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The Contradictions Of Capitalism Essay

1536 words - 7 pages

Capitalism controls or enslaves the laborer by making his existence dependent on the process of production instead of the production of the labor for himself. The laborer is historically different in a capitalist society because he is separated from production. He no longer produces for himself but instead for the general wealth, or the wealth of the capitalist. Capitalism controls even the capitalist himself by turning him into a mechanism which acts as the driving force of capitalism. As a consequence, the capitalist creates a society which is alienating and brutal for the laborer. However, the domination of the capitalist system leads to the creation of a collective working group that can become a form for human development and the creation of new radical social changes.
The core domination of capitalism lies with the domination over the capitalist himself. The purpose of capital is to accumulate as much wealth as possible. To do so, different task have to be divided to increase production. Capitalism is driven by a circuit which consists of having money, exchanging it for a commodity, and then selling that product once again but for a greater quantity of money, or M-C-M’. Capital changes itself both into money and commodities, while at the same time differentiates itself from its original value by creating surplus value and expanding spontaneously (334). In order for a capitalist to be successful he must never stop this cycle, he must always keep growing his capital. The “final result of every separate circuit […] forms of itself the starting point of a new circuit” (333). This idea creates in the capitalist a mentality of competition, a drive to always find new ways to increase productivity and lower cost in order to increase the surplus. This process leads the capitalist to using and exploiting wage laborers. Yet, in order to survive the capitalist never seems satisfied with what he has, and continually pursues more and more wealth. The capitalist is dominated by the main circuit of accumulation of surplus value, M-C-M’, which defines capitalism.
As a result of the domination, which capitalism has over the capitalist, Marx explains how capitalism is a historically new mechanism which controls most aspects of life. It requires both division of labour and cooperation of many laborers under one capitalist. Unlike previous forms of cooperation, in ancient times and even in modern colonies, which were created in response to domination and servitude, capitalistic cooperation is driven by the free market (387). Society evolved from feudalism to capitalism by changing “direct forced labour, slavery [to] indirect force labour, wage labour” (250). On the surface, the new type of laborer appears to be free, yet the laborer, just like the capitalist, is dominated by the system. The capitalist is the driving force of this domination. The capitalist continually searches for ways to make tasks simpler and increase division of labour in order to obtain...

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