Karl Marx (1818-1883) was a philosopher and also known as an economist. Karl Marx’s work was steamed from the motivation and concern for workers. The working people from his era were living in terrible poverty. Marx’s work focused on the revolution for a classless society (). Marx work began in sociology in the 1960’s which focused primarily on functionalism. Marxism is also referred to the conflict of theory. Functionalists view society as shared values while Marxists view society as being divided by social groups or classes. Marx also believed that social change occurs only if natural order exists. Marx explained that in society there were two type of people those who own the property and those who work for them Karl Marx theories are based on inequality and poverty as functional factors (Peet 1975). Marx also theorizes on the capitalist mode of production (Peet 1975). Marx believed that capitalism created inegalitarian societies (Peet 1975). Based on inequality, Marx explains that it is passed on from generations through environmental and social services (Peet 1975). To require change in the society Marx focused on the working class of the classless people that struggles in a capitalist society. In efforts to change the system a revolution in demand for labor is necessary (Peet 1975). The inequality and poverty in America cannot be addressed without fundamental changes (Peet 1975). This paper is to focus on the Marxist principle that poverty and inequality are necessarily produced by a capitalist society (Peet 1975).
The forces of mass production in a capitalist society is produced by the men and women and their environment (Elwell 2013). Marx believed that men and women are born into societies in which give them a different social class (Elwell 2013). According to Marx, once a man is established in a class he either is an industrial worker or a capitalist (Elwell 2013). This given class role defines a man. In preface to CAPITAL Marx writes: “Here individuals are dealt with only as fact as they are personifications of economic categories, embodiments of particular class-relations and class interests.” (Elwell 2013). In regards to division of labor, Marx explains that labor gives us different class status (Elwell 2013). This difference in classes sets the disparity of ethical, political and religious views (Elwell 2013).
Karl Marx development of capitalism is built on characteristics through history. His view of capitalism is still valid in the twenty-first century. Karl Marx believed that capitalism wasn’t just a form of economics but a social form of labor. Capitalism profits from the surplus value that only the exploited workers provide. These worker’s wages are not compared to those who own property under the system of capitalism. The wages are kept low to maintain the profits made by capitalists. For examples, just like slaves these exploited workers are overworked. According to an annual report in 2008, an Average CEO earns an overload of money in one day compared to the earnings of its worker in over a year’s period. The difference of earnings between business leaders and workers continues to increase. In today’s society, “companies paid their CEOs more than 1,000 times their median worker pay last year” (Wakamo 2018). Marx reveals the ugly truth that capitalism establishes class exploitation. Capitalism relies on the production of capital therefore, it focuses on wealth and a portion of society and damages the poor. The result of capitalism is widening the size in social inequality and poverty.
Marxist inequality theory helps support the cause of capitalism (Peet 1975). Social inequality effects even the poorest people in the United States (Peet 1975). With a very materialistic country like the U.S the lower class are struggling to earn a sufficient and decent living (Peet 1975). Based on income allowances the poorest people catch up to live in style according to the ones above them (Peet 1975). This type of social inequality maintains a capitalist society and is highly functional (Peet 1975). Inequality will continue as long as the poor continue to believe that they can overcome and achieve a reasonable living (Peet 1975). Social problems are a valid result of inequality and support capitalism for the upper class. Inequality is essential in the capitalist form of production (Peet 1975). Inequality is functional in our society which explains why the powerholders invest the most in conserving social inequality (Peet 1975). According to Marx, income inequality is also inherent in the system. Based on wages, capitalism is treated by the employer and defends to keep the worker content to fuel the economy (Peet 1975). With different levels of work comes different levels of education needed. Skills are demanded therefore, wages must differ from workers (Peet 1975). In the capitalist system, inequality is guaranteed by manipulating the skill hierarchy (Peet 1975). The inequality of receiving proper skill training and education allows groups of wage and earners to differ (Peet 1975). Marx argues that as capitalism expands, the inequality will accumulate.
Marxists perspective on class said that societies were divided along class lines 0. Class was not divided by occupations but by the means of production (). The two classes are bilateral but their interests don’t mix with each other (). The dominant class will always benefit from society while the other only benefits from change (). In a capitalist society we see bourgeoisie and the proletariat. With these two groups involved in a capitalist society we find false consciousness. False consciousness happens when power is led to social and political power (). The dominant class is the superior and ruling class. The bourgeois is developed on education, media and politics (). Marxists who emphasize the relation of the classes agree on the means of production as the truth of how society operates around capitalism. Living in a capitalist society as Marx refers, is based on the production or goods (). Bourgeoisie are those who own the property, power, knowledge and high wages (). The proletariats are those who own nothing but the opportunity to work in a society owned by capitalists (). The bourgeoisie control the proletariats through two mechanisms known as direct control and indirect control. Through direct control they use power and indirectly they control the minds of the people. For example, the indirect control is vital because it creates the idea for people to accept certain ideas (). For instance, we learn to accept that some people are poor and some people are rich ().
Capitalism can be blamed for poverty, inequality and unemployment (Hausmann 2015). Marx predicted that the means of production would no longer exists as it did in a capitalist society. The one’s who were doing the work would be the capitalist however, the results remained the same and weakened the poor (Hausmann 2015). Marx called for a proletarian revolution that would lead to “perfect justice” (Hausmann 2015). The problem caused by capitalism is now global. Capitalism is a destructive force that works against increasing poverty levels. The work of the capitalists is to promote negative politics and economic policies that demolish opportunities for the poor. The conditions of the poor can’t be improved by the increasing mass production of capital. In a third world country capitalism destroys potential growth for the poor. The help is towards the wealthiest people.
Karl Marx view on capitalism supports his work for the classless working people. According to Marx, capitalism is the production and contains three stages such as, cooperation, modern machinery and manufacture (Hurts, Gibbon and Nurse 2017). Capitalism begins with a number of workers that are employed and working together to gain a mastership of capital (Hurts, Gibbon and Nurse 2017). Workers are brought together to gain capital and become more productive (Hurts, Gibbon and Nurse 2017). The result of cooperation is to increase the surplus value of labor (Hurts, Gibbon and Nurse 2017). Manufacturing began in the sixteenth century and developed a strict division of labor between workers and the production of capitalist products (Hurts, Gibbon and Nurse 2017). Under the capitalist mode, the worker must undergo negative changes to increase the capital. According to Marx, the worker must be turned poor to produce power. (Hurts, Gibbon and Nurse 2017). The poor become overworked and dependent in working in only a factory (Hurts, Gibbon and Nurse 2017). Marx believed that the workers became “alienated from their own labor” (Hurts, Gibbon and Nurse 2017). To clarify the result product of capitalism is not a well-done job but rather a product of their work. Under manufacturing the work of a worker becomes property of a capitalists. Capitalists achieve their success because laborers struggle (Hurts, Gibbon and Nurse 2017). Like Marx intended to defend the classless people the truth is that their work became things of value to the capitalist society (Hurts, Gibbon and Nurse 2017). Leaving the laborers with empty hands and only the power to work (Hurts, Gibbon and Nurse 2017). In the modern industry, machinery aimed to reduce the amount of time a worker was given. This way of modern machinery increased the labor of surplus value (Hurts, Gibbon and Nurse 2017). According to Marx, “The machine… supersedes the workman” (Marx 1967). Therefore, machine outworks the man and requests work of women and children to decrease the value of man’s power (Hurts, Gibbon and Nurse 2017). The final result of modern industry is to control collective laborers (Hurts, Gibbon and Nurse 2017).
Based on the conflicts that Marx mentions in his work he believed capitalism to be a major crisis. (Hurts, Gibbon and Nurse 2017). The classes will struggle as long as capitalism is implanted in our society. The competition that is set is for made profit and creates dilemma between the top and bottom of class (Hurts, Gibbon and Nurse 2017). The bottom class is pushed to work for low wages (Hurts, Gibbon and Nurse 2017). This means that the bourgeois in society will overcome the proletariats. As capitalism improves the bourgeois will gain power (Hurts, Gibbon and Nurse 2017).
To conclude, capitalism is the cause of all destruction to society. The efforts made in capitalism benefits the wealthy or as Marx refers to the bourgeoise class. The fair share of production is not given to the poor and causes major social inequality. To change the circumstances society must take the help and offer capitalism to coincide the classes and unite a productive society for both the top and bottom class. Karl Marx is known in the world of sociology as many studied his work and theory. Living in the present world where capitalism is the root of all production Marx’s work is implied. Marx was high influential and a major evolutionary thinker. Marx’s argument of conflict between the rich and the poor is his primary concern for the classless people. Marx concludes that industrialization created a capitalist society. The movement of agricultural became modern and industrial. With the revolution of industrialization, the power fell into the hands of the wealthy. The property belonging to the rich caused the lower class to be the workers. As Marx expressed, in a capitalist society the economy runs on business and capital that is produce by the bottom class. The making of big profits is produced by the working class and is handed over to the rich. The result of capitalism is that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. The poor (proletariat/ working class) are limited to the controlling of production. Their work is forced and beneficial for the bourgeoisie. Within the income inequality the workers receive a wage that is sold at a profit that goes directly back to the Bourgeoisie. Capitalism leads to social inequality in a split society.