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Marx Misses the Point - Essay Example

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In The Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx makes his case for the notion that throughout history there has been a continuing series of exploitations by those with capital against those who labor. In his world view, the people who lack capital and sell their labor are the victims of those who own production power…
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Marx Misses the Point
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Download file to see previous pages Precisely so: that is just what we intend" (Marx 337). For the purposes of this paper, Marx misses the point on three levels.
His reduction of complex economic relationships into two broad categories is an oversimplification that is as inaccurate as his proposed solution is feckless. His assertion that free trade is tantamount to exploitation is misguided and has no basis in fact. Finally, the presentation of communism as the panacea for all the ills of industrial society is nave; in fact, once Marx's scheme is brought from ideology into practice the result is that communism and the state simply become a replacement of one type of repression for another. Communism, when applied to the lives of real people, ironically becomes his decried bourgeoisie in a different cloak. Through oversimplification, inaccuracy, and flawed methodology, Marx misses the point; individual freedom.
Marx frames his initial assertion for the two class distinctions in terms of time. He avers that "[o]ur epoch, the epoch of the bourgeoisie, possesses, however, this distinctive feature; it has simplified the class antagonisms" (322). Had he had the ability to project forward in time, beyond his epoch, he would see the colossal failures within the practical application of his ideas. That sort of time projection being impossible for him, however, let's examine his initial, basic assertion: "Society as a whole is more and more splitting up into two great hostile camps, into two great classes directly facing each other: Bourgeoisie and Proletariat" (Marx 322). Anytime broad generalizations are used to describe complex situations, inaccuracy is the result; particularly with subjects as convoluted as economy and politics. For Marx, there is a ruling class of people and institutions who have capital and power. This group, in his mind, is exercising exploitation and control over the masses. On the other side of his equation, lie the disenfranchised workers who are the grist for the industrial mill. For Marx, these two are diametrically opposed to each other and are hostile. The problem with his approach, like any person who thinks in terms of black vs. white, is that it is too simplistic. There are shades of grey within the groups that his dual class approach does not accommodate. An organized, funded, and complete "bourgeoisies" does not exist; nor does a suppressed, victimized, and grouped "proletariat." There certainly are capitalized entities that take advantage of laborers. That fact notwithstanding, there are also many industrial operations that function in partnership with labor to harmoniously provide goods and services to society while maintaining a happy and healthy workforce. These are symbiotic relationships where no hostility exists. It is within the context of individual freedom that these beneficial relationships exist. Marx, however, takes issue with that freedom, turning it into something evil. In practical application, the term bourgeoisie simply becomes a label applied to a person or company that displeases the labeler.
Marx's propensity for negative labeling does not stop with grouped classes, but also extends to the commercial activity of society. He sees ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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