Throughout Karl Marx writings he describes the mode of production called capitalism. In his writings, Marx is fascinated with capitalism. He asserts that some vital parts of capitalism are money, labor and commodities. The production of commodities due to labor leads to surplus value. In the Communist Manifesto, Marx asserts that one thing that will eventually destroy capitalism is the over production of commodities.
He also believed that alienation is a necessary feature of capitalism because for the wage earner, work is alienating because it serves solely to provide the means such as money for maintaining physical existence (p.47). Marx believed that people worked just for money –and not for the creative potential of labor itself, which was akin to selling your soul (p.47). For example, many factory workers are hired to work for wages and support capitalism. It creates a sense of alienation from everything around them. According to Marx, the worker is just the subject to the demands of the production process and has little control over the production.
One contrast between Marx and Durkheim is how they think society coerces individuals to conform to its expectations. Marx believes that value and coercion is created through labor-time. For example, on the commodification of workers, he writes, “These laborers, who must sell themselves piecemeal, are a commodity, like every other article of commerce, and are consequently exposed to all the vicissitudes of competition, to all the fluctuations of the market” (Marx, in Calhoun, p. 101). Marx presents workers as victims of capitalism who are coerced to accept their wages due to the competitive nature of a capitalist society. Individuals, as workers, are thus coerced to accept the quantifiable, expected wages for their labor, and thus conform to
In Marxian theory, there are two dominate ideas that explain the class struggle that has made up human history. The first is the social relations of production which describes the social divisions in labor. As a result of the social relations of production class struggles grow more complex. Yet, the bourgeoisie are able to keep the labor class unaware of this through ideological superstructures that provide them with a false
A socialist economy limits rights to private property, especially property used to generate income. Government controls such property and makes housing and other goods available to all, not just to the people with the most money. 2. Pursuit of collective goals. The individualistic pursuit of profit goes against the collective orientation of socialism.
The bourgeoisie class or capitalists are the owners of capital. They purchase and abuse labour resources using their high position and power to their advantage and to the disadvantage of the poor labored class and hence are able to increase their wealth and power. Being wealthy is, in itself, not sufficient to make one a capitalist (e.g. managers in the state sector or landlords). What is necessary is the active role of using this wealth to make it self-expansive through employment and exploitation of labour.
In opposition to capitalism, socialism takes the well-being of workers and the opinions of the community that make it possible to run a business into consideration and believes in a unionized workforce. Unions make it impossible to force workers to find new employment in the event of an injury that prevents that laborer from working. Socialism provides a sense of job security that capitalism could never offer. Because socialism focuses on production for the needs of the people instead of solely emphasizing revenue, there would be no unnecessary surplus. Less production means less impact on the environment.
Marxian class analysis of income begins with the recognition that different kinds of relationships among individuals in a capitalist society which relate to the production, appropriation and distribution of surplus, produce different kinds of income. Such incomes can be classified into class and non-class components. a) Fundamental and subsumed class incomes: The capitalist fundamental class process produces income flows to both productive labourers and appropriating capitalists: v+s. The income flow to the labour, v, involves an equivalent exchange of labour power. In contrast, the income flow to the capitalist, s, involves no exchange.
At some point in their professional jobs people will most likely experience a disconnect or alienation to their job. According to Dalton Conley, author of the book “You May Ask Yourself: An Introduction to Thinking like a Sociologist”, he notes that even though Smith and Simmel saw the benefits of the division of labor, Marx saw alienation. Dalton defines alienation as, “A condition in which workers are dominated by forces of their own creation that then confront them as alien powers” (Conley 2015), which comes with working in a capitalist society. Alienation occurs when the worker is not allowed to express individuality in the industrial jobs controlled by the bourgeoisie. This is because capitalists ensure that workers can be exploited to attain the maximum surplus value while being isolated from the products they produce.
This form of alienation may appear similar to how capitalism was put into effect in Qatar. This is because alienation of workers in the production process aids in capitalism and the production of profit for the capitalists. Alienation within the production process is when workers are being alienated by the process of production, the work is coerced by the capitalists, and the worker is seen as an object in the production process. After reading the two articles, I can confidently say that those migrant workers in Qatar are being alienated by the capitalists in the production process. One of the characteristics of alienation within the production process is that the work is coerced by capitalists.