Marx sees this exploitation as conflict, a conflict of interest as the proletariat or working-class produce the wealth but only receive a wage. This wage is only a small percentage of the wealth or value they produce. This value according to Marx is the surplus value, this is the value over what the proletariat receives as wages. This surplus value again for Marx is where the exploitation lies as the proletariat will always be exploited. Capitalism makes the working class into a class of exploited workers.
INTRODUCTION This essay will discuss the concept of one of the greatest economists, a philosopher, a journalist, a historian, also known and believed to be one of the founding fathers of sociology. Karl Marx, made a contribution to sociology in the 19th century. He developed a sociological theory that stated that human societies progress through a struggle between two distinct classes, namely; the bourgeoise and proletariat. It claims that society is in conflict between the rich who own and control everything, and the poor who must work for the rich and be rewarded very little for their hard work. The theory is known as the conflict theory or the Marxist theory or Marxism, which is more concerned about the class struggle within the society, and how capitalism is not healthy for any society.
Marx believed that these contradictions can be resolved by a life and death struggle that changes the social world. He went on to identify four types of dialectical methods namely fact and value, reciprocal relations, past; present; future and lastly no inevitabilities (Ritzer and Stepnisky, 2014:46-47). Marx believed that between our human potential and the way we must work in capitalist society existed a real contradiction and he further indicated that our human potential is linked with our specific social relations but differs socially as well as historically (Ritzer and Stepnisky, 2014:48-49). Max theory elaborate more about capital, capitalist and proletariat in his theory. Capitalism is divided into two groups which are the proletariat and capitalist.
“The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles”. Karl Marx used the word “struggle” repeatedly for the social changes in describing how society move forward. In his theory, a commodity is something that is bought and sold, or exchanged in a market. It has a “use – value” determined by the qualities of things and the purposes or needs because the commodity can satisfy human’s need and it also has a “exchange – value” determined by quantities of things and what can be gotten for them. As use – values, commodities have all of different qualities, but in terms of exchange – values, they are just different quantities and do not contain the use – value.
‘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. In this alienated type of work place, workers are not only indifferent but are continually in competition which replaces forms of cooperation, everyone tries to survive as best they can. Like the capitalist who controls the workers productivity while maximising their own profits for only their benefit as capitalists are in competition of what they sell and not in the interest of the workers.4 lastly the worker is alienated from their each individual creativity and we
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.
The concept of cultural production is very much discussed by many theorists under the context of capitalism. According to Marx, the ideology and values of the ruling class is spread to the working class through what Engels called, the “false consciousness”. Marx posited that the control of the ruling class over the means of production includes not only the production of goods but also the production of ideas, values and beliefs. The working class suffers from “false consciousness” in that they are beckon to believe that the dominant ideology is in the best interest of the entire society. Through this phrase of “false consciousness”, the realities of exploitation and domination are concealed and obscured, thus allowing the ideology and values
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. Ironically enough techniques like the Brechtian forms mentioned above, was abetted or supported elites and social scientists whose interests were mainly on forms that posed threat to power
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.
To make matter worse, modernization theory, which Marxism believes is an essential element of capitalism, further worsens the imbalances between the economic classes. For example, globalization advocates for lesser intervention of government in economic activities but Marxists believe that such action would encourage the growth of bourgeoisie while proletariats would always suffer. Thus, Marxism is a humanity-cantered philosophy. It is also an activist view of looking at the society. It recognizes the constraints upon human action and also acknowledges that those constraints are the creations of other sets of human beings.