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Essay/Term paper: World and ideas of karl marx

Essay, term paper, research paper:  History

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The World and Ideas of Karl Marx The latter part of the

nineteenth century was teeming with evolved social and

economical ideas. These views of the social structure of

urban society came about through the development of

ideals taken from past revolutions and the present clash of

individuals and organized assemblies. As the Industrial

Revolution steamed ahead paving the way for growing

commerce, so did the widening gap between the class

structure which so predominantly grasped the populace and

their rights within the community. The development of a

capitalist society was a very favorable goal in the eyes of

the bourgeoisie. Using advancing methods of production

within a system of free trade, the ruling middle class were

strategically able to earn a substantial surplus of funds and

maintain their present class of life. Thus, with the

advancement of industry and the bourgeoisie"s gain of

wealth, a counter-action was undoubtably taking place.

The resultant was the degradation of the working- class, of

the proletarians whom provided labour to a middle-class

only to be exploited in doing so. Exploitation is a quarrel

between social groups that has been around since the dawn

of mankind itself. The persecution of one class by another

has historically allowed the advancement of mankind to

continue. These clashes, whether ending with positive or

negative results, allow Man to evolve as a species, defining

Himself within the social structure of nature. Man"s rivalry

amongst one another allows for this evolution! through the

production of something which is different, not necessarily

productive, but differing from the present norm and untried

through previous epochs. At this time in history, mankind

was moving forward very rapidly, but at the price of the

working-class. Wages were given sparsely, and when

capital gain improved, the money payed for labour did not

reflect this prosperity. This, therefore, accelerated the

downfall of the proletarians and progressed towards a

justifiable revolt against the oppressive middle class. The

conclusion of this revolt was envisioned to be a classless

society, one in which its people benefit from and that

benefits from its people. The overthrow of capitalism would

create a socialist society eventually flourishing into

communism. Karl Heinrich Marx (1818 - 1883) was the

philosophical analysis who created communism and saw it

as an achievable goal. Marx denounced religion and

created what were thought to be radical ideas, which

resulted in the banishment from his native land of Germany

and then France, eventually ending up in England.

(Compton"s Encyclopedia, 121) Through dialectical

processing Marx was able to synthesize a theory of a

classless society. This society would be achievable through

the joint union of the proletarians and overthrow of the

governing bourgeois. For the working-class man does not

benefit from the labour which he provides. His labour is

external to himself and is not actually belonging to his

essential being. Therefore in work, the proletarian denies

himself and does not validate his worthiness as an

individual.(Marx from Haberman, 183) The worker has no

existence except to work, which furthers the employer, but

degrades the labourer and eventually results in a grasping

individu! al. Marx realized that with the unification of the

working-class, they would be able to better themselves and

their lives, and in doing so, better society on the whole. The

aspiration to achieve this was purely theoretical and though

Marx felt attainable, it was undoubtably flawed. The

communist ideals are purely a utopian dream which cannot

be reached because of humans inescapable desire to satisfy

their own egos. A proletarian society would not remain

harmonious without individuals seeking personal

satisfaction, and without a governing body chaos would

result, paving a road which would lead to totalitarianism.

Marx"s views were of the proletarian class rising to crush

the bourgeois ideals which governed their lives. This would

result in a proletarian dictatorship, through which ends

would have to be met in order to rid the community of the

existing means of production and prosperity. The abolition

of private property would be achieved by ridding the

bourgeoisie"s ownership of lands, and allowing them to be

publicized. This would enable the removal of selfish

individualism which splits society into segregated portions,

and allow the rich and poor to become more economically

equal in status. This however is only partially attainable, for

one cannot undo what has already taken place. Marx states

that the faster industry progresses, the weaker the

proletarian becomes. Eventually storming the top of the

social pyramid in order to reconstruct and overthrow the

bourgeois assembly. This revolt would take place as a

result of the demands of the labourers not being met, and

wages not increasing with the increase of profit. The

proletarian would feel worthless, and with nothing to lose,

revolt against their employers. The vision of a capitalist

state neglecting its workers and allowing them to use their

mass of people to simply reverse the ways of society is

ridiculous. In a capitalist state, the class which finds itself in

the position of dividing up labour to produce a marketable

product is the one which benefits the most. The bourgeois

in this case would be in this class, and in ruling, would not

allow the organized overthrow of their established system.

In order to increase net profit, the employer must exploit

the labour provided by his workers to ensure the increase

in overall revenue. In a capitalist society, the expansion of

markets and growth of production allows for the

unfortunate increase between classes and their economical

value. Having acquired business sense which has allowed

them to maintain their more than satisfactory lifestyle, the

bourgeois would have unquestionably not have exploited

the work of proletarians to the extreme. Not increasing

wages and allowing the workers to become restless would

have been a grave mistake on the part of the employers. A

solution in preventing an outcry at a revolutionary level

would be to i! ncrease wages sufficiently in providing

maximum surplus capital, but at the same time creating a

payroll which would satisfy the workers. While raising the

level of pay would create wage wars amongst different

proletarian groups, it would stabilize the lifestyle which the

bourgeois were living. If wages did not increase at least a

minute amount, then the middle- class lifestyles would

become threatened, eventually resulting in personal

instability which would not be worth the money saved in

keeping payrolls at such a low level. If the working class

did decide to proceed to overthrow the bourgeois, then yet

another problem would arise. This problem would be in the

control of the revolting populace. The communist goal is to

achieve a classless society with the eventual abolition of the

state itself, in order to unite all working-class men. This

would be very difficult without the organization of a

governing assembly which would then defeat the

revolutions own purpose. In order to achieve an ultimate

goal, there must be some type of plan implemented in order

to successfully do this. A spontaneous clash with an

opposing minority would just reveal to that class what it is

that they have done wrong, and allow them to correct their

errors in order to restore the profitable production which

they have to this point maintained. To properly overthrow

the ruling class, an appointed assembly, within the revolting

assembly, would need to direct and acquire the ideas and

interests of all its followers. This would create the

establishment of the proletarians own class society within

their own people, therefore going against everything in

which the revolution was trying to accomplish. This

organization of the proletarians could enable them to attain

the goals which they set out to grasp. Upon reaching these

goals it would be reasonable to question whether the

classes now set up within would actually disintegrate and

allow for equality amongst all men. This would mean that

the governing proletarian assembly would deteriorate and

become one of the same. Also, the defeated bourgeois

who were hated and envied, could not themselves be

oppressed by the proletarians. In order to meet the goals of

the revolution, they would have to become equals and

allowed to take from society as all else do. This would

leave the door open to a counter revolution in order to

restore society to the previous means of operation. As well,

through human nature man cannot simply defeat its enemy

and then expect to live along side of it. To defeat your

enemy is to become your enemy, and in this case that

would result in an oppressor and an oppressed, oppositely

situated when looking at i! t from a class structure. The idea

of creating an equal society is a provocative promise in

order to rally people together and create a common goal,

but keeping this goal is very unrealistic. Now the ruling

assembly within the working-class has gained power, and

like the bourgeois, they can see that this power is easily

harnessed. By altering the goals of the revolution in a way

that still brings about change from the past ways of society,

allows the ruling class to bring prosperity to their own lives.

Falling under the same "spell" as the bourgeois did

themselves, the new rulers can fulfill their own egos while

governing a body of people who are much more tolerable.

Their tolerance comes from the feeling of victory which

really just creates a much more efficient work force.

Because of their own blindness, they cannot see that in the

light of change, in fact, nothing really has. The Communist

Manifesto ends proclaiming: "Workingmen of all countries,

unite!" This is to further emphasize Marx"s belief that the

proletarians have only each other and do not belong to a

country or state. What exists as a state is only known and

developed within a capitalist society by the bourgeois. The

state is created in order to identify with trade and

production techniques, and helps in creating various

bounded markets. The technique which the proletarian

class would use to overthrow the bourgeois would be to

join all workers in a mutual interest of intent. In doing so,

Marx believes the state or nation will collapse, allowing the

unification of all labourers, regardless of heritage and state

of origin. Therefore clashes between nations would cease,

and only one world of united people who want to live and

work equally would exist. Another imperfection in Marx"s

theories is revealed. If socialism, communism being the

ultimate goal, was to flourish, it would not be ubiquitous.

Hence, some states would progress faster than others,

while some would not be interested in a socialist society at

all. In theory, this develops a unified nation which through

joint interest becomes stronger as it strives toward its

target. Through the collaboration of many, a devotion

develops in the form of nationalistic views. This nationalism

which strengthens the undertaking, will directly and

indirectly threaten other nations or states which have not

progressed at the same pace. This will obviously create

tension between nations, especially those geographically

bordering each other, and could lead to conflict or

persecution of one state by another. This would then take

the capitalist theory of the oppressed and the oppressor to

a different level, again steering away from the communist

goals which were to be accomplished. An example of

communism"s flaws can be seen in the revolution led by

V.I. Lenin in Russia. Using politically left winged tactics, he

sought to achieve communism through the heading of the

Bolsheviks. Following his death, Stalin saw the opportunity

to create an industrial state which could grow to engulf the

larger capitalist states around. Stalin"s form of governing

resulted in the political system known as totalitarianism,

which created an ultimate power. This corrupted the

utopian dream of communism and again resulted with a

specific figure and class living off the wealth produced by

the rest of the state. Throughout history man has evolved,

becoming a more and more complex thinker. This process

of evolution is in order to further himself and socially adapt

to the changing times in which he lives. Evolution is

inevitable and will never cease, therefore man will continue

learning, trying to gain more knowledge and accomplish

what hasn"t been done. Communism does not allow for

man"s own gratification, that is why it is an impractical way

of thought. To strive towards a society which everyone is

equally represented does seem pleasant, but it becomes an

inaccurate way of reasoning. For once the ideal communist

society is reached, what would be the point of working?

Labour and work are to advance society as a whole,

though not all at the same rate, varying on the type of work

and strength at which one strives. Therefore once

communism has been reached, essentially the evolution of

man ceases. This would be an impossibility. Since man is

born into an imperfect world, he too is imperfect, changing

to meet his own needs within the needs of the environment

in which he lives. Since the only consistentcy in the universe

is change, then man cannot expect to become the

controlling factor of change and govern its principles. In

living in a communist society, man believes that all are

equal, contributing to the advancement of the ra! ce as a

whole. But the error here is that not all believe that all are

equal. Many feel that their own personal goals are correct,

and they set out to reach them. Consequently, a society of

classess begins to develop, where one voice gains

followers while another speaking out against the first

creates his own aswell. What then results from these cries

is a clash between various groups, leading to the

establishment of a class system. Communism is an idealists

utopian dream. It is only achievable through the unification

and agreement of all who populate a state. Only when an

entire populace lose their own individuality will a communist

society then take form. Man continuously strives to prove

his own self worth, to himself and not humanity. Humanity

on a whole will continue to progress regardless of personal

achievements great men rise while others fall. It is therefore

seen that a communist society due to the facts regarding

social evolution, cannot exist. For a communist society

moves ahead together, yet remains idle when looking at an

individual. This is illogical, for we are just that, individuals.

We as humans are imperfect individuals, and selfishly stride

towards justifying our personal goals, collaborating with

others only when knowing it will strengthen our own grip.

Works Cited "Communism". Academic American

Encyclopedia. 1989. "Marx, Karl". Compton"s

Encyclopedia. 1986. "Socialism". Academic American

Encyclopedia. 1989. Ebenstein, William. Today"s isms.

New Jersey: Prentice-Hall Incorporated, 1970. Haberman,

Arthur. The Modern Age: Ideas in Western Civilization.

Toronto: Gage Educational Publishing Company, 1987.

Marx, Karl and Friedrich Engels. The Communist

Manifesto. Illinois: AHM Publishing Corporation, 1955.

McKay, John P. and others. A History of Western

Society. Volume II, 3rd ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin

Company, 1987.  

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