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Marx and Capitalism. Why and how does Marx think Capitalism is bound to collapse - Essay Example

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Capitalism is a means of production that has several contradictions. These contradictions lead to tensions between one class of people and the other. Karl Marx, the key proponent of the theory, asserted that tensions were self destructive and would eventually lead to collapse of the system…
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Marx and Capitalism. Why and how does Marx think Capitalism is bound to collapse
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Download file to see previous pages Rising unemployment levels, recurring layoffs, tumultuous stock booms and corporate scandals are indicative of the economic crises that would reach sufficient proportions to cause a collapse of capitalism. One must therefore look into the contradictions and sources of instability in this system to understand why capitalism will eventually fail. Karl Marx’s understanding of the collapse of capitalism The views of several contemporary and traditional economists were substantially different from Karl’s Marx’s ideas. Most economists, including prominent ones like Adam Smith, felt that free market economics and hence capitalism was a given fact. They presumed that it emanated from man’s propensity to exchange goods and services. Also, these economists focused on the interaction between man and products rather than between the market participants themselves. Wage labour as well as its relation to capital was the key concern for Marx. He felt that it was more critical to study the relationship between people who participated in these systems. In conventional economics, a millionaire who purchased a loaf of bread was treated in the same way as a simple wage labourer. Furthermore, the person selling the item was nothing more than a trader. However, Marx challenged this thinking by showing that people were not equals in capitalist markets. The rich and the poor had different relations to capital and wage labour (Marx and Engels, 1997). Therefore, contradictions arose in this process, yet they were ignored by predominant economists. Karl Marx acknowledged that capitalism perpetuates poverty and inequality. However, these were not sufficient ingredients to lead to its end. Instead, he stated that the cyclical and frequent economic crises that occurred in the capitalist system could lead to an unstable and insecure environment. Workers would lose confidence in their methods of earning a living because the system in which they worked constantly threatened to make them superfluous. The antagonism that would arise from that situation would lead to a state of anarchy. In other words, economic crises that are inevitable in capitalism cannot guarantee workers even the miniscule amounts to which they were entitled. Such problems would cause a breakdown in world systems. Capitalism does not just affect workers alone; it also has an impact on owners of capital too. The bourgeoisie are in a war for survival; they are fighting against themselves as well as against the proletariat. For this reason, when minor economic crises occur, they can lead to a war as well as an increase in class struggles between the two groups. The possibility of a revolution thus arises because of these crises. Marx did not believe that the revolution was expected, but that it was a possibility that workers could embrace in their response. For a revolution to occur, it is not sufficient for the oppressed to be unable to sustain their living conditions. The upper classes must also be unable to maintain their old system of governance. Since instability affects both parties, then it is likely that it will lead to a collapse. In order to understand Marx’s prediction of collapse in capitalism, it is critical to understand how crises occur in the first place. The theorist explained that owners of capital had one sole aim when conducting business and this was to accumulate more capital. It was not that they were greedy for money; however, they needed to accumulate more capital in order to beat their rivals. In capitalism, a manufacturer often uses their money to purchase resources in order to create goods. This person would not be able to produce those goods if they lacked vast finances to begin with. Once these individuals make ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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