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.
Private property is the byproduct of division of labor. Surplus expropriation is the exploitation of workers’ labor to create profit. Marx believed it distorts the natural work processes is the expropriation of surplus wealth by the capitalists at the expense of the worker. Workers generate most of the wealth; yet receive only a small portion. The owners of production pay their workers less than the value of their labor, usually enough to maintain
‘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
The labor of workers becomes a commodity that only profits the owner. Marx compares the worker to the owner using the terms proletariat and bourgeoisie. Because of the structure of capitalism, there is always an intrinsic conflict between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. Capitalism demystifies human relationships, “the bourgeoisie has torn away from the family its sentimental veil, and has reduced the family relation to a mere money relation” (Marx 161). Once the labor of a worker is no longer needed, they will be dismissed
However, this behaviour, as Marx believed based on Chris Hedges’ article, would cause capitalism to eventually exhaust its potential and collapse. Since capitalists are trying to gain as much profit as possible, there are no adjustments made in their conduct and decisions even though their actions are worsening the economic growth and social well-being in the country as a whole. Thus, capitalists keep competing with one another instead of cooperating with each other to solve the problems arising from their
Marx similarly sees the system of capitalism as unsustainable, but he is less hopeful for its inevitable demise. He believes that capitalism is a race to the bottom, where the only time that the workers can improve their “material position” is when they sacrifice their “social position” instead, as the “social gulf that divides [them] from the capitalist has widened” (Marx 211). According to Marx, the working class would never be able to improve their situation without furthering the divide between the classes and putting them further under the reign of the wealthy. In his mind, the divide would eventually become so large that the working class would no longer be able to support the weight of the system, and the system would inevitably collapse in on itself. In this way, both Douglass and Marx see the unsustainable nature of their economic systems, but they differ in how they see the inevitable
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.
Capitalism polarizes a society economically: the very rich and the very poor. Capitalism creates large scale economic inequality which, in turn, can engender grievances among members of a society fueled by the haves and not haves. Capitalists argue that, open/free market provides the opportunity for anyone to freely compete and pursue their desired choices; however, the religious moral argument castigates the capitalist economic order mainly because of the moral implications for members of a society as a whole. Greed – natural or nurtured – obliges individuals to accumulate excessive wealth. These patterns can be clearly observed in the capitalist economic environment where persons with higher economic capital dominate persons with lower capital.
Capitalism is built on the existence of private firms, where in Karl Marx’s opinion, the income generated is a result of the exploitation of workers. In private firms, workers do not own factors of production and Marx believed that this would inevitably lead to the alienation of workers from their environment and themselves. Unlike in traditional societies, where workers gain satisfaction from creating products of their own chosen specialized fields, in the current context, workers see their work merely as a form of survival. Marx believed that in a capitalistic economy, the rich have power over the middle and lower income classes and that the oppression of the middle and lower classes by minimizing wages to reducing cost of production, will eventually lead to a revolution against the rich and hence resulting in the economy producing products for the needs of the general mass rather than for boosting profits. (Marx, K., & Engels, F. 1948)
It doesn’t take into account the expenditure of brain and muscle power which actually constitute the labour until he is set to work. In capitalism the labour contract is legally limited or terminable or both. This shows the fact that the labour is indeed selling himself. Now since the labour power is a commodity it will have a value like another