Basically, the workers are paid less than the true value of the good that they produce. Following on from this, capitalism continually expands the forces of production in its pursuit of increasing profit.
Production becomes concentrated in ever-larger units e. Such technological advances de-skill the workforce. Together with increasing concentration of ownership, class polarisation is the result i. Marx argues that under capitalism, workers experience alienation because they have no control and the increasing division of labour means that work becomes a futile, meaningless activity.
The principal reason workers are unaware of the true nature of their situation is due to false-class consciousness which is explained through ideology — a set of values and beliefs that justify legitimise the existing social order as inevitable, entirely acceptable and indeed, even desirable.
This is because the capitalist mode of production which forms the economic base of society shapes or determines all other features of society — the superstructure of institutions, ideas, beliefs and behaviour that arise from this base. For example, it shapes the nature of religion, law, education, the state and so on. According to Marx, capitalism sows the seeds of its own destruction. For example, by polarising the classes, bringing the proletariat together in ever-increasing numbers, and driving down their wages, capitalism creates the conditions under which the working class can develop a consciousness or awareness of its own economic and political interests in opposition to those of its exploiters.
As a result, the proletariat moves from merely being a class-in-itself whose members share the same economic position to becoming a class-foritself, whose members are class conscious — aware of the need to overthrow capitalism. The means of production would then be put in the hands of the state and run in the interests of everyone, not just of the bourgeoisie. A new type of society — socialism developing into communism — would be created, which would be without exploitation, without classes and without class conflict.
Far from society becoming polarised and the working class becoming poorer, almost everyone in western societies enjoys a far higher standard of living than ever before.
Furthermore, conflict seems over-emphasised and there has not been any revolution in western societies. In defence, Giddens argues that the twoclass model should be viewed more as a theoretical construct around which to build an analysis of society. Nevertheless, the focus on social class obscures other sources of inequality such as those based on gender and ethnicity. Classical Marxism has been further criticised as being too deterministic. First, too much importance is given to the economy in the economic base-superstructure distinction.
Second, it sees individuals as simply passive products of the social system, which socialises them into conformity and controls their behaviour. It does not allow for individual choice as social action theorists do. From a postmodern perspective, Marxism — as a grand theory or metanarrative — is no longer relevant for explaining contemporary societies, where social life is essentially chaotic, values are diverse, social structures have become increasingly fragmented; indeed, rather than class being the main social division, more differences arise around individual choices in consumption patterns and lifestyle.
Many writers, including Richard Wright, Claude McKay, Jean Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, and James Joyce, were deeply influenced with Marxist and socialist theories of the day, and much of this reflection is evident in their writings of the time. In the case of Claude McKay, Marxist theory provided a framework for issues of racial inequality and justice that were often addressed in his works.
Following the failure of the Communist revolution, Marxist critics and writers were faced with the realization that Socialism had failed as a practical ideology. In recent years, literary criticism has expanded in scope to address issues of social and political significance. Marxist critics such as Raymond Williams and Fredric Jameson have expanded their realm of study to include cultural and political studies in their interpretations of literature. In this regard, Marxist critics, along with feminists, have begun studying literary criticism as an aspect of cultural sciences, notes Michael Ryan in his essay on the state of contemporary cultural and literary studies.
Under these conditions, workers became mentally and physically drained. Marx believed that every person had a need to work. However, the capitalist system does not satisfy that need. Marx said it best when he stated that this type of work, does not satisfy the need to work, but is only a means to satisfy other needs such as food and clothes.
Marx used the term alienation of labour because this work left the laborer with a feeling of discomfort and homelessness.
Marx's solution to capitalism, was the socialist revolution by the workers against the capitalists. Marx figured that this revolution would attain several things. Firstly, it would overthrow the system of ownership of the means of production, and place the means of production in the hands of the people. Secondly, the goal of production would be to satisfy the needs of the society, and not to create a profit.
Finally the socialist revolution would realize a rational way of distributing out the products it creates in accordance to need. The resulting system; socialism, would bring a society which was based on collective ownership of the means of production, rational economic planning, equal distribution of goods and services, and lastly, production for the human need.
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Essays and criticism on Marxist Criticism - Critical Essays.
- In this essay I propose to discuss two key sociological perspectives, Marxism and Radical and Liberal Feminism. I will also apply these theories to the family aspect of social life. Marxism is a structural conflict theory as outlined originally by Karl Marx ().
However, there are differences between Marxists especially over the way which social change can come about. For example, humanistic Marxists like Gramsci give a greater role to the conscious decisions and actions of human beings than do structural Marxists like Althusser, for whom social change comes as the product of changes within the . Free marxist theory papers, essays, and research papers.
Marxism: A* Essay Exemplar 1. Using material from item B and elsewhere assess the usefulness of Marxist approaches in explaining crime Marxism is a conflict theory established by Karl Marx. Mar 12, · Free Essays from Bartleby | Describe the Marxist approach to the media and discuss its strengths and weaknesses (In modern society the main influence over.