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The Brenner Debate: Evaluating Robert Brenners Thesis on the Origins of Capitalism (Marxist/Non-Marxist) - Essay Example

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Marxism as one of the dominant and prevalent ideologies in the contemporary society today traces its origins to numerous catalysts, stemming from the establishment of a feudal system among early societies, further intensified by the emergence of the Industrial Revolution and eventually, capitalism…
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The Brenner Debate: Evaluating Robert Brenners Thesis on the Origins of Capitalism (Marxist/Non-Marxist)
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Extract of sample "The Brenner Debate: Evaluating Robert Brenners Thesis on the Origins of Capitalism (Marxist/Non-Marxist)"

Download file to see previous pages Karl Marx, the main proponent of the class conflict theoretical framework, gave birth to conflict theory, which highlights the emergence of a class struggle that resulted from the unequal distribution of power, primarily on the technology or mode of production in the society. Ultimately, Marx argued that what determines the unequal power distribution and struggle between the bourgeois (elite) and proletariat (working) classes is that the former wields greater control over the mode of production in the society. Because the elite class controls the technology that produces economic wealth for the society, the working class becomes susceptible to subordination and abuse by the elite class.
As a solution to this class conflict, Marx proposed the emergence of a social revolution as the solution to create a 'new world order,' in which the working class would stage a revolution to abolish the class system, and in effect, class conflict. In this new world order identified as communism, an egalitarian society will be established, where economic property and modes of production are owned and controlled by the people.
This background on the dynamics of class relations and historical materialism in Marx's thesis of class conflict became the focal point in Robert Brenner's analysis of the origins of capitalism in "The Brenner Debate." In his analysis, Brenner looked into the origins of capitalism, and introduc...
hat class conflict is a result of an unequal distribution of power due to relations between the forces of production and mode of production, Brenner contends that class conflict, in fact, is already a pre-existing condition in society even before capitalism emerged. Moreover, he posited that what determined capitalism is class conflict or the political system itself, rather than capitalism determining class conflict. To prove his thesis, Brenner took as an example the case of the England feudal system, which demonstrated the exceptional case of class conflict determining the success of capitalism.
II. "The Brenner Debate": A 'chicken-egg controversy' on the origins of capitalism
In arguing his thesis, Brenner exemplified the case of the English feudal system, which demonstrated a unique scenario wherein apparently, a class-based political system determined the economic organization and structure of the society. England as exemplified by Brenner is characterized by its unique characteristic of being a society independent of the influence of the Church, which provided a perfect venue for intellectual development to flourish in the society.
Apart from this characteristic, English society, which is politico-economically a feudal society, demonstrated a capitalist economy that arose out of their own political, class system. That is, Brenner argued that in the case of the English feudal system, capitalism was developed by the ruling class, which is also the politically dominant group in the said society. Thus, from his perspective, capitalism was only developed based on the prerogative of the ruling class, who decided whether to promote the system of capitalism. The progress of capitalism in English society and its fast transition from feudalist to capitalist ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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