Essay on Marx's Theories

1550 Words 7 Pages
Though Marx’s theories were first conceived over 150 years ago, his work continues to be tremendously influential and is perhaps the most well known scholarship within the sociological canon. Despite their prominence, some of Marx’s most famous ideas have yet to be proven by the course of history. Neo-Marxists may insist that the revolution is coming, but the fact remains that the overthrow of capitalism has yet to materialize. I argue that the communist revolution has not yet occurred because the proletariat has been unable to develop the universal class consciousness that Marx asserts is a necessary condition for his predicted mass uprising. Additionally, I postulate that the theories of Weber and Simmel reveal the factors impeding …show more content…
He respectively labels these “two great classes” as the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. According to Marx, the simplification of the class structure into these two opposing groups greatly increases the hostilities between them (1888: 474). These intensified class antagonisms inevitably create a proletariat uprising, as this class “…has to bear all the burdens of society without enjoying its advantages…and from which emanates the consciousness of the necessity of a fundamental revolution…” (1846: 192). Therefore, the forces of production that develop within capitalism will eventually cause the destruction of this system (1859).
Though Marx views the communist revolution as an unavoidable outcome of capitalism, his theory stipulates that the proletariat must first develop class consciousness, or an understanding of its place within the economic superstructure. If this universal character of the proletariat does not take shape, then the revolution cannot be accomplished (1846: 192). This necessary condition does not pose a problem within Marx’s theoretical framework, as the formation of class consciousness is inevitable in Marx’s model of society. His writings focus on the idea that economic production determines the social and political structure (1846, 1859). For Marx, social class represents a person’s relation to the means of production, a relation that he believes is independent of