Marxism. The first of these is the concept of diametric materialism; this is a theory Of economic development history that believes ‘societies all change by passing from different stages and the type of means of production determine these stages’ 1 . Initially, this linear conception of development was thought to be compulsory and that all countries would progress through the S societal stages of primitive communism, slavery, feudalism, capitalism and socialism.
Marx believed that each passing stage would raise the standard of living for the masses whilst simultaneously possessing inherent conflicts, I. . The prevention of capitalist development in the Feudalism stage or the alienation of the labor market in Capitalism, which would eventually lead to its downfall. The concepts of Marxism are diametrically opposed to those of capitalism, and it is here that we find the second key idea that identified in Mar’s writings.
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Marx believes that Capitalism is a system based on exploitation, in which class struggles are inevitable. In a labor market, capitalists are motivated by the acquisition of money rather than the need for commodities. They take advantage of their power over laborers by setting wages and irking hours to extract maximum labor for minimum cost, selling the products of the workers at a price higher than their true exchange value in order to make a profit.
Marx claims the bourgeoisie of capitalism are ‘vampire-like’ and can only survive by ‘sucking living laborer’ as by enriching themselves and extracting a ‘surplus-value’ from labor, they exploit the proletariat working class. Marx believes that it is this alienation of the working classes that will cause capitalism to fail as over time the disparity between the numbers of proletariat in proportion to the number of bourgeoisie will grow ND, eventually, infuriated by oppression, the proletariat will revolt.
The last of Mar’s key concepts which I will explore is that man now instinctively resorts to bartering and exchanging, causing him to become ‘Homo economics’. Homo economics is a concept that states it is in mans human nature to maximize utility as a consumer and economic profit as a producer, however in Capital Marx challenges this theory by claiming that this has not always been the way.
As David Precocity explains, ‘Homo economics is the result of a particular pattern of historical development (and related pattern of unequal power), which can be changed if people decide to do so and act collectively’4. Mar’s optimism that men will be able to ‘make their own history’ means that although the past and current societal structures have lead to men possessing the inherent desire to progress economically, they will have the ability to override this man-made instinct once they are within a socialist state. One of the most common criticisms of Mar’s writings is that he is Resurrection.
Marx is said to have defended a ‘Resurrection model of political emancipation that consistently ignores the experiences of colonized subjects in non-Western societies, this critique comes most commonly from post- colonial theorists and often uses Mar’s 1853 article on British colonialism in India as evidence. Mar’s claims that England must ‘fulfill a double mission in India’ by annihilating ‘old Asiatic society, and the laying of the material foundations of Western society in Asia’ have been criticized for being a ‘racial orientations of the non-Western worlds’ by world famous intellectual, Edward Said.
This was understandably interpreted as Resurrection as Marx as essentially saying that our duty was to break Sais’s old form and re- create it in the image of England, however by the end of Mar’s intellectual career he had changed his mind and conception of human development. This new way of thinking is best evidenced by his musings on Russian stages of development in which he claims that ‘thanks to the unique combination of circumstances in Russia’ it may ‘directly develop’ and bypass the capitalist stage of development.
Another of Mar’s most prolific critics is John Stuart Mill, who argued that Mar’s goal society of utopian or egalitarian socialism with income sharing old reduce individuals incentives to work, therefore causing productivity levels to be at an all time low. Mill argues against Marx by claiming that incentives increase productivity for all people, and though he admits ‘competition may not be the best conceivable stimulus’, he cannot ‘foresee the time when it will not be indispensable to progress’.
This strain of criticism is shared by John Calibrating who claims that Mar’s hope that egalitarian reward would lead to higher levels of motivation has been proven several times in ‘both history and human experience to be irrelevant 0′ as human beings do not rise to such heights’. Although most of his work was written over a century and a half ago, I believe it’s arguable that Karl Mar’s theories are still utilize in today’s society.
The segregation between social classes is still as relevant today as it was back when his work was originally written. This can be evidenced by the recent ‘We are the 99’ movement in America which protested against and opened the world’s eyes to the alarming fact that the richest 1% of people posses more wealth than the entire bottom 90% of the worlds population. The xpexploitationf the working class is also still a commonality in the modern day world.