The key concepts that I will discuss in this assignment are the theories and ideas of Karl Marx on Alienation, Exploitation, Materialism and Class struggle. The objective of this assignment is to examine the literature written about Karl Marx in order to clearly present his main ideas and theories in relation to work and capital. In the second part of my assignment I will discuss what relevance these theories and ideas have in today’s world. Karl Heinrich Marx the philosopher and revolutionary socialist was born on the 5th of May 1818 and died on the 14th of March 1883. He was born in the city of Trier in Germany and studied law in Bonn University. He based his ideas and theories on social structure, economics and politics. …show more content…
Marx’s theory on exploitation is related to his earlier writings on the theory of alienation. They are both similar in that they are both highly critical of the capitalist system. Grint,(2005) emphasises that before Karl Marx nobody had ever confronted the idea of exploitive wage labour, many great thinkers of Marx’s time like Locke and Ricardo thought that the value of the wage labour was exactly equivalent to the labour expended while producing a product. Watson,T.J (2008) states that “ capitalist employment is exploitive in attempting to take from working people the value which they create through their labour and which is properly their own.”P.62. Essentially what Watson is expressing is that Capitalists exploit workers by paying them less than they are worth in order to extract enough profit from them to enable them to be able to survive within the capitalist system. This system works in favour for the Capitalist but in essence in opposition to the labourer who is getting less money for what their labour is worth. Under a capitalist economy where the worker is exploited makes the employment relationship very conflictual in the marxarian view highlights Edwards,et al. (2006). This exploitation in work that happens under a capitalist economy is the reason why Marx arrived at the conclusion that working in this system would be very conflictual and oppressive. Grint …show more content…
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 this divide would happen because the workers are dependent on their wages as a means of survival where as one of the employer’s objectives is to lower wages in order to reduce costs. This clash of interests would inevitably bring on a resistance from the proletariats. “Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communist revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win” (Marx and Engels 1848) chpt, 4. As we can see from this quote that was written in the communist manifesto by Marx himself, It is clear that he believed that as a result of this oppression by the bourgeoisie the proletarians would revolt against the capitalist system and this would result in a
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In his capitalist system “the worker receives means of subsistence in exchange for [their] labor power,” which serves no purpose but “immediate consumption,” whereas the capitalist receives “a greater value” than they had previously (Marx 209). The worker, despite creating additional earnings for the capitalist, only receives their “means of sustenance,” or their bare minimum for survival. Because the worker has been alienated from their work and the system however, they normalize this exchange, and are content with receiving a mere fraction of what they produce, unaware of their exploitation. Alienation provides the framework for both Douglass’ and Marx’s economic systems to function, as it allows the ruling class to establish a norm of
What Marx is demonstrating is capital, to be of worth, must exist between relationships. Capital is a source of social power. Workers do not receive capital in exchange for their labour. They do not gain any more power. They receive a minimum wage, which is enough payment to keep the labourer barely alive to return to work the next day to earn more capital for the capitalist.
The Marx approach focuses on economic factors as the sole reason for conflict in society. He saw society divided into the Bourgeoisie, or the owners of the means of production, and the proletariat, or the workers. Tensions and conflicts occur when the resources, power, and status are unevenly distributed between these two groups, and the conflict can lead to social change. He believed the exploited people would bane together and attempt to bring about changes. The workers would develop a class consciousness and revolt demanding more changes in society, while those with the wealth, power and prestige will continue to try and promote their own interest usually at the expense of the weaker
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels express their major critiques and opinions on capitalism in their 1848 publication of The Communist Manifesto. Their critiques are based around the idea that capitalism is simply unfair, meaning that one class benefits significantly more than the rest. The class that benefits least from capitalism is the proletariats. This unintelligent labor class suffers from the capitalists dominance, and is unaware of the damage they are experiencing. George Orwell’s depiction of Boxer in his novel, Animal Farm, fits precisely into Marx and Engels’ negative critique of capitalism by representing a strong symbol for the proletariat class and succumbing to the powerful demands of the capitalists.
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
Karl Marx starts off by saying that the people are split up into two separate classes, capitalists and the laborers. He then begins talking about his, “Theory of Alienation.” The alienation is what occurs in the laborers because since they put their whole hearted work into producing an object they get hostile when they realize that they do not own this object, the capitalist does. So, everything that the laborer does and works for is taken from him and used for the greater good, one that the laborer is not apart of.
Industrialization also enhanced the capitalism which is focused on the issue of more profit and conflict between capital and workers. While owner of productions take more profit with less labor, workers take less profit even with much more labor force. Karl Marx is one of the thinkers who criticizes this situation of capitalism in terms of workers and capitals in industry, especially he focuses on the situation of
The proletariats are the wage earners or the labour class, in a capitalist society the proletarians don’t have much wealth, and their main asset is their labour power. The bourgeoisie is the class that owns the means of production, their class interest lies in the value of property and the preservation of capital, and this ensures their perpetual economic supremacy in society. According to Marx, in the capitalist mode of production, a worker slowly loses the power to decide upon his or her life and destiny, they lose their Gattungswesen (“species-essence”), and this is a consequence of living in a socially stratified society, where human beings become a mechanistic part of a social class. Even though human beings are self-conscious and autonomous, in a capitalist society they are nothing but an economic entity whose acts are dictated by the bourgeoisie, with the aim
Andre Abi Haidar PSPA 210 INTRODUCTION It is always difficult to write about and discuss Karl Marx, or more importantly the applications of Marx’s theories, due to the fact that he inspired and gave rise to many movements and revolutionaries, not all of which follow his theories to the point. Although Marx tends to be equated with Communism, it might not seem righteous to blame him for whatever shortcomings occurred when his theories were put to the test; Marx passed away well before the revolution in Russia, and he played no role in the emergence of the totalitarian regime at the time. When discussing Marx, however, Vladimir Lenin is one of the biggest highlights when it comes to studying the outcomes of Marx’s theories.
Marx, equally, believes that the outcome of industrial capitalism is alienation of the proletariat, the working class, from their society.
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.
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.
To Marx, labor dehumanizes and alienates workers by making them exist as workers first and physical beings seconds. In the piece “Estranged Labour” from his Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844, he states that “labour produces not only commodities: it produces itself and the worker as a commodity–and this at the same rate at which it produces commodities in general” (Marx, 63). As the worker puts value into his commodity, his labor and thus he himself lose value. By doing so, the worker has put a part of himself into the commodity, and parting with said commodity means the object becomes alien to him; thus, a part of him has been taken away from him and he becomes, in a way, alienated from himself. In making his commodity, the worker
In Karl Marx’s Alienated Labor, Marx tells us how people under capitalism are alienated from: the object, oneself, the human species, and other individuals. Through the capitalist process Marx explained “the worker sinks to the level of the commodity the most miserable; and that the misery of the worker is inversely proportional to power and volume of his protection” (§ 1, 58). Marx tells us that when man becomes an alienated commodity he is essentially a slave. The first way that Marx believes man is alienated from his labor, is from the object he produces.
Karl Marx was a German philosopher and economist in the 18th century. He is known for his book the Communist Manifesto that was published in 1848. Marx believed that a revolution of the working classes would over throw the capitalist order and creates a classless society. The Industrial Revolutions led to the proletarianization; his partner Friedrich Engels explained why the changes created by the proletarianization of the worker would develop into a huge problem for industrial societies. I do believe that Karl Marx’s vision of communism in the Communist Manifesto could re-emerge as a popular and workable philosophy of social, economic, and political organization.