Marx 's Theory Of Power And Inequality

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Marx’s and Weber’s approach the study of power and inequality through class and economics. They agree that the wealthy does have some power advantage over the poor. But they differ in the power distribution. Marx only sees the bourgeoisie as the ultimate power house; while Weber believes that power is distributed among class, status, and party. Their opinion on social mobility is also different. Marx sees class as automatic and Weber sees it as a developing and changing idea. This is why Weber’s approach to the study of power and inequality resonates most with contemporary U.S. society. Marx believes that society is a system created by the powerful for the powerful through material goods. In “The German Ideology,” Marx and Engles write “the ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas, i.e. the class which is the ruling material force of society is at the same time its intellectual force” (Marx and Engles 1845:144). The mode of production determines who has power and who does not. Those in charge of the material goods have the power to make the rules of society as well. Those who do not own any material goods but use their labor instead have to follow through with the rules of those in power. According to Marx, the bourgeoisie and proletariat are the only classes in society; they either own the means of production or they work. The bourgeoisie will continue to own the means of production since the proletariat are tied down to their job. This is why Marx
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