Essay On Karl Marx And Samuel Smiles And Their Ideologies
The industrial revolution of the 18th and 19th centuries brought with it new opportunities as well as challenges. Society was shifting from an agricultural oriented to an industrial oriented society. There are persons who were able to see the challenges that affected a section of the society through the new opportunities. Two of them were Karl Marx and Samuel Smiles. Marx sought to fight for the rights of the proletariat and that is why he sought to identify the proletariat with communism because Communism wanted to fight for the rights of the working class who they thought were being overworked and underpaid. Smiles, on the other hand, sought to highlight the poor state of the working class and how the middle class were used much to the disadvantage of the working class. And according to him, the working class had to help themselves first in an effort to liberate themselves from their problems. Both Marx and Smiles called for an action that could change and make reforms that benefited all humanity at the time.
Marx and Smiles pointed out the inevitability of their struggle in the name of self- help and economic determinism because each sought to handle the problems society was facing. There were eminent class struggle and historical change brought about the problems experienced by the people according to Marx. He gives an example of the French revolution that he says “abolished feudal property in favor of bourgeois property” (123), much to the disadvantage of many. True democracy according to him was to help raise the class of the proletariat to the same level as the ruling class. Smiles, on his part, thought that the uprightness of a society does not rely on the law of the land. The imperfections of the laws and the constitution have exploited some section of the population who give their “free energy” (126) for the prosperity of England something that is not right.
The solution to this problem that they offer seeks to put everyone in the society on the same level so that everyone benefits, and not just the bourgeois much to the suffering of the proletariat. Marx says the solution lies in the change of law, and that the bourgeois property be abolished. Marx says that what Communism wanted was “not the abolition of property , but the abolition of bourgeois property (123). In the bourgeois system, many people are exploited, and the beneficiaries are very few and in order for democracy to win everyone needed to be put on the same level regardless of their position in society. Smile also acknowledges that the solution lies in the “healthiest training for every individual” (126) as the best discipline of the state.
Marx and Smile have one vision of seeing a just society, where no one is equal more than the other. Their definition of a just society centers on true democracy, where class distinction disappears. According to Marx, the means of production should be spread across the country, and oppressive rule will be over. Smile notes that education is the level ground that empowers even the weak and poor, and that is the best the state can offer its citizens. But this also is their point of departure because whereas Smile thinks that education should be made available to everyone, Marx thinks that the solution only lies in a revolution.