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Socialist Critique of Capitalism - Essay Example

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The socialist critique of capitalism holds that a capitalistic state is naturally an oppressive state. Although there may be variations in socialist thought, it can be said that a socialist critique of capitalism argues from the standpoint that man is by nature greedy and selfish…
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Socialist Critique of Capitalism
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Download file to see previous pages Furthermore, socialism argues for the collective ownership of the means of production as this prioritizes the common good against individualistic advantage (A Brief Introduction to Socialism from a Non-Marxist, Democratic Libertarian Perspective, n.d.). One can easily recognize that the socialist argument subordinates individual advantage to collective good as this, it is assumed, will overshadow the inherent selfishness of man.
Marx was triumphant in his critique against capitalism (Manifesto of the Communist Party, 1847) which was strongly manifested after the 1950s; nations of the Soviet Union, China, Cuba, and Eastern Europe were aptly persuaded to overthrow their existing mode of production and replace it with Marx's communism/socialism that promises a classless society which was rather Utopian at the time and until now. Marx fittingly made use of theories of human nature to cogently deliver his denigration against capitalism. However, Marx did not directly use the term "human nature" but instead applied another concept which was "species-being" or "species-essence". This conception of Marx in relation to human nature was borrowed from the philosophy of Ludwig Feuerbach which submits to both specific human nature and the entire humanity. Marx translated this philosophy as a treatise that declares humans as conscious actors in the unfolding of history and nature itself. In the year 1845, Marx inscribed to the world his belief that the human essence cannot be found in a particular individual but in his association with the larger social relations which he belongs. Logically, this statement points to the insight that the human essence is a fluid concept which is hardwired on the total structure of social relations borne out from a society. He then goes on to assert that the fundamental essence of humans as individuals enmeshed in a particular mode of production is their labor. One of the primary arguments of Marx was that humans are distinguished through their behavior toward production and that this economic activity is their soul. Yet, he did not entirely described "labor" as a perfectly embedded human essence but one that is also the source of oppression, alienation, and private property. He ardently argued that in communism "labor" is an unnecessary human activity and an abhorrent fraction of the material state of societies; whereas in capitalism labor represents the material exigencies of the few owners of production and the workers themselves were merely caricatures of torment, suffering, and hard work.

Moreover, Marx alleged that productive activities which are vital to human nature are only gratifying if executed freely. Under the pretext of capitalism, labor is nothing but a tool of dehumanization and isolation for the providers of the valuable labor. Furthermore, labor performed in capitalism invariably produces alienation of the workers from their own produce. Marx (1932), in his article on historical materialism, used the allegory of a carpenter working on a chair. A carpenter who successfully accomplished an entire chair is more self-fulfilled than the carpenter who only took fractions of work to complete an entire chair. Marx related labor with self-identity thus claiming that in capitalism which is characterized by ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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