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Karl Marx & Political Life - Term Paper Example

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The Dialectical Relationship of Economic and Political Life According to Marx Karl Marx is widely regarded as one of the most influential thinkers in the previous century. Because his ideas have inspired many leaders to launch revolutions towards the establishment of a classless social system, Marx had also gained acclaim as the father of communism…
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Download file to see previous pages It was these that guided these revolutionaries in their struggles to change the status quo and introduce a new system in society. At the core of Marxist ideas is the tool of analysis that is to be used in understanding the essential features of society. The Marxist social analysis is actually the most essential principle behind the socialist ideology. Without social analysis, it is apparently impossible to discover the factors that could lead to the progress of society from one historical stage to another. Without it, the leadership of such movements for change would not be able to identify the motive forces as well as those that would seek to maintain the status quo. As a social scientist, Marx was among the first to articulate that to understand society, it is necessary to focus on the material basis of its existence, the economy. He actually began his investigations of society by first understanding the dynamics of capitalist economy, particularly its mode of production. It was through his observations in the relationship among the people involved in production that he was able to formulate a theory about social classes and the political structure arising from it. Therefore, Marx does not consider politics as independent from economic life. Instead, he considers it to be a reflection of the relations in production. At the same time, however, he also explains that the nature of the economy can also be altered by changes in politics. Even as Marx formulated a social theory that eventually led to the organization and mobilization of the working class for social change, he was not a worker himself. A lawyer by training and education, he belonged to the middle class. Therefore, it was impossible for him develop the political standpoint and ideological viewpoint of the proletariat. However, he was drawn to socialist ideas and was also a Hegelian; both of which were contributing factors to his determination in learning about the potential elements that could lead to radical social transformation. As a socialist, Marx appreciated the benefits of a society where there are no distinctions based on wealth and participation on labor. As a Hegelian, he was also very interested in discovering dialectics in society; the contradictions that could lead to change. Aside from being a socialist and a Hegelian, Marx also upheld the principal aspects of political economy as articulated by Adam Smith and David Ricardo, especially in the concept that the wealth of society originates from the combination of nature and human labor. All these were vital to the development of Marx’s systematic theory. Inspired by his socialist principles and Hegelian-influenced methods of analysis, Marx went on to investigate the mode of production. As a result of his investigation he concluded that “the increasing value of the world of things proceeds in direct proportion to the devaluation of the world of men” and that labor produces not only commodities; it also produces itself and the worker as a commodity – and does so in the proportion in which it produces commodities generally.” (Marx 43) As the working class reproduces itself, individuals who are not involved in labor but are related to production emerge. These are the capitalists or the bourgeoisie; the class whose existence is based on the appropriation of a certain percentage of the wealth created by ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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