Capitalism is defined by Marx as a socio-economic system based especially n private ownership Of the means Of production and the exploitation Of the labor force. (Beluga) Communication is the process of a humans value being replaced by his or her monetary value. (Beluga) Marx uses the terms proletariat, bureaucracy, and aristocrats, which essentially mean lower, middle, and upper classes, respectively. (Marx, Manifesto) The means of production is a term for the tools and raw materials used to create a product.
Marx argues that capitalism functions as “the circulation of money as capital is an end in itself, for the balkanization of value takes place only within this instantly renewed movement. The movement of capital is therefore limitless” (Marx, Capital) Marx argues that because the movement of capital is limitless, then capitalists strive for “the unceasing movement of profit- making’ (Marx, Capital). I claim that this socio-economic system promotes a competition for basic needs to humans by putting prices, and since everyone aims to obtain all assets, some people will ultimately be left without basic needs.
Marx instead argues for a more communal distribution of the means of production for the people would allow a better life for everyone. Marx argues that consciousness is something people develop overtime rather than it being inherently human. Marx is weary of false consciousness, which is the belief that a person is free when they are not free, or the belief that they are conscious when they are not conscious. (Mathews). Marx says that “the world has long dreamed of possessing something of which is has only to be conscious in order to possess it in reality. ” (Marx, Capital).
Marx believes that this false sense of life is why the proletariat accepts their exploitation. The proletariat is led to believe that capitalism is good because everyone is free; however this power of freedom is consolidated by the aristocracy. Therefore the proletariat supports a policy that is opposed to its own well-being. He says that if the world, and specifically the proletariat, become conscious Of their situation, they can effectively change the world Marx argues that people should hone their abilities to engage in ruthless criticism, in that they should not fear the results or the people in power. Marx, Letters). People need to be aware of their situation and have to be ready to address the problems, such as unequal pay, normalization of the or, regardless of the status quo. The very first stage of a productive criticism is that the proletariat has to acknowledge their ignorance. Once ignorance is admitted, society is then free to build a new societal structure. Marx argues that the worker is alienated from his or her product because they do not control the product they create; their product is facilitated through the capitalist. Beluga) The proletariat creates a product just to live a wage, and then their labor becomes resource, so in turn they become a resource. (Beluga). Marx argues that this process De-humanities people. Individual workers only come into contact with their employer, rather than selling their product to other people, so workers become alienated from one another. This lack of community aids false consciousness because the people are desensitizing to one another, which would undermine attempts at communications and honest criticism of the social-economic environment.
This systematic desensitizing leads to people not being able to sympathize with One another, which leads to a toxic community. Being able to empathic with a neighbor is a foundation of humanity and society, so any tactic that divides people is anti-society. Marx argues that capitalist exploit the proletariat, and one measure if explained in the idea of “surplus value. ” The very nature of capitalism is turning profit, so the surplus over what is needed to survive is profit, all of which goes to the capitalist.
The capitalist buys raw goods and labor, not to then buy more commodities, but to sell on the market. The capitalist is only driven by profit and value of money, rather than by the actual “use-value” of a product or the needs of the labor. (Beluga) Marx makes a point to differentiate the “use-value” and the “exchange value” of commodities. Use- values” compares the abilities and usefulness of two products against each other. “Exchange values” are when commodities are compared to a third commodity that acts as a universal constant, which in modern day is money.
Capitalism compares all commodities to their value in money. Money has no base in reality; rather money is the equivalent amount of labor is takes to create a commodity. (Beluga) Marx therefore reasons “As exchange-values, all commodities are merely definite quantities of congealed labor-time” (Marx, Capital) Capitalists dominate the money, therefore dominate the labor which laminates equality and leads to a exploitation of the proletariat. With no other ways to administer their labor, the proletariat becomes dependent on the capitalist both in terms of materials, and more abstractly, ideologically. Mathews) This dependence on ideology aids to the false consciousness that the proletariat suffers from. At the same time, the bourgeoisie themselves rely on the labors of the proletariat. Capitalists cannot produce the basic needs for themselves to survive. Marx argues that because the proletariat is ignorant of the problem that faces them, they are unable to change. This problem exists because capitalism exists to drive profit margins rather than the betterment of people. Marx argues that people can change if they accept their ignorance and learn the pit falls of capitalism.
Finally, Marx insinuates that a socioeconomic change will better the masses. A single criticism Marx would have is that he would argue that a revolution would happen organically and would be total. I would argue that total communism is not possible given the human tradition of personal advancement, but steps towards economic equality could take place within current democratic political structure through reform. Marx would argue that total communism is a plausible society, while I would argue that communism is the ideal that the proletariat should be striving towards given the current, nearly unbounded capitalist world.
Higher corporate tax rates, higher accountability in the corporate world, and higher levels of transparency in the corporate world would all lead to a controlled and capped level of capitalists, which could then be redistributed to the proletariat. In conclusion, Karl Marx argues against capitalism and argues for a communal society. Marx calls the lower class, or proletariat to action. Marx says out all the problems of capitalism, which include alienation and exploitation.