Marx’s Class Struggle Critical Thinking Examples
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Marx described the structure of the society in relation to the class struggle. To understand this, it is essential that one introduces the definition of class. Marx believed that the class in the society originated from the ownership of property. The ownership of the property then determines the relationship between work and labour capitalist (owners of means of production) can only employ the proletariat (these without the means of production)
In capitalist, Marx viewed that there are two classes, the bourgeoisie and the proletariat (“Marx's Theory of Social Class and Class Structure,’ 1999). The bourgeoisie owns the means of production such as capital, land, purchase and exploitation of labour power, and can use surpluses from the employment to expand their capital. Therefore, in the society, the capitalist are those who use their power to exploit labour and expand their economic base. Being wealthy does not necessarily qualify one to be a bourgeois.
On the other hand, the proletariats are the owners of labour. The proletariats do not have any other power or resources other than their ability to work using their mind, hands, or any other part of the body that can lead to the production of goods and services. From this perspective, therefore, in order for this class to survive, they must seek employment from any of the employers. The interaction between the bourgeois and the proletariat is thus an employer-employee relationship.
However, due to the vulnerability of the proletariat and the strong desire of the bourgeoisie to expand their capital, they tend to exploit them. The exploitative social relationship replicates itself continually. For the capitalist (bourgeoisie) to make maximum profits, the wages payable to the workers (proletariat) must remain low. The capitalist employ the workers who produce goods and exploits them through surplus time that leads to surplus products. The goods are sold to create a surplus value that benefits the bourgeois but brings poverty to the proletariat.
The capitalist even tends to reduce wages and at the same time make the workers work intensively to their advantage. Such a move condemns the proletariat to perpetual poverty that would deny them any chance to own property. That leads to a circle of employer-employee relations with extreme exploitation. Therefore, the interest of the bourgeoisie and the proletariat contradict all the time. At some point, the proletariat demands more wages. The conflict manifests itself in the form of strikes and other political struggles aimed at overthrowing the bourgeoisie. Such conflicts lead to structural changes in the society.
R. J., Rummel . "UNDERSTANDING CONFLICT AND WAR: VOL. 3: CONFLICT IN PERSPECTIVE." . N.p.. Web. 14 Apr 2015. <https://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/CIP.CHAP5.HTM>.
Marx's Theory of Social Class and Class Structure. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Apr 2015. <http://uregina.ca/~gingrich/s28f99.htm>.
Karl Marx’s idea of alienated labor is among the major works of Marx’s Philosophy. Marx believed that man created powers that eventually confront them as alien powers (“Alienation, n.d). The concept is central in the capitalist characteristics. This paper discusses the cause and the notion of alienated labour and its validity.
According to Marx, alienated labour occurs when the goods or services produced are independent of the producer and the labor. Basing on this premise, Marx refers to the whole process of production objectification of labour i.e. there is no relationship between the producer and the objects produced. Therefore, there is a division between the subject (producer) and the object. The capitalist ideas in this perspective lead to no connections between the objects and the labour; the object remains alien to the worker.
In capitalism, there are various ways through which the alienation manifests itself. First, the object the worker produces does not have any benefit to them even after putting their labour into it. The workers losses something that goes away with the object produced-the bondage with the object. Secondly, the labour becomes an object that requires a lot of efforts to obtain and irregular disruption (“Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844. Karl Marx,” n.d).
The workers usually have no other alternatives than to work to survive. Therefore, capitalist coerces the workers to supply them with all sort of labor. The alienated labour is a consequence of the objectification since the labor does no affirm the essence of the human being. The capitalist sees the workers in terms of the labour supply other than the person. Such condemns the workers to servitude for survival.
Marx views humans as species that exists in nature just as other animals. The character of a species exists itself. Man has the freedom of choices that in itself is a means to life. Labor, therefore, is an objectification of man’s species. Humans also alienate themselves from their species. Such occurs in the capitalists views workers as individuals as opposed to fellow men. Each man views the others in the perspective of the standards and positions of work. Therefore, even the worker and the employer becomes alienated from each other.
Alienation has various consequences. First, the proletariat feels dehumanized since the capitalist views them as commodities that one can be trade in the market. Further, they lose the ability achieve their full potential. The workers must seek to produce goods that do not benefit them so as to survive. In this case, the workers are slaves of the objects and to the capitalist.
Alienation. N.p.. Web. 14 Apr 2015. <http://www.cf.ac.uk/socsi/undergraduate/introsoc/marx7.html>.
Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844. Karl Marx. N.p.. Web. 14 Apr 2015. <https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1844/manuscripts/labour.htm>.
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