The modern working classes, or proletariats, own only their labor. Proletariats work for the capitalists, who own the product that was produced and then sell it for a profit. In other words, the capitalists benefit most from this system. The result of this was often alienated labor, which is one of Marx and Engels’ main critiques of capitalism. Marx explains, “It has drowned the most heavenly ecstasies of religious fervour, of chivalrous enthusiasm, of philistine
Marx’s ideas on this exploitation refers to a feudalistic driven society, where the performance of labour is over and above what is needed to produce goods consumed by the labourer. An example to sustain his theory is of when the exploiter ends up with a surplus. The proletariat or working class is therefore not paid the full value of what she or he produces, the rest is the surplus value which is the capitalist’s profits, and according to Marx known as the ‘unpaid labour of the working class’. The bourgeoisie force down wages of the proletariat to increase their own profits and this creates a more direct conflict between the classes and gives rise to the development of class consciousness in the working class. The working class, through trade unions and other struggles becomes conscious of itself as an exploited class.
This sociological study will analyze the problem of commodity fetishism in American consumer culture. Karl Marx’s theory of commodity fetishism is a major problem in the United States due to the inability of consumers to see the intrinsic value of a commodity. American consumer culture tends to become trapped in the “magical qualities” of a product, which makes them unable to understand the object as it was made by a laborer. This abstraction of the commodity is part of Marx’s analysis of capitalist products that is separated from the labor and become valuable objects in and of themselves. This is an important sociological perspective on commodities, which creates an irrational consumer culture in the American marketplace.
Marx understood capitalism to be founded upon a class division between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. He believed society goes through five changes; Primitive, Ancient Slave owning, Feudal society, Capitalist and Communism being the final stage. A Capitalist society was considered to be the modern society where there will be conflict due to people striving for things that will benefit themselves, hence persons are self-interested. The devaluation of the human world increases in direct relation with the increase to the value of the world of things. Thus there is the alienation of the worker in the capitalist economy; the worker lacks control over the' disposal of his products, since what he produces is appropriated by others, so that he does not benefit from it.
Marx believed that the base of a society lied in the economics and that the owners, who were making profit, were over the workers/laborers. This was wrong because the profit owners would create a “superstructure” that was made up by the state military, police, education, religion and ideology. Marx interpreted the “superstructure” as being, “…not the consciousness of men that determines their being, but, on the contrary, their social being that determines their consciousness” (Ball eat
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.
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.
the bourgeoisie is based on the foundation of the family, capital and private profit, that is, the family relation is reduced to the money relation. Because of the great industry, all the family ties of the proletarians are already fragmented. When the capital is destroyed, both families will disappear. Subsequently, the private home business will be transformed into a social industry, where child care and education will become social and institutionalized. In fact, since Marx adopted the theory of conflict, the capitalist exploiter in society is experiencing at the extreme, the proletarian consciousness of the triggers and the fall of the capitalist society and the coming of communism.
Social classes were more of a social relationship rather than a position or rank in society. The bourgeoisie could not exist without the proletariat, or vice-versa. Classes are an essential aspect of production, the division of labor and the labor process. The relationship between the rich and the poor is further contradictory in that it is not just two sets of interests, but there is no resolution of the capital-labor contradiction within the organization of capitalism as a system. As stated by Rummel (1977), Marx observed the society to its main classes, and the struggle amid them as the engine of modification.
The bourgeoisie are the owners of means of production such as factories and other businesses. He believed that the wealth of the bourgeoisie depend on the work that the proletariat carried out, meaning that without the proletariats there won’t be wealth for the bourgeoisies. Marx refers to proletariats as laborers who do not get any piece of what they produce rather they are obliged to give everything they produce to the capitalist, the bourgeoisies. Both Weber and Marx believe that stratification results to inequality in a way that the rich will forever remain rich and the poor will remain poor. (Marx&