1. Communism: Communism is defined as the political and economic doctrine that aims to replace private property and a profit-based economy with public ownership and communal control of at least the major means of production and the natural resources of a society. This form of government is important because it is backed by the idea of pure equality and is known for being the highest, most advanced form of socialism. Communism fueled the leaders of the Russian Revolution, such as Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, and Leon Trotsky. When Lenin was called into power after Nicholas II’s abdication, he immediately introduced Communism as Russia’s new form of government.
“In ancient Rome we have patricians, knights, plebeians, slaves; in the Middle Ages, feudal lords, vassals, guild-masters, journeymen, apprentices, serfs; in almost all of these classes, again, subordinate gradations” (Manifesto, 1848). In the Communist manifesto, Marx discusses the class type of his time, bourgeois and proletariat. The bourgeois were the higher class who exploited the proletariats. They constantly strived to expand their power and wealth in society.
This is an important task from a sociological point of view as being well read in various sociological and political ideologies aids one in forming one’s own opinions. 1. Class struggles are a fundamental part of human history:
In the discussion of social inequality, one cannot leave out the sociological theories and models proposed by Karl Marx and Adam Smith. Generally, social inequality refers to the presence of unequal treatment, opportunities and rewards tied to people of various social standings within the hierarchy of a community group or society. Some common types of social inequality include wealth and income disparity as well as social class stratification. For Marx and Smith, both had explored the various types of social inequality in society.
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.
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.
Bourgeoisie, which gains the power, defines superstructure “including all social and legal institution, all political and educational systems, all religions and all art” (Bressler, 162), and articulate the ideology which is based on profits of bourgeoisie. The bourgeoisie ideology leads to alienation of individuals, especially proletariats. This bourgeoisie ideology creates the clash between the two classes. Marx supported the working class and their victory over dominant class. Marxism believes in providing equal opportunity to the working class as that are available to the
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.
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.
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.
Class conflict, Marx believed, was what encouraged the evolution of society. To quote Marx himself, The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles. Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guild-master and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one
Socioeconomic status is frequently considered to be a potential confounder or a risk factor for overweight and obesity in health studies. Although there is general agreement that SES is a multidimensional construct, scholars tend to include only one socioeconomic status component in their predictive models and few researches have provided an explicit theoretical and methodological rationale for the choice of indicators (Ball et al., 2002). Socioeconomic status is a measure of an individual’s position within society that is determined by the access to collectively desired resources (Oakes and Rossi, 2003). The SES concept has emerged from the class approach to social structure analysis, primarily developed by Karl Marx and Max Weber, and, consequently, is widely used as a synonym to “social position”, “socioeconomic position” or “social class” (Liberato et al., 1988). From Marx’s perspective, social class is identified as a group of people sharing common relations to the means of production that support their wellbeing (Marx, 1981).
According to Edwards et al. (2006) Marx thought that within capitalism there would be an increased divide between the bourgeoisie class and the proletariat class in the future. The proletariats are lower of the two classes, the people who have to work for wages in order to survive. The bourgeoisie are the people in society who controlled and owned the means of production in a capitalist system.
Marx believed that the current capitalist society is separated into two classes, the Proletariat society, and Bourgeois society. The Proletarians, as perceived by Marx, are part of the working class that only possess one significant material value, that is the ability to work, or labour power. The Bourgeoise, on the other hand, is the societal class that owns the means of production and hence rule over the Proletarians. As I quote from Marx’s book, “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.” (Marx and Engels, 1988, p. 473)