‘Focusing on capitalism and wage workers’ “estranged labour,” Marx broke with Hegels “ abstract” emphasis on consciousness and equation of objectification with alienation(Ritzer 2000:96) In the profound theory of alienation Marx continued to answer questions of the development of capitalism. He found that workers in a capitalist society do not possess the raw materials machines or factories in which they work with, but are owned by the capitalists in which the labours have to sell their ability to work in return of a wage. This arrangement of work shows four relations that lie at the centre of Marx 's theory of alienation 1, the worker is cut off or alienated from their productivity and not having any say in deciding what to do or actions to approach the productive activity that is given by the capitalist whom sets the conditions and speed that the labourer should be completing and having complete control the decision if the worker can work or not. Marx saw this as the ‘unequal relation between persons.’ (Ritzer 2000:101) 2, workers are alienated from the product meaning they have no control to how the product is being handled once it has left their station the labour is not free or enjoyable. ‘Marx saw all social life as bearing the imprints of material conditions’ (Ritzer 2002:107) 3, workers are alienated from others and their natural environment.
Capitalism makes the working class into a class of exploited workers. Marx believed that the economics behind capitalism is the reason for inequalities in society. Marx discussed in the Communist manifesto 184? the only way the exploitation would end was if the proletariat united to over throw the power group, in this case bourgeoisie to become a class for itself. This would lead to socialism or a communist society however this prediction has not developed
As the bourgeoisie developed in society the proletariat did too. So, it is the proletarians who are expected to eventually destroy the bourgeoisie. Proletarians base their living off of the way they live. As long as they can find some kind of work and their labor increases capital. The proletarians live a different lifestyle and they can be vulnerable to everything going on in society and because of the new developments and divisions of labor, proletarians wage decreases.
Marx argues that the division of labor results in alienation, and he focused on the social inequalities between two social classes. Unlike him, Durkheim claims that the division of labor is not necessarily bad for the society, it creates a feeling of solidarity between group members. Marx is quite concerned with how people relate to the most fundamental resource of all, their own power of labor and the problems of alienation. The deprive of the ownership of their labor and their own thoughts, according to Marx, causes the alienation of workers from their nature and consequently causes conflicts between the two social classes. In his opinion, the division of labor and class inequality will eventually bring about the social stratification.
It is argued that social inequality occurs because of the conflict between the upper-class and the working-class, or as Marx defines it, the Bourgeoisie and the Proletariat. Based on the Manifesto of the Communist Party (Marx and Engels, 1848), the divergence emerges because the aim of the Bourgeoisie is to obtain a surplus-value that is produced by the work of the Proletariat. On the other side, the Bourgeoisie provides the Proletariat with the minimum required, such as a place to live and a minimum wage, in order to keep the society under control and avoid a rebellion. However, Marx did predict a revolt of the working-class that would eventually lead to a communist regime. When it comes to applying this theoretical approach to reality, it is evident to notice that no global revolt in regards to capitalism has occurred.
By ignoring the lower class or the powerless, those that influence important political decisions ignore those who make up a great majority of the population. The article mentions the use of the Brechtian or Schweikian forms of resistance as “Integral parts of the small arsenal of relatively powerless groups.” (Scott, Resistance 34). This form of resistance includes acts including false compliance, foot-dragging, smuggling, poaching and so on. Techniques such as these, are the ordinary means of class struggle. The term class struggle refers to the ideology of Karl Marx, which stated that there would be conflicts of interest between the working class and the ruling class in a capitalist society.
As demonstrated by Marx and Engels in the introduction and development of instruments of labour, the division of labour and private property divide of people into social classes (i.e. the exploiting class and the exploited class). Alienation and contradiction – expressed through class struggles – are oppressive and dehumanizing, yet absolutely necessary for the general progress of the human society (Marx and Engels, 1965). Marx explains social change in endogenous terms, stressing the internal dynamics of the mode of production (Moratiu and Ignat 2011). From the social point of view, processes are qualified as being endogenous when they occur within the social system, conflicts arising due to tensions between socially unequal groups and classes, inequality being powered by economically contradictions, which, ultimately, grow into social contradictions calling for change.
He also criticizes the capitalists in European economics. These people collect factories and raw materials for production, pay their laborers wages to produce goods, and as a result produce a profit due to good calculations. Although he says this is the rational thing to do to make more money, it is exploiting lower class laborers. Labor becomes an object, a type of commodity, instead of something people do. Consequently, laborers become an object and lose their humanity.
They introduced a variety of new democratic techniques into our political mechanics, in an attempt to break the grip of the corrupt bosses who manipulated irresponsible immigrant voters and unscrupulous businessmen in ways that subverted good government. Huthmacher states, “The great source of urban working-class liberalism was experience”(Huthmacher11) The middle-class reformers relied on muckrakers, Social Gospelers, and social scientists to delineate the ills of society, the urban working class knew at first hand the conditions of life on the other side. The middle class made further advancement from what was already comfortable. Their hopes for environmental improvement was limited within the bounds of reasonable expectation. Huthmacher states, “Their outlook tended to be more practical and "possibilistic" than that of some middle-class Progressives who allowed their reform aspirations to soar to Utopian heights, envisaging a "Kingdom of God on Earth" or a perfect society to be achieved by means of sociological test tubes”(Huthmacher12).
Marx thought that social stratification is created by the unequal access to the productive properties. The capitalist or also called the bourgeoisie, exploit their workers by only paying them as much as necessary to scratch a living. The workers are not aware of their invidious position as they take the ideologies, norms and values which the capitalists promotes, for granted. Marx predicted a revolution of the workers. He believed that the proletariat will become aware of its misery and will unite to overthrow the capitalists and capitalism.