Workers of the World Unite; You Have Nothing to Lose but Your Chains.
-- Karl Marx, Communist Manifesto
Karl Marx had very strong viewpoints in regards to capitalism, making him a great candidate for this assignment. People constantly debate over whether his ideologies held any grain of truth to them. I believe that although not everything Marx predicted in his writings has come true (yet), he was definitely right on about a lot of issues. As a matter of fact, his teachings can definitely be applied to today’s society. This paper will give a summary of Marx’s political philosophy. It will also discuss a contemporary issue: the current economic crisis— and how Marx believed racism played a crucial a role in it. Finally, through the lens he has developed, I will explain how Marx would analyze this issue and how one can argue that it spurred the current movement known as Occupy Wall Street.
Karl Marx was a German philosopher and political theorist. He developed the socio-political theory of Marxism. One of his most famous works is The Communist Manifesto that he co-wrote with Friedrich Engels. In The Communist Manifesto, Marx discusses his theories on society, economics and politics. He believed that “all societies progress through the dialectic of class struggle”. He criticized capitalism, and referred to it as the "dictatorship of the bourgeoisie". Marx believed that capitalism was unfair because the rich middle and upper class people manipulated the system and used it for their own benefit while we get the short end of the stick. We, being average Americans— like myself— who go to college full-time, juggle a job, and yet are constantly struggling just to make ends meet: the unappreciated, exploited and underpaid every day heroes. Marx believes that the capitalist system takes advantage of lower middle class and poor people.
Before delving into the many things that Marx found wrong with Capitalism and how it caused the economic crisis that we are currently in, let us briefly go over what Capitalism is to begin with. According to www.dictionary.com, Capitalism is: “an economic system in which investment in and ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange of wealth is made and maintained chiefly by private individuals or corporations”. There are two types of income in Capitalism. They are profit and wages. Profit is basically what you get from selling your capital. Wages is what you get if you sell your labor; an example of this is being a worker. This leads us directly into the thinking of Karl Marx.
Marx insisted that capitalism was bound to cause internal problems and that it would eventually completely fall apart and be replaced by a different system: Socialism. Under Socialism, the power would finally shift to the working class and they would be the ones with political power. Marx referred to this as the "dictatorship of the proletariat" or as some people call it “the workers state". Then, with time, Socialism...