalist thoughts.
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