Nearly a hundred and thirty years after his death, Karl Marx continues to exert enormous intellectual and practical influence across the world. Both a scholar and a political activist, Marx addressed a wide range of political as well as social issues, and is known for, among other things, his analysis of history. The interpretations of his theories, particularly those on political economy, have in the course of history generated decades of debate, inspired revolutions and cast him as both devil and deity in political and academic circles. Maligned by some, misunderstood by others and celebrated as one of the world's great thinkers by many more, Marx continues to be a divisive and much discussed individual.
Karl Marx was a German philosopher and economist in the 18th century. He is known for his book the Communist Manifesto that was published in 1848. Marx believed that a revolution of the working classes would over throw the capitalist order and creates a classless society. The Industrial Revolutions led to the proletarianization; his partner Friedrich Engels explained why the changes created by the proletarianization of the worker would develop into a huge problem for industrial societies.
The worker has no control or agency over the product that she produces, she is disconnected from her own labor. Marx posits that a commodity is viewed only in terms of a final product while the processes through which it underwent remains veiled and, therefore, disregarded. A commodity’s value is achieved only in terms of ‘exchange’ in the market. Therefore, the exchange value is based on the human activity under particular historical and social conditions. The worker in a capitalist society sells the labor, hence getting a small return, the capitalist on the other hand sells the commodity and gets a greater return.
The three main ideas from the Communist Manifesto The Communist Manifesto, written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, had little to no influence when it was first published in 1848 for the Communist League. However, soon after Marx and Engel’s other writings on socialism became published it grew in popularity, and was considered a standard text of the time (Brians, 2006). With Marx’s radical ideas, and Engels’ thorough writing, they were able to convey how they were individual of the other socialists of the time and elaborate on their idea socialism and how it would inevitably be achieved. The three main ideas from The Communist Manifesto are class conflict, ephemeral capitalism, and inevitable revolution.
The Industrial Revolution cast its shadow upon European cities and towns. Some enjoyed this shade while others suffered tremendously because of it. Those who enjoyed the luxuries and wealth that the Industrial Revolution provided, the bourgeoisie, depended on the needs of the poor, the proletarians, to increase the size of their monstrous factories and ultimately their wealth and influence. In “The Communist Manifesto” Karl Marx discusses the effects of the Industrial Revolution in further dividing society by creating new social and economic hierarchies. In addition to his observation of the division of labor, Karl Marx believed, that due to the technological shift from craftsmanship to machinery this also caused division of labor and the appreciation of proletarian handmade goods was disregarded. Through “The Communist Manifesto” one is able to imagine a conversation between Karl Marx and Adam Smith. One where Karl Marx replies to Adam Smith’s theories on the manufacturing process, wages, and the division of labor with the reality of the proletarians, that Adam Smith disregarded. In this essay, I will argue for the shadow of change that machinery has cast upon laborers and the socioeconomic changes that were triggered as a result of the Industrial Revolution and the shift to machinery in factories .
The history of our world has had a roller coaster of climactic events. Ranging from the Neolithic Revolution to the Industrial Revolution, the world that we live in today has experienced so much progression in how we cope with change. Although most of the change that we have experienced in the world today has been beneficial, some aspects of change have instead been controversial. Economic visionary and philosopher Karl Marx changed the way that many people see the world in the sense of how we are controlled and how this control could warp our future. Karl Marx was born on May 5th, 1818, in Trier, Prussia.
Karl Heinrich Marx was a German philosopher, economist, social scientist, sociologist, historian, journalist and revolutionary socialist. Marx was born on 5 May 1818 in Germany and died on 14 March 1883 in London. Karl Marx is regarded to be one of the founding fathers of Sociology. Capitalism, in layman’s term means “an economic, political, and social system in which property, business, and industry are privately owned, directed towards making the greatest possible profits for successful organizations and people.” (Cambridge Dictionary, 2014). Capitalism, according to Karl Marx is divided into two major social classes: the Bourgeoisie and the Proletariat. The Bourgeoisie, which is the minority of the class system, own the means of production such as land, machinery, factories and raw materials whereas the Proletariat, which is the majority of the class system, having no means of their own production and have to work to earn wage for a living.
Industrialization also enhanced the capitalism which is focused on the issue of more profit and conflict between capital and workers. While owner of productions take more profit with less labor, workers take less profit even with much more labor force. Karl Marx is one of the thinkers who criticizes this situation of capitalism in terms of workers and capitals in industry, especially he focuses on the situation of
Marx and Engels look at capitalism with seriously negative opinions. They regard the system as extremely unsuitable, and are deeply concerned with getting rid of it. In a capitalist society, capitalists own and control the main resources of production - machinery, factories, mines, capital, etc. 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.
Marx believes that people in a capitalist society become enraptured by the system of commodities. For example, Marx’s ideas on the commodification of labor show how the individual, as a worker, becomes enraptured by the capitalist system of production, and accepts his role in the system. He writes, “The workers exchange their commodity, labour, for the commodity of the capitalist, for money, and this exchange takes place in a definite ratio”” (Marx, in Calhoun, p. 122). Marx believes that workers become captivated because they fetishize the commodification process to the extent that they view themselves and others through the lenses of commodities.
The key concepts that I will discuss in this assignment are the theories and ideas of Karl Marx on Alienation, Exploitation, Materialism and Class struggle. The objective of this assignment is to examine the literature written about Karl Marx in order to clearly present his main ideas and theories in relation to work and capital. In the second part of my assignment I will discuss what relevance these theories and ideas have in today’s world. Karl Heinrich Marx the philosopher and revolutionary socialist was born on the 5th of May 1818 and died on the 14th of March 1883. He was born in the city of Trier in Germany and studied law in Bonn University. He based his ideas and theories on social structure, economics and politics.
Marx explains that society needs to be understood by studying real, existing human beings. We think about individuals historically to gain an understanding of reality. Physical survival is the key component; moreover, individuals need to survive to create history in which Marx studied to create explanations. Social production is a fundamental part of Marx’s theory of historical materialism. He asserts that individuals need to organize themselves and create some sort of order to survive.
Karl Marx (1818-1883) considered himself not to be a sociologist but a political activist. However, many would disagree and in the view of Hughes (1986), he was ‘both – and a philosopher, historian, economist, and a political scientist as well.’ Much of the work of Marx was political and economic but his main focus was on class conflict and how this led to the rise of capitalism. While nowadays, when people hear the word “communism”, they think of the dictatorial rule of Stalin and the horrific stories of life in a communist state such as the Soviet Union, it is important not to accuse Marx of the deeds carried out in his name.
In the Communist manifesto, a well known quote of Marx, “the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.” This is introductory to the first part of the pamphlet and a conclusion to Marx’s theory about class struggle. Marx’s highly structured on how the class struggle emerges and affects the development of a society.
Karl Marx and Emile Durkheim both displayed very differing views on the division of labour, and they each have a different proposal on how a society should be ordered. In this essay, I will be highlighting on how Marx believed in a classless society, and how Durkheim believed in structural functionalism, where a society will adjust to achieve a stable state. Furthermore, I will be relating both of their views to my home country Singapore, and why Durkheim’s theory of structural functionalism will be more applicable to the society of Singapore.