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How useful are Marx ideas to understanding the problems and struggles of our 21st century - Essay Example

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Although our modern society is said to be offering equal opportunities to all people from all walks of life, the basic inequalities brought about by the status of an individual still serve as an effective barrier between those who rule and those who are being ruled…
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How useful are Marx ideas to understanding the problems and struggles of our 21st century
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How useful are Marx ideas to understanding the problems and struggles of our 21st century? Although our modern society is said to be offering equal opportunities to all people from all walks of life, the basic inequalities brought about by the status of an individual still serve as an effective barrier between those who rule and those who are being ruled. From the time of Marx up to now, a kind of class antagonism still exist between the rich and the poor, the employers and the employees, the brains and the brawns, the strong and the weak.
According to Marx, the problem of society is rooted in equality between classes. Free trade had unmasked the true picture of society by giving us a clear image of “brutal exploitation” in the face of civilization. In the 21st century, the picture painted by Marx during his time can still be vividly seen and observed all over the world. If you take a closer look at the big establishments that ruled the industries nowadays, you will notice that these companies and are becoming like dynasties where the top ranking corporate executives lord the place and the lives of the employees. Although learned individuals may argue that employment is but a matter of choice, such choice is not easy to make nowadays for the lack of better opportunities available. This scenario is comparable to the time of landlords and serfs where the farmers don’t really have a choice but to toil in the face of unfair conditions for fear that he/she will lose the land and compromise the survival of his/her family.
Much as we would like to view labor in our present time as a form of capital, it is still viewed as a form of commodity that people trade and is subject to market fluctuations of supply and demand thus the continuing antagonism between class of individuals such as the skilled and the unskilled labor. This phenomenon cause the prices of labor in other parts of the world to be cheaper than that in the United States and other developed countries. As labor is cheaper in developing countries, companies would rather outsource labor from these parts of the world to maximize profit.
In the industrial scenario, the development in the means of travel and communications make it very easy for companies to conquer economy of certain parts of the world. Giant companies in highly developed countries are now sending their people abroad to look for cheaper raw materials and labor. Others have set-up their own manufacturing plants abroad to save on labor and distribution cost and materials. In effect, smaller industries in these countries that used to thrive by fulfilling the needs of the local markets now find themselves in quandary and possible extinction. Free trade has unleashed the greed of human beings. The battle between organizations with bigger capitals and more extensive machineries and those small organizations that do not have the necessary resources is but a replica of the picture painted by Marx in the Communist Manifesto.
The present scenario of inequality around the world fuels class antagonism in different sectors. However, the dynamics of conflicting interest in society is also important to stimulate development. It cannot be denied that because of competition, society would strive to break new grounds. Conflict and inequalities therefore is but necessary evils.
Reference:
1. Karl Marx and Frederick Engels (1848) Manifesto of the Communist Party Read More
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