Essay: Classical Theorists

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Classical Theorists

Over the decades, a number of different theories have been presented which are designed to highlight the way everyone in society is interacting with each other. This is having a profound impact upon how people think and view the world around them. Two of the most important philosophers from these areas are Karl Marx and Emile Durkheim. To fully understand the main ideas of each one requires: providing an overview of these ideas and comparing / evaluating the different theories. Together, these elements will highlight the strengths and weaknesses of them.

Karl Marx's Theories from Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844

Karl Marx (2012) believed that the landowners continually exploited everyone for their own benefit. This gave them an unfair advantage, which helped to ensure that they were able to maintain their power and social status above everyone else. Evidence of this can be seen with Marx saying, "The landlords' right has its origin in robbery. Like all other men, they love to reap where they never sowed and demand a rent even for the natural produce of the earth." (Marx 2012, pg. 52) (Eldes 2009) (Wood 1987)

This comment is showing how Marx believes that capitalism is the root of all social injustices that are occurring. This is because he thinks that the wealthy will use their power and influence to continually exploit everybody beneath them in society. At the heart of their authority, is the ability to maintain control of the land and various natural resources on it. When this happens, they can use these assets as a way to force others to do something that is in their own best interests. While not producing and creating anything themselves. Instead, they will take from the rest of society in order to ensure that they can build up their influence in the process. (Eldes 2009) (Wood 1987)

Moreover, Marx believes that everyone is exploited by the wealthy because of their labor. This is when they are using a certain amount of manpower to produce particular products or services (which are in demand). A good example of this can be seen with him saying, "These consequences are contained in the definition that the worker is related to the product of his labor as to an alien object. For on this premise it is clear that the more the worker spends himself, the more powerful the alien." (Marx 2012, pg. 70) (Eldes 2009) (Wood 1987)

In this aspect, Marx is showing how these ideas are related to his theoretical views that the wealthy will exploit all other segments of society. This is occurring by forcing them to use their labor to produce something of value. Then, the final product is utilized to benefit the elite who will reap the largest rewards. For the workers, the more they support this system. The larger the disconnect that exists from the fruits of their labor and the rest of society. They are unable to gain any kind of economic or social advantages from these activities. Instead, they must go through a perpetual cycle of exploitation that exists. When this happens, they are enduring a larger form of economic and societal slavery based upon this system. (Eldes 2009) (Wood 1987)

Emile Durkheim's Theories from The rules of the Sociological Method

Emile Durkheim (1982) is proving how sociology is a science of social facts. This is different from other theories, as it is utilized to show the way it is different from contrasting disciplines. Evidence of this can be seen with Durkheim saying, "As a phenomena science will be in a position to throw light on practical matters while remaining true… [END OF PREVIEW]

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