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The Paradox Of Capitalism Essay

2533 words - 11 pages

Capitalism is an engine of economic growth that drives innovation faster than any sports car imaginable. Driving into oblivion can be thrilling, but it always has risks. The paradox of capitalism is subjective. For the working class, capitalism is a derogatory term symbolizing the exploitation of the poor by the strong and powerful. For the ruling class, it symbolizes a system where opportunities abound for those who are devoted, innovative, and work hard. Karl Marx and Emile Durkheim, prominent social theorists studied the division of labour in a capitalist economy and both of their views have merit. Marx, well renowned German philosopher was one of the first incredibly influential social activists in history. He fear that we live in a materially determined economy has come to light brighter than ever before. He believed that members of a society were in constant conflict with one another because the bourgeoisie exploited and dominated the proletarians by using labour as a cheap commodity. He is very critical of capitalism and believes it is unjust and discriminatory as it benefits the upper class while depriving the lower class. Marx’s legacy opened the door and led a pathway for fellow philosophers to follow in his footsteps. Durkheim, later prominent sociologist took the pleasure of walking through a different pathway aside Marx. Rather than members of a society being in conflict with each other, Durkheim asserted that people shared a widely common ideology. From a functionalism perspective, institutions force people to interact with one another to survive as they share similar goals and attitudes toward the workforce such as, working hard to get a decent job to support ones family. Social cohesion is how civilization survives and thrives. Durkheim outlines the advantages of capitalism without ignoring the possible detrimental effects, Furthermore, Marx primarily focuses on the dangers of capitalism while Durkheim disregards Marx’s notion that capitalism is the root cause of conflict. Instead he insists that capitalism in fact serves as a function that benefits society as a whole, and recognizes the dangerous vulnerability it places human beings in. First, we must contrast the benefits and dangers of Marx’s laws of motion of capitalism with Durkheim’s solidarity model. Furthermore, we can compare the relations between alienation and anomie within humankind. Although alienation and anomie were concepts developed prior to the laws of motion and solidarity concepts, I seek to identify and clarify how this affected the society in the past and now the present. After this is accomplished, we can therefore make a successful deep analysis on the positive and negative effects the division of labour as in our capitalist economy.

Laws of Motion versus Solidarity
While Karl Marx was pessimistic about the division of labour in society, Emile Durkheim was cautiously optimistic. In 1867 ‘Capitalism’ he developed the laws of motion, otherwise known as...

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