(2) There also exist opportunities for private wealth and ownership. Essentially, socialism is a less extreme version of communism. In the 2016 presidential race, the nation responded with shock and heated discourse over the candidate Bernie Sanders, an admitted democratic socialist. But this concept is not new to America, in fact it has been present since the early 20th century. We even have socialist programs existing today such as Medicare and Social Security. Those who support this ideology argue that a government of the people must provide basic necessities as well as equitable opportunities such as higher education, healthcare, and child care to its citizens. These all seem like fair and beneficial requests of citizens for their government. However, it still receives high criticisms and objections amongst Americans. That is because capitalism is considered a staple of the U.S. We value our individuality, our free market, and our opportunities for social mobility. That, after all, is the very idea of the American dream. Unfortunately, that dream is often crushed by the harsh realities of inequality, discrimination, and social class. The gap between the rich and the poor is widening rapidly, with 51.4% of income earned annually going to the richest 20% (3). The middle class is disappearing, the poor are getting poorer, and the rich are profiting. This leads many to the conclusion that a new political and economic system is the answer
Karl Marx believes that inequality is inherent in capitalism. Capitalism is all about the production of capital and making a profit. Through capitalism, the bourgeoisie exploit the proletariats. Workers are seen as not valuable and easily replaceable due to the lack of specialization in jobs. This division of labor alienates workers from their products, because they often don’t see the finished product or assist in the creation of the other components of the product. An example of this would be the assembly line of making a car. The person that puts the tires on the car will not feel connected to the entire car, because he only assisted on a small component of the car.
The citizens of the United States of America experienced a plethora of economic rollercoasters throughout history. The minorities seemed to struggle the worst with racism and unemployment, but America was effected within every race, sex, and age group. Capitalism within our government has made several improvements throughout the years, but has also caused a fair share of problems. The United States has never witnessed a country ran by anything other than capitalism, yet our country has argued that communism could be a better economic system for America to run on. Capitalism allows our country freedom, and a government that owns production and sets the prices leads to a political control that extends to all areas and aspects of life. As goods are produced, capitalism ensures that these goods are the best and least expensive, which keeps business running. Opposed to communism, where everyone is considered “equal”, capitalism produces a system with a rippling effect--which begins with the wealthier people. Another common argument is that the poor are mistreated, but with capitalism an individual’s gain is based on their own production. Rather than a rich or poor person being handed money to make them equal to the next person, people work and gain what they deserve. During the following research paper I will touch on
I wholeheartedly believe the basis for all social problems stem from capitalism, social stratification, eurocentrism, and racial and ethnic inequality. Karl Marx referred to an internal contradiction (pg. 54), which emanated from industrialization, as the origin of production capitalism. In other words, the individual worker did not possess the ability to compete with manufacturing facilities and therefore, was forced to become a laborer or wage earner. Once socialized production transpired and profit was the goal, widespread worker exploitation commenced. Improvements to machinery resulted in displaced laborers. Then, capitalists in competition for consumer gains, further threatened as already unstable system. Capitalism may very well be the precursor of nearly all social problems., since the ultimate goal lies in obtaining additional wealth. The state of degradation done to the environment, planet, drinking water, and air in pursuit of oil, etc., without the proper inquiry or safeguards for potential hazards based solely upon gaining riches, is nefarious to say the least.
In The Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx defines bourgeoisie and proletariat. Bourgeoisie is the class of modern Capitalists, who were owners of the means of social production and employers. Even though Marx believed that proletariat would take over, he states that historically the bourgeoisie has played a most revolutionary role. When bourgeoisie had the upper hand, it ended all feudal, patriarchal, idyllic relations. The bourgeoisie introduced an ethic based on the absolute right to free trade and to the rational and egoistic pursuit of profit. The proletariat, which was developed as a result of the bourgeoisie, is the class of modern-wage laborers who have no means of production of their own, have become reduced to selling their labor power
Karl Marx was a German Philosopher who helps to provide clarification regarding several major and subtle conflicts throughout Gran Torino. Marx’s work separates members of society into two classes known as the Bourgeoisie and the Proletariat. The Bourgeoisie refers to the “owners” who own the means of production and the Proletariat refers to the “workers” or labor for the product or good. Marx also explained the idea of Capitalism and how the Bourgeoisie constantly exploit the Proletariat. This might be one of the earlier examples of how far back inequality started and yet still remains in full force today. Workers who do not own the means of production are forced to work for the business who often pay the minimal wage thus leaving the Proletariat
Another idea that Marx brought up is the proletariat population being subjugated. Just because they have to use their labor to earn money they are unable to make money off their products. Marx (1848) argues that, “Modern Industry has converted the little workshop of the patriarchal master into the great factory of the industrial capitalist”. Meaning that small laborers that work hard at producing products are forced to hand them over to the capitalist. These products that the proletariat made in former years that gave them happiness and made them feel significant about ones self. He also states that, “Not only are they slaves of the bourgeois class, and of the bourgeois State; they are daily and hourly enslaved by the machine, by the over looker,
In both “Wage Labour and Capital,” and “Manifesto of the Communist Party,” one could see a common theme being portrayed by Marx, (and Engels,) on the idea that a capitalist society leads to the government owning the middle class people. This idea is explained through the fact that when someone works for a company and is being paid monetarily, that government is thus paying for you. Marx is claiming that you, and all other people under a capitalist nation, are owned by the government. Marx explains that in order to have good workers, you must pay them a substantial enough amount to be able to afford necessities such as food, shelter, and healthcare. Without being able to afford these things, the employers work would be diminished. Unfortunately, with a world of growing capitalist societies, there is a competition to remain at the top, which leads to smaller salaries to their workers. This, of course, then leads to poor work quality, and a melancholy society.
In Marx's view the capitalist society is comprised of two distinct classes, the bourgeoisie (owners of production) and the proletariat ( labor) (Wolff). The focus of the bourgeoisie (owner's) is to produce products (commodities) at a product with profit being the amount of money being made on a commodity after deducting all input expenses (including labor expenses) (Wolff). This net amount or profit is referred to as surplus value by Marx (Wolff). The goal of the bourgeoisie is to make profit, then reinvest the profit for additional profit (Wolff). Thus, to increase profit, the bourgeoisie pay the labor force (proletariat) a minimum wage for their services (Wolff). The proletariat (workers) have no other means to earn money to ensure their survival, so they must accept these conditions and work for minimum wage (Wolff). Since they must continue working to survive they do not have any position from which to bargain for a piece of the pie or the fair value of the labor they put into making the profit (surplus value) for the bourgeoisie (Wolff). The proletariat must work at the bourgeoisie's minimum wage rate because in this economic scenario, the owner has all the power (Wolff). It is this situation of virtual enslavement of the proletariat (labor force) to increase profit (surplus value) for the bourgeoisie that Marx refers to as exploitation (Wolff). It is important to note that it is the proletariat's labor which provides the value to the product
Here Marx describes the proletariat in whole. He calls them the slaves of the bourgeois class and also of the machines, overseers, and the manufacturers because they are working them constantly. He then describes the type of people who lie in the proletariat class “The lower strata of the middle class- the small tradespeople, shopkeepers, and retired tradesmen generally, the handicraftsmen and peasants- all these sink gradually into the proletariat” (Marx, 264). He also states that people who lie inside the proletariat class are recruited from all of the classes in the population. Another description of the proletariat that he gives is when he says “The unceasing improvement of machinery makes their livelihood more and more precarious” (Marx, 264). This is very unfortunate for the proletariat people because advancements in technology would keep coming and their jobs and pay would be unstable and vulnerable. Workers would also form trade unions to go against the bourgeois and sometimes it would escalate into riots. He says that “Now and then the workers are victorious, but only for a time” (Marx,
Marx saw the current superstructure of his day, Capitalism, as a necessary stepping stone for the eventual progression to a socialistic superstructure. The material condition or problem with the current capitalistic superstructure was needed to be overcome in order to progress was that of labor, or more specifically the end of alienated labor. Marx thought of this alienation as something like this “Wages are the determined by their bitter struggle between capitalist and worker. … The capitalist can live longer without the worker than the worker without the capitalist” (EPM 69).Marx believes that in a capitalistic society the worker is treated as a commodity that the capitalist tries to pay the least amount of currency in order to keep the worker alive and able to continue to reproduce. It is not in the capitalist’s interest to pay the worker any more than the bare minimum, because in doing so the capitalist’s profit margin would suffer. This mind set by the capitalist then degrades the worker to nothing more than an animal. The worker is treated as a commodity in another was, the worker is then dependent on the supply and demand of the labor market. He is at the mercy of the need for his work, if the need for labor is less than the amount of laborers “then a section of the workers declines into beggary or
Karl Marx, a German economic philosopher, argues in The Communist Manifesto that a capitalist society allows the bourgeoisie, the owning class, to exploit the proletariat, the working class. Marx rejects the idea that unions are a possible fix for the problems created by capitalism, but does not consider the possibility of increasing human capital to solve the problems he sees with capitalism. By increasing their human capital, the proletariat would gain independence from the bourgeoisie and be able to profit off their labor, and the elimination of private property would become problematic.
Benokraitis. (2012). SOC.(pg. 14). Belmont,CA. Linda Schreiber-Ganster Karl Marx thought that conflict would be the effect of inequality in the economy. He got this from the idea of capitalism, where he saw industrial society composed of three social classes. The first class would be the Capitalists, which are the owners of factories or basically anyone who owns a company that produces a lot of wealth. The next class would be the petit bourgeoisie, which are below the capitalists. They own their own company but can be driven out by the capitalists so they might end up as the next social class. The proletariat. They’re basically the working class and who survive on their wages. Conflict within these classes are mainly because the capitalists would have so much money and the workers would barely be making by. So the proletariats would rise up and there would be a revolution. It related to this time period because it was a bit after the industrial revolution and that was what Karl Marx was really focusing on. Nijole V. Benokraitis. (2012). SOC.(pages 14&15) Belmont,CA. Linda
Developed by Karl Marx, this form of socialism revealed the disparities within capitalist systems that put industrial workers or “proletarians” at a disadvantage compared to capitalists or the “Bourgeoisie.” Capitalist systems oppressed people because it exploited “wage workers,” and allowed for capitalists to profit while proletarians suffered. For instance, “overproduction and under consumption” of capitalist systems could eventually threaten proletarians with “lower wages or unemployment.” (611) Marxism called for the oppressed to fight for equality and dictate their means of production and distribution. This was evident throughout European countries in 1848, as it pushed workers to overthrow capitalism and put an end to the feud between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie.
In modern society, Marx and Engels believe there are only two classes, hostile to each other - the Bourgeoisie and the Proletariat. The bourgeoisie, with roots in the Middle Ages, rose when the economic market opened up due to the discovery of America. The bourgeoisie owns the means of production. That means, they own the financial capital and material resources needed to control production. They are also the ones receiving profit created by industries. As the bourgeoisie advanced in an economic setting, they advanced politically. With more free trade agreements, they could make their power even stronger by increasing their wealth through trade. They are the people in control of production, business and politics.