Term Paper: Karl Marx and Wrote

Pages: 3 (990 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Sociology  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] 479)."

As the capitalist mode of production grows, small business owners face many challenges, as they can no longer compete with the modern bourgeoisie. According to Marx, "the lower strata of the middle class - the small tradespeople, shopkeepers... all these sink gradually into the proletariat, partly because their diminutive capital does not suffice for the scale on which Modern Industry is carried on... partly because their specialized skill is rendered worthless by methods of production (p. 479)."

Marx and Engels viewed class conflict as inherent in capitalist societies. Thus, they believed that the social, legal and political aspects of the workplace needed to change over time. To promote these changes, the working class would form trade unions. According to Marx, "thereupon the workers begin to form combinations against the bourgeoisie; they club together in order to keep up the rate of wages (p. 480)"

The final stage of the class conflict is the working class' formation of a political voice, as

Marx describes as "the organization of the proletariat into a class, and consequently into a political party... It compels legislative recognition of particular interests of the workers, by taking advantage of the divisions among the bourgeoisie itself (p.481)."

Basically, in a capitalist society, as Marx and Engels describe in the Manifesto of the Communist Party, the rich will exploit the working class to benefit themselves. By forcing the working class to work for little money, the rich make even more money because their costs are minimized. The gap between the rich and poor increases, as it has in the United States. As a result, we have class conflict.

Marx and Engels envisioned a society in which individuals work for the well being of society rather than for personal gain. Society is improved because of a group effort for a higher quality of living. In effect, they believed that communism would eliminate class conflict. Basically, even in a capitalist society, Marx and Engels felt that the working class would eventually overthrow the bourgeoisie and achieve a classless society where the group works for society.

Many of Marx's ideas can be seen in the U.S. today. A key concept in Marx's critique of capitalism is that labor has been reduced to the status of a commodity, meaning that its value is equivalent to its cost of reproduction. Marx's ideas on labor value are very much alive for many organizations working for social change. In addition, it is apparent that the gap between the rich and poor is widening on a consistent basis. In the United States today, according to a Federal Reserve Board report, one percent of the population has more wealth than the bottom 90%, and it is far, far more unequal than it was in Marx's day. In this light, many of the theory's predictions ring true.


Marx, Karl. Manifesto of the… [END OF PREVIEW]

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