Marxism refers to the body of ideas first worked out by Karl Marx. These ideas shape a theoretical basis for the struggle of the working class to a higher form of human society (Sewell et al., 2008). Capitalism on the other hand, is the social structure that emerges on the basis of the social relationship between the consumers and the sellers of labour power (Ritzer, 2000). This essay will discuss the preconditions for capitalism, which include: commodities, surplus value and labour power. The contradictions of capitalism such as; alienation, exploitation and the decline in human development and will also be discussed, as well as contemporary examples of these found in South Africa. Karl Marx was one of the first people to criticize the capitalist …show more content…
One of the pre conditions for capitalism is commodities. Capitalism was the only economic form where the majority of the products were produced as commodities (Ritzer, 2000). A commodity is a useful object or thing that is produced, not for immediate consumption by the producer, but for the specific purpose of exchange with other consumers using a medium of exchange such as money (Ritzer, 2000). As the majority of products were produced to make commodities in this manner, satisfaction of needs was no longer important nor was it the aim of the capitalist. Production now took on the sole objective to produce items for the purpose of exchange and for the subsequent acquisition of profit. In capitalism there is an impersonal social relationship where commodities are bought without knowing who has produced them and how (Ritzer, …show more content…
2003. A Beginners Guide to Social Theory. London: Sage. Extracts from chapter 2. Business Report. 17 August 2012. "Lonmin an example of exploitation". South African Press Association. Retrieved 5 May 2015. Haralambos, M., & Holborn, M. 2008. Sociology: Themes and Perspectives (7th ed.). London: Harper-Collins. Mandel, E. 1976. ‘Introduction’ in Capital: A critique of political economy. Volume 1: Marx, K. Harmonsworth: Penguin Books. pp. 11-86. Kalpakjian, S., & Schmid, S. 2005. Manufacturing, Engineering & Technology. Prentice Hall. pp. 22–36, 951–988 Ritzer, G. 2000. Sociological Theory. New York: McGraw-Hill. Chapter 2, Karl Marx. Sewell, R. Mick, B. and Woods, A. 2008. What is Marxism? London: Wellred Publications. pp. 119-169. Sweatshop. 2008. New World Encyclopedia, Retrieved 5 May 2015. Van Huyssteen, E. 2003. Structure and agency: the social construction of identity. Johannesburg: University of the
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Evaluating the writings of legendary German political economist Karl Marx, and Marxism at large, in the context of twenty-first century developments can be a Sisyphean task. In the third episode of “Masters of Money,” Stephanie Flanders and the British Broadcasting Corporation tackle his legacy in the wake of the Great Recession of 2008. Flanders does well to establish the core tenets of Marxism in this documentary but loses sight of some of the finer points. The basics of commodity ownership are discussed but only briefly, and rather shoddily. The creation of surplus-value is ignored entirely, which would help to frame the decline in wages experienced globally by many.
Throughout the history of the United States, there were always problems that seemed to be unsolvable at that point, but America fought to overcome those dilemmas and as we can see today its independent, rules by the highest and the most powerful source of law- Constitution, there is no slavery, segregation, and women gained their rights. There is no country that is ideal, each country has its flaws and America is not exception, but is willing to act on it and modify itself. One of the biggest problems that citizens are faced with is income inequality that highly increased over years. It is putting the same energy and time but receiving different amount of money for the same type of job, this unfairness teaches peoples how to survive by using
In a globalized capitalist society, the most relevant translation of a commodity’s value is into money. Commodities aren’t only possessions like cosmetics and La-Z Boys, they are food, land, knowledge, identity, humans. Anything and everything that is valued for the needs and desires of humans is a commodity. A human is commodified as soon as they, or their labor can be bought, and everyone and everything is up for sale. This is because capitalism facilitates humans’ “[dispossession] of access to their own means of production--raw materials as well as instruments of production” (Burawoy, 1979, p. 23).
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.
In this essay I will compare and contrast Marx and Weber’s theories on social change and the rise of modern capitalism. Firstly I will provide a brief outline of Marx’s theories relating to social change and capitalism. I will then briefly outline Weber’s theories on social change and the rise of modern capitalism. Finally I will give my own critique of the theories outlining which one I prefer and the reasons for my choice.
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. The development of a society from the old and from the new is the result of the conflict of classes in the society.
Capitalism is a highly dynamic system which brought immense material wealth to the human society. This essay traces the historical dynamism of capitalism from its minority status to its majority status in term of demand and supply of investment capital. The emergence of capitalism as a mode of production out of pre-capitalist mode of production was fully formed by the mid-nineteenth century (Hobsbawn, Age of Capital: 1848-1875) this in no way implies that it was quantitatively dominant mode of production.
In this Essay I will compare and contrast two major theoretical perspectives in Sociology. The Functionalist theory of Emile Durkheim and the Marxist theory of Karl Marx (Giddens, 2009, p. 72) Sociology is the scientific study of social life. It describes and analyses social behaviour. It seeks to discover how human society has come
Capitalism is defined not just as an economic system described by private ownership of capital goods but also by being a system of prosperity formation, modernization, and social modification that has brought to billions of people wealth that was inconceivable to former generations. Capitalism sets human originality to the provision of humankind by regarding and inspiring entrepreneurial innovation, that indefinable feature that clarifies the alteration between the lives of the people today, and the people back then. Capitalism promotes political freedom, alleviation of poverty and leads to economic growth. To begin, the first advantage that exists in capitalism is the development of political freedom.
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. Karl Marx has his own theory that history is made up by class struggle which he mentioned in his book – Manifesto of the Communist Party: “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.” (Marx and Engels, 1848) and had predicted that the Proletariat would lead a revolution to overthrow the Bourgeoisie. Karl Marx believed that there will be intrinsic conflict like exploitation, alienation of labour and commodity fetishism between both of the classes.
Question 1. What do you make of Karl Marx’s contributions to sociology? Answer: It would take volumes to describe how important Karl Marx’s work is in sociology. His work is important in the 21st century because his concepts and ideas are the only genuine seeds for a better society.
In their theories both highlight the division of labour and alienation as methods and results of maintaining control within a capitalist society. Durkheim coined the term social facts to describe the external and internal forces that habilitate individuals within a society. “….” . Social facts include values, cultural norms, and social structures comprise those sources that
In this Essay I will compare and contrast two major theoretical perspectives in Sociology. The Functionalist theory of Emile Durkheim and the Marxist theory of Karl Marx (Giddens, 2009, p. 72) Sociology is the scientific study of social life. It describes and analyses social behaviour. It seeks to discover how human society has come to be the way it is, and reveal the social forces that shape people’s lives.
Marx, through his communist manifesto, believed that “modern industry has converted the little workshop of the patriarchal master into the great factory of the industrial capitalist”, taking society from one epoch of social stratification and forced labour to Capitalism, under which the inequality between the Bourgeoisie and the Proletariat grew and became more evident. On the other hand, Durkheim saw industrialisation as a mainly positive occurrence which, along with the division of labour, provided the necessary institutions are in place to maintain it, as it causes society to change and develop and thus “civilization develops because it cannot fail to develop” (Durkheim: 1933: 337). Yet despite differences in their views of the effect, both Marx and Durkheim used the process of industrialisation to explain how society progresses and how society is held together or broken, with Durkheim, in particular, looking at just how much the structure of society changes as the division of labour progresses (Morrison:
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.