Marxism And Capitalism Essay

Modern Marx’s theoretical work is the understanding of the nature of human
beings and how they have constructed their historical world. Marx is considered
a modernist because his views and theories fit the meaning of Modernity, which
are human freedom and the right to free choice. To Marx, Capitalism is a barrier
to the notion of human freedom and choice. Five aspects of his political theory
which are modern is how he views human nature, effects of Capitalism on human
natures with emphasis on significance of labor, class struggles within
Capitalism, the demise of Capitalism and the need for the transition to
Communism. Marx belief of human nature is that it changes over time; it is
historical and dynamic. In understanding human nature, it is important to
understand what part labor plays in human nature. “To be Human is to labor,”
(88) therefore Marx believes that Humans work in the world with other Humans in
exchange with nature to get what they desire. Thus since human nature is dynamic
so are humans’ wants and desires. In order to achieve one’s wants and
desires one must labor with others around them and with nature. Since labor is
the activity of a group, the ever-changing world created through the labor of
those groups also creates the humans themselves and directly affects them.

Through labor, humanity creates and is responsible for the world that they live
in. Marx suggests that Capitalism leads to the centralization and concentration
of living spaces of where people lives, means of production, monopolies and the
distribution of more power to the bourgeoisie. The success of Capitalism is
directly connected to capital and wage labor. Capitalism’s goal is to increase
profits called accumulation; profits then reinvested else where to make more
capital. ” . . . like the buying and selling of an object in the capitalist
market, but in this case the exchange is money for the ability of labor, what
Marx calls labor power.” (xxv) Capitalism flourishes by extracting surplus
value, or profit, from the commodities produced by the working class. Without
capitals and profits there are obviously no wages and a place to do any type of
labor power; and without wage labor capital can not increase itself. Both are
dependent on each other for the flourishing of Capitalism. Capitalism is a form
of life that does not do justice to human abilities and capacities; it is a
division from basic powers to humans and the exploitations of human workers.

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Workers are forced to sell their labor power to capitalists and capitalists have
no choice but are forced to exploit labor to gain capital; therefore the
laborers are commodities themselves in the capitalist market. As the result of
Capitalism, labor has been under admonition and oppression. Instead of picturing
the world as it is, Capitalism pictures the world in a distorted view. A view
that leads to the alienation of the true is meaning of human nature. The view
that places the products of laborers more important than the laborers
themselves; thus the laborers are objectified. Laborers then do not realize that
they are the ones who are in control of product that they produce. “Alienated
labor hence turns the species-existence of man, and also nature as his mental
species capacity, into an existence alien to him, into the means of his
individual existence.” (64) The distorted view leads to the miscognition of
self of the working class who are cut off from their essential powers. They fail
to realize that the world is of their own making and that they have the ability
to create and recreate the world in which that they live in. Marx’s theory of
privileging of economic matters places an emphasis on class struggles that are
related to the forces of production as well as the relations of productions.

Economics is the production of the exchange of goods and services through labor
arrangements. In every society there is a way to distribute goods and services
called a mode of production. The mode of production is the combination of the
forces of productions; like raw materials, technology or labor forces; and the
relations of productions or the relationship among human beings related to
forces of production. One’s relations of productions in a Capitalist society
determine one’s location in the mode of production, that is, their class. In a
Capitalist society everyone is located in a class, either the class of the
bourgeoisie (capitalist) or the proletariat (working class). More important then
any talent or skill, the class position is the fundamental factor that
determines one’s life as a human being. To be bourgeois (capitalist) is to
have many property of one’s own; to be proletariat is having no property and
living by the rules of the bourgeoisie. “The bourgeoisie keeps more and more
doing away with . . . the means of productions, and of property. It has . ..

centralised means of productions and has concentrated property in a few
hands.” (162 ; 163) To Marx, class is a restriction and a retraint on the
means and the modes of production; the laborer is dependent upon the wage labor
and has no individuality. Taking the capital out of the hands of the capitalist
and spreading the profit and properties equally with the proletariat. Marx wants
the proletariat to have the ability of free labor, where separation of class no
longer exists; and that can be true in a Communist society. Marx’s theories
predict that the contradictions and weaknesses within capitalism will cause
increasingly severe economic crises and deepening impoverishment of the working
class. The rich get richer (the bourgeoisie) and the poor get poorer (the
proletariat). In order for the bourgeoisie to survive is the most important
factor is the arrangement and growth of capital; the must for capital is wage
labor. So therefore wage labor rests solely on the rivalry between the laborers.

“What the bourgeoisie, therefore, produces, above all, is its own grave
?diggers.” (169) The bourgeoisie who choose to super exploit their workers
for the surplus value will find that they are indeed setting a trap for
themselves since the must for capital is labor. If the workers will not work
there is no capital to invest in anything. Once the workers are fed up with
their situations and realize there is a need to get together for a revolution
and change of labor, the bourgeoisie has lost everything they owned; and that
will lead to the end of a class based society. In the resulting classless
society of Communism, the coercive state will be replaced by rational economic
cooperation. “In Communist society, accumulated labor is but means to widen,
to enrich, to promote the existence of the laborer.” (171) The accumulated
labor in Communism is not just to benefit one and only one person; but it is to
benefit the workers as well as the employer. Everyone will be rewarded according
to how hard they work and people will have the equal chance of to moving up the
social ladder. “In the place of the old bourgeoisie society, with its classes
and class antagonisms, we shall have an association, in which the free
development of each is the condition for the free development of all.” (176)
Workers will have independence and freedom of labor; and each person is seen as
an individual that is part of a bigger and greater society. As a whole, Karl
Marx is considered a modernist because he believed in human freedom and choice.

He saw the problems arising from the effects that Capitalism was having on the
proletariat and clearly they had no human freedoms or choice. To Marx,
Capitalism not only presented humanity with an upside down views of the world
and the self-thorough their labor, but also reinforced divisions of class. As a
result they laborers finally realize that they are the makers of the commodities
and the commodities are not the makers of laborers.


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