Karl Marx and Capitalism Essay

880 Words 4 Pages
Karl Marx, in the Capital, developed his critique of capitalism by analyzing its characteristics and its development throughout history. The critique contains Marx’s most developed economic analysis and philosophical insight. Although it was written in 1850s, its values still serve an important purpose in the globalized world and maintains extremely relevant in the twenty-first century. Karl Marx’s critique of political economy provides a scientific understanding of the history of capitalism. Through Marx’s critique, the history of society is revealed. Capitalism is not just an economic system in Marx’s analysis. It’s a “specific social form of labor” that is strongly related to society. Marx’s critique of capitalism provides us a deep …show more content…
Capitalism’s profits are produced by the surplus value comes from the unpaid, exploited workers. The workers’ wages, under the system of capitalism, are not equal to the value of their labors. Their wages are kept down to the subsistent level in order to maintain profits for the capitalists.
Just like the slaves in slavery and the serfs in feudalism, the wage-laborers are exploited tremendously. Capitalism, under the disguise of fair exchanges, carries its exploitation nature from previous economic systems. Many proponents of capitalism argue that the wealth is shared with the workers. But is it true? According to an annual report in 2008, an average American CEO makes as much money in one day compared to what an average worker earns in one year1. And the disparity between business leaders and average workers continues to grow over time. From 1990 to 2005, the CEO’s salaries increased almost 300%, while a worker received a scant 4.3%2. The social consequence of this disparity is the concentration of wealth on a small percentage of population.

In Capital, Karl Marx reveals the ugly truth that capitalism lays on the foundation of class exploitation. Without such exploitation, there is no profit to be made and capitalism will cease to exist. Capitalism, which relies on the reproduction of capital, creates and concentrates wealth to a small portion of society’s population while reproducing poverty and widening the size of inequality. Class

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