Assess Marx's Claim That Communism Would Be Superior To Capitalism

2258 words - 9 pages

We live in a society in which Capitalism is the dominant ideology, encroaching on every part of life. Many defend the west, safe in what they know and safer in what they don't, pointing to the east as a way of reassuring themselves that we are a democratic society, upholding the values of freedom, equality, liberty and fraternity. This is a farce. Although it is hard to prove in practice that communism is 'superior' to capitalism, based on the ideology itself, Communism is morally, socially, economically and ecologically superior - 'situated higher up' the scale of ethics - to capitalism.Based on a system of economics, capitalism is an ideology in which 'wealth is owned by private individuals or businesses and goods are produced for exchange, according to the dictates of the market' (Heywood 1998:327) while communism stresses the opposite. Rather than private ownership, communism endorses 'the principle of the common ownership of wealth'(Heywood 1998:328) and advocates the values of community, cooperation, equality and the satisfaction of need. Communism also encompasses wider ideologies based on Marxist principles, such as socialism.'Socialism and capitalism can ... be neatly contrasted as alternative orders ofthings, and the choice between them presented as a moral one' (Lovell 1996:73). Capitalism creates oppression, of the working class, the third world, and women, while communism aims to abolish such oppression. A moral decision between the two certainly points to communism, the ideology without unethical characteristics.Patriarchy is an inherent element of capitalism. Despite the feminist revolutionit is an indisputable fact that men continue to dominate almost all aspects of business and the workforce. Capitalism benefits from the stereotypical role of the woman as 'barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen.'Unpaid domestic labour - cooking, cleaning, washing, caring for children - was recently calculated by the Australian Bureau of Statistics to equal 65% of the Gross Domestic Product. So the family reproduces the workforce that capitalism needs at the cheapest price. (D.S.P. 1998:16)Although we have seen an increase in the number of men taking on thesetraditional women's roles, the vast majority of unpaid household labour is still the responsibility of the woman. A survey conducted by Williams (Furze & Stafford 1994:323) revealed that almost 50% of men believed it was their decision as to wether or not their wives could work beyond home. As well as showing the desire for males to have control over women, this example 'reinforces the nexus between capitalism and patriarchy'.Engels argued in The Origins of the Family, Private Property and the State, ([1884] cited in Heywood 1998:253) that since the emergence of capitalism, which promotes the ownership of private property by men, we have seen '...the world historical defeat of the female sex' (Heywood 1998:254). One of the most important principles of communist ideology is that of...

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