Name: Michael Soares Student No : 17204687
Outline and evaluate some of the main ideas of Karl Marx.
Marx viewed Capitalism as a system of oppression which produces alienation and inequalities among a labor force giving rise to class struggles. This essay first examines Marx response to the idea of capitalism and evaluates whether such ideas remain relatable to modern labor; next it will explain how Marx perception of Alienation affects the workers creativity and finally it will highlight reasons for class struggle which Marx sees a use for.
Karl Marx was interested in the way society operated and proposed the idea of a society having an equal ownership of its own products as the result of its own labor, which is the idea expressed as communism rather than the idea of the means of production being controlled by the Bourgeois or capitalist who own the means of production in capital or work labor; the structure Marx referred to as capitalism (Giddens and Sutton, 2017,p.15) . Marx presented his argument against capitalism by releasing the Communist manifesto with his friend Engels in 1847 which called for a workable independent society that had free asses to education and no transportation charge for the poor, such demands that showed Marx stand against a system that had an authority (Allen, 2017, p.14-15).
The characters of Capitalism still exists today as businesses such as pharmaceutical Bodies control the type of drugs available to the public, mostly with strategies of stopping the production of cheap drugs and popular drugs to the public for their own profits but would rather put more investment in marketing their brands than focus on funding researches that could save more life (Angel, 2004, p.48).
Nevertheless Marx noted the consequences of a worker lacking the ability to command a say on how or when a product is produced and notes that they become alienated or detached to their creation because it was not a product made from personal inspiration which he explained that it was originally the way human expressed themselves in the world to effect a change and so the process becomes less fulfilling (Allen, 2017, p.42).
In Relation to Marx perspective of alienation it can be argued that modern Capitalist still use coordinated approaches that determines the relationship between worker and product for example, the assembly line format which was first applied by Henry Ford as a means to control the pace and work ethics of its worker has been found to alienate and reduce their overall creativity through repetitive task which Henry admitted it was a system not to improve creative minds which Marx was against ( Batchelor, 1994, p.52) .
Similarly an Honda motor company assembly line in Thailand tried to improve the rigidity of the early Fords model of production by allowing its workers to freely move to different cars by stages in rather than staying in a position that alienated them to a specific task but in truth the system remains a form of alienation because the workers do not commission the design of the car but work as assigned by the capitalist even though Honda boasts it increases line quality by 10 % (Greimel,2016,p.40).
Marx viewed these interactions between the different classes of Capitalist and workers as the basis for class struggles (Marx, 1973, pp.67). Engels further Explained that there was a prehistory time where production was a collective experience, ‘consumption proceeded by direct distribution of products within larger or small communistic communities’ (Engels, 1972,p. 233). But as these communities improved through the application of effect tools such as ploughs and overproduction of food became apparent it had to be managed by these select few who did not need to work (Allen, 2007, p.58)) This giving rise to social class, a structure were people take positions for production which Marx notes gives rise to conflict because of the unequal interest between capitalists and workers (Marx, 1976, p. 381). Marx Class conflict still presents itself today for example the need for trade unions which Marx argues builds solidarity among workers and educates workers as collective which further drives the agenda of a new movement of class or ‘social force’ (Marx,1965, p.271).
This essay showed that operating under capitalism from Marx perspective does not add to the creative potential of the labor force because it obstructs the free will of the worker to dispose of his End product and as a result workers become alienated. With such a system in place there will always be tension among a class that commands work and another which listens and because both having a different wants in desires, one to gain profit and another the hope of freely expressing but does not control the means of production. And with this, recognizing that Marx ideas of capitalism is expresses itself in modern society with characters of alienation and Class struggles that is expressed in as a needs for Unions both for the employer and employee.
Giddens, A. and Sutton, P. (2017) Sociology. 8th ed. Cambridge: Polity, p.15.
Allen. K (2017) Marx: the alternative to capitalism. S.L: Pluto Press, p.14-15
Angel. M. (2004) The Truth about drug Companies, New York: Random House, p.48
Allen. K (2017) Marx: the alternative to capitalism. S.L: Pluto Press, p.42
Allen. K (2017) Marx: the alternative to capitalism. S.L: Pluto Press, p.58
Nelson, A., (1999) In: Marx’s Concept of Money: The god of commodities. Abingdon: Taylor ; Francis, 154–186.
Batchelor, R. (1994) Henry Ford, mass production, modernism, and design. Manchester: Manchester University Press, p.52.
Greimel, H. (2016) ‘Honda rethinks Henry Ford’s assembly line’, Automotive News, 90(6726), p. 0040. Available at: https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bth&AN=115714244&site=ehost-live (Accessed: 8 October 2018).
Marx. K (1973) The Communist Manifesto, in The Revolution of 1848, Harmondsworth: Penguin p.67.
Engels. F. (1972) The Origins of the Family , Private Property and the State, London: Lawrence & Wishart, p. 233.Allen. K (2017) Marx: the alternative to capitalism. S.L: Pluto Press, pp.59-65
Marx. K (1976) Capital, Volume 1, Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1976, p.381
K. Marx to Friedrich Bolte, 23 November 1871, in K. Marx and F. Engels, selected corresponds, Moscow: Progress Publishers 1965, p.271