Karl Marx Essay, Research Paper
Karl Marx (1818-1883)
1. ?The bourgeoisie produces the proletariat, and in producing and expanding that class, the capitalists are producing their own grave diggers?
As capitalism expands, the number of workers exploited, and the degree of exploitation, increases. The tendency for the level of exploitation to escalate leads to more and more resistance on the part of the proletariat. There begins to be more and more exploitation and oppression, which then leads to a confrontation between the two classes. The reality in life in capitalism is hidden while illusion is seen as a fact. The capitalists exploit the proletariat, but the belief is that the abilities of the capitalists only lead to success for the worker. As more and more capitalists exploit the proletariat, the numbers will keep adding up which will cause a move toward a communist society. I believe that this cause of the exploitation is due to several factors. Workers are forced to act inhuman in the workplace by not communicating with anyone in the setting. Talking meant that there was more work that needed to be done. People were working to survive for food and shelter, while their wages were cut by the higher power. People were also forced to compete with one another. Whoever produced more or worked more quickly got a benefit of some reward. People are forced to work like animals. Their consciousness is numbed and it destroys relations with other humans and with nature.
I feel that as more and more people are being exploited and the numbers keep increasing in size, there is going to be a turn where the proletariats take a stand. The capitalists are basically causing this upon themselves by destroying human potential within human beings. They are ruining human life and treating people as if they were animals. It is sad to see such a society as a capitalist one.
2. Human Potential-
Marx believed that the nature of societies before capitalism had been too harsh to allow people to realize their potentials. They were too busy trying to get enough food, shelter, and protection to develop their higher capacities. It was Marx?s belief that communism would provide the kind of environment in which people could begin to express that potential fully.
Human potential and Nature-
To Marx, the special property of human nature is our creative intelligence, the ability to raise a structure in one?s imagination and then to erect that structure in reality. He believed that human nature was not carved in stone, but was affected by the nature of the social setting. Consciousness and its ability to direct activity were the distinctive characteristics of human beings. They could visualize your ideal society before it actually happened. He sees man as creative and with unlimited potential. He gives man a great deal of power and hope.
Marx saw labor in a capitalist society as taking on some distinct and perverted forms. Labor, in capitalism is reduced to a means to an end. In capitalism, labor is not the equivalent of work, activity, and creativity. In a capitalist society, you would see people working side by side in a factory and not even know the person?s name to the right and left of you. You were not to talk because talking meant that you weren?t busy enough and that you needed more work. Individuals perform less and less like human beings and are reduced to their work to animals and inhuman machines. People are forced to compete with one another for more benefits. Workers are unable to express their human qualities. A communist society would be created where no man rules over any other individual as well as their social relation to one another. In a communism society, workers are friendly and jobs are equal as well as labor put into them. A doctor would receive the same recognition as a shoe salesman and their jobs would be considered equal. Their wages are not taken away from them by higher powers and finally the workers are able to gain or satisfy their individual needs and not just to survive. In Marx?s view, people cannot express their humanness without nature and without other people. Sociability is an integral part of human nature. He believed that people needed to relate to other people both for the sake of relating and in order to appropriate nature adequately.
As a result of alienation, work in capitalism is reduced to mere labor in which the individual denies himself, does not feel content, but unhappy, does not develop freely his physical and mental energy but mortifies his body and ruins his mind. To Marx, people can be no more or less than they actually are. If you were born a leader, then you will be a leader. In a capitalist society, money can bestow on people powers and abilities that they do not actually possess. In other words, people who were not born leader could eventually become leaders through money and buying their way.
Summary of previous paragraphs-
To summarize the previous paragraphs, I would like to point out some of the characteristics of Karl Marx?s communist society. He believed that man would be in his best interest to work together and to share. He believed that everyone and everything is equal. There is no class ranking. This includes: labor, jobs, food, and potential. He views man as creative and altruistic. Man cares about the interest of the other person. He believed that money gave people power where it did not belong. He believed that labor should be traded with labor. Bread should be traded with wheat. He thought that trading food for money and then buying more food was a good system as well, but trading labor for labor was the ideal way. Everyone had human potential to evolve into the people they really are. He believed that people learn from each other and need each other to relate. He believed that people should be working to satisfy their individual needs and not just in order to survive.
3. Human Potential-
In Marx?s view, people differ from animals in their possession of consciousness as well as in their ability to link this consciousness to their actions. People can set themselves off mentally from whatever they are doing while animals just ?do?. Human actors can choose to act or not to act. Minds of human beings enable them to plan beforehand what action is going to take place. Humans possess physical and mental flexibility. Humans can pay close attention over a long period of time. The nature of the human mind leads people to be highly social.
Consciousness is a characteristic of people and is shaped out of human activity and human interaction. Consciousness is from the very beginning and remains so as long as men exist. I believe that in Marx?s communist society, workers will be happy and content with their work. There will be little competing with one another, but more interacting with one another. People will not be comparing themselves because everyone is equal. People will not compare clothes because everyone is equal. People will know one another and confide in one another as they relate experiences in life with each other. People will be able to work to get the individual need that they desire and not just to survive. People will get to be whatever is suited to fit their fullest potential. People develop freely into his physical and mental energy. If you were born a lawyer then you would be a lawyer. I could not imagine this kind of society producing their own grave diggers because people are just getting more out of what they put into it.