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Wealth And Poverty: Karl Marx Essay

2114 words - 8 pages

Communism has been regarded as the opposite to capitalism; however it was capitalism that gave rise to communism. During the Gilded Age capitalism influenced the growth of the industrial revolution in Europe and in the United States. The Gilded Age was the period of 1870-1910, where there was great economic growth in the United States. People like Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller were entrepreneurs who made their fortunes in this age of industrialization. Although this period brought technological advances and economic growth, it also was a period of disparity and poverty.
Karl Marx, a German philosopher, saw this inequality growing between what he called "the bourgeoisie" and "the proletariat" classes. The bourgeoisie was the middle/upper class which was growing in due to the industrial revolution, and the proletariats were the working class, the poor. These two classes set themselves apart by many different factors. Marx saw five big problems that set the proletariat and the bourgeoisie aside from each other. These five problems were: The dominance of the bourgeoisie over the proletariat, the ownership of private property, the set-up of the family, the level of education, and their influence in government. Marx, in The Communist Manifesto, exposes these five factors which the bourgeoisie had against the communist, and deals with each one fairly. As for the proletariat class, Marx proposes a different economic system where inequality between social classes would not exist.
The bourgeoisie class was the class in control in the Gilded Age, yet Marx's views exposed the flaws in their social system and gave the proletariats a new social order. As the Gilded Age progressed, the bourgeoisie became more powerful and thus the proletariat class declined in their status. In the United States, the industrial revolution started to grow and this made the industry market shift from Europe to the United States. Europe was becoming overcrowded and resources were becoming scarce. As a result, the working class grew to become the mass population while the middle and upper classes shrank in size. However, the economic and politic power still rested on the bourgeoisie, not in the proletariats. Because the bourgeoisie had the power, they established a new social order based on the old feudal system. In The Communist Manifesto written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, it is stated "The modern bourgeoisie society that has sprouted from the ruins of feudal society, has not done away with class antagonisms. It has but established new classes, new conditions of oppression, new forms of struggle in place of the old ones." (Communist Manifesto pg. 244) This means that the bourgeoisie class has imposed a new order of social ranking class like the feudal system, but this time they are the kings and land lords. In this new order, the proletariat class is the feudal, the feudal; the poor; the lower class.
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