Marx argued that there are two classes of people that exist in society, the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. The bourgeoisie refer to the upper class that own the means of production and whose central concern is the value of property. On the other hand, the proletariat describes the working class wageworkers in a capitalist society. Marx argued that the bourgeoisie simply exploited the proletariat, and the physical labor produced by the proletariat generated more wealth for the capitalist, leaving laborers under payed and machine-like. During this process, Marx believed that through this system of mass production, laborers were stripped of individual imagination and as a result, left individuals feeling alienated to their own emotions and erotic feelings in order to maximize production and wealth.
In the beginning of the 19th century, the Industrial Revolution caused a massive economic spike from small-scale production to large factories and mass production. Capitalism became the prevalent mode of the economy, which put all means of production in the hands of the bourgeoisie, or the upper class. Karl Marx and Frederick Engels argue that capitalism centralizes all the wealth and power in the bourgeoisie, despite the proletariat, or the working class, being the overwhelming majority of the population. The manufacturers would exploit the common proletariat and force them to would work in abysmal conditions and receive low wages, furthering the working class poverty. “The Communist Manifesto” predicts that as a result of the mistreatment
Third, Marx demonstrated that, as productive powers of a human society – its ‘productive forces’ - inevitably keep growing, they necessarily come into conflict with the prevalent way of organizing social production and reproduction, which he called ‘the social relations of production’. Fourth, he made the point that as productive forces developed, there would emerge a surplus of production over and above the needs of social reproduction, which would then enable a section of society to live off the labor of the rest of society. In other words, the emergence of a surplus would make logically possible the coming into being of class society, based on a division of society between the majority who work – the exploited - and a minority who live off the labor of the majority – the exploiters. Such a class division would of course be possible only on the basis of the minority of exploiters being in control of social production, primarily through their monopoly of ownership of
Wealthy elites or the bourgeoisie continued to earn high profits while the poor proletarians continued to take part in labor intensive work in factories. Marx and Smiles both saw this as a major problem in their society. In Marx’s Communist Manifesto, he wrote, “ not only are they [the proletarians] slaves of the bourgeois class, and of the bourgeois state; they are daily and hourly enslaved by the machine, by the overlooker, and above all, by the individual bourgeois manufacturer himself…” What Marx means is that the bourgeoisie is looking down at the proletariats and using them as merely a way to earn profit. In contrast to Marx, Smiles said, “...they [the proletarians] resemble the savage tribes, who know no better, and do no worse.”
In the history of America, Americans have had to drastically change their livelihood several times. In the 1930s, John Steinbeck became a writer of the struggles Americans faced at the time. Steinbeck’s writing style was quite particular, detailing many aspects of the times and what people were going through. He focused on the lives of average American families and their struggle to make it through the times. The Grapes of Wrath is one of several novels he wrote to express this. The 1930s and the beginning of the Great Depression was a time of major change from the happiness and well-being found in the 1920s.
The Grapes of Wrath: Family Separation The Dust Bowl migration in the United Stated was a historical period of time when families from the midwest would pack up everything they owned and head west to find work in the 1930’s. Along with taking everything they could, families would try to stick together. In John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, Steinbeck demonstrates the inevitable separation between families while migrating to the west. Some readers may argue that Steinbeck’s theme of The Grapes of Wrath was to unify families as they struggle to migrate west, but he mainly displays separation within families as their journey goes on.
Karl Marx talks about the role of communism and his conjecture of underlying this type of revolution. He speaks of two different class struggles, the "Bourgeoisie and Proletarians". Bourgeoisie are the people with authority, the ones who own production and are bosses of wage labor while the proletariat are the individuals with no authority, no ownership and are giving up their own power to the Bourgeoisie in order to survive. Societies began to separate and became hostile and aggressive classes. It all became about social ranking because of the increase and need of production.
During the great depression, the midwest underwent a long drought. Exposed dry earth swept away with the wind and caused huge dust storms that prolonged the dry weather. With the lowered selling prices and the lack of crops the farmers had some major economic trouble. In Black Blizzard and John Steinbeck 's Grapes of Wrath, the literature develops the ideas of the poor distribution of wealth within the populations and the social aspects of people of different economic class. Social differences arise in the wealthy, the employed, and the unemployed throughout this period of hardship. The differences of each economic class show the boundaries of how far people sympathise with those with nothing.
The Grapes of Wrath portrays contemporary people 's actions during the long journey from Oklahoma to California. As Joad 's family travels from Oklahoma to California, their dreams and hopes are slowly crushed. When Joads struggle while facing difficulties, Ma plays a significant role: the citadel holding family all together in this hectic migration. Regardless of gender rules, Steinbeck demonstrates Ma as the real head of the household instead of Pa, driven by the responsibility and leadership within motherhood. Ma plays both mother and father figure which consequently might make Pa Joad as a useless character.
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.
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.
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 advocated revolution by the Proletariat against the Bourgeoisie to reduce income and social class inequality. However, Smith felt that the Invisible Hand and the division of labour would eventually bring the poor out of poverty, but may not entirely resolve the income inequality or equal distribution of
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.
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)