Marx Essay

816 words - 4 pages

Marx laid out some economic conditions and stages of class struggle in a capitalist society that would lead to revolution. The first condition is that as the bourgeoisie rise, so does a “proletariat” class that labors in their new industries (p.479). This class of "wage-laborers who, having no means of production of their own, are reduced to selling their labor power in order to live," are the unavoidable consequence of the bourgeois modes of production (p.473). As bourgeois industries continue to grow, perfect their machinery, and increase their own capital, the proletariat class swells. Other classes’ inability to compete with the bourgeois capitalists results in the “…proletariat [being] recruited from all classes of the population” (p.480). A greater division of labor (DL) occurs in conjunction with the increased use of machinery (with which less skill is required of workers). Increased DL leads to cheaper products, cheaper means of subsistence, and finally lower wages. A reserve surplus army of laborers is formed, creating more competition amongst laborers. Crisis is impending once this happens and a class struggle soon to follow.
The first stage of class struggle is scattered individual struggles “…against the individual bourgeois who directly exploits them” (p.480). This then becomes a collective association at the level of the factory or sector of the economy (p.480). The third stage is the political phase characterized by the “…organization of the proletarians into a class, and consequently into a political party”—a national organization (Marx,p.481). During this time, communication increases and“...place[s] the workers of different localities in contact with one another” (Marx,p.481). Battles between the two classes increase and result in a heightened [proletariat] class consciousness as the “…bourgeoisie…supplies the proletariat with its own elements of political and general education…” (Marx,p.481). Finally, when the class struggle nears the climax, the intellectuals join the working class and soon afterwards, the revolutionaries seize power (Marx,p.481-482)

1b. The Tunisian struggle follows the first economic condition in that as the bourgeois rose in the northern regions, so too did the proletariat in the southern regions. The exploitation of labor-power by the capitalist is exemplified when the “local population [of the south] is generally employed as labourers who thus benefit in a very small way” (Ayeb,p.471). Resources are transferred from the south to the north by the new capitalist industries. An extreme polarization of wealth where the northern (bourgeois) region...

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