Essay on Adam Smith And Karl Marx

Essay on Adam Smith And Karl Marx

Length: 1114 words (3.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Adam Smith and Karl Marx are undoubtedly two of the finest economic minds of the eighteenth
and nineteenth centuries respectively. Karl Marx was a revolutionary political philosopher and
believed that those with means would invariably use their power to exploit the working class beneath
them, and viewed communism and revolutions as an eventuality brought about by this rift between rich and poor. Adam Smith posited that individuals should own the means of production and reinvest said
capital for the betterment of society, a system that he believed would allow equal opportunity for gaining wealth. Both men had big ideas pertaining to what is known as classical economics (with Marx even drawing inspiration from Smith); but while Smith is one of the greatest optimists towards capitalism, Marx is perhaps the greatest critic. This makes the divergence in their political views and their opinions the role of both freedom and power in society wildly different.
Marx 's concept of economic power and Smith 's are different on a fundamental level. Marx believed that there was a limited amount of power in society, and this void of power is filled by one group or person at a time. He stated that in a capitalist society, the power is in the hands of the wealthy, who own the machines and businesses required to produce, while the working class is relegated to selling their labor for a pittance. Marx also argued that the competition inherent in a capitalist society leads the rich to take advantage of their workers by extracting an even greater amount of labor without the workers profiting in any way. In Marx 's mind the sheer amount of labor coupled with the repetitive nature of factory work also caused a disconnect in the worker he called alie...


... middle of paper ...


...hand”. For Marx, freedom in a laissez-faire economy was proportional to the amount of money the individual possessed. The worker has some freedoms but they are always limited by his/her class, and since the working class is burdened with tiresome work and alienation, achieving true freedom is impossible.
Both Smith and Marx made huge contributions to economics that are still studied and talked about to this day despite the foundational differences that create a huge divide in their ideologies. Smith had a static view of economics that was more focused on the economy and the components to its well-being, while Marx was more concerned with the changes in society as a result of free economies. As Dr. Konz said in his lecture, Smith saw economics as a static picture and Marx saw it more like a movie containing many dynamic changes and upheavals before reaching the end.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Great Minds Of Adam Smith And Karl Marx Essay

- ... A new innovation would result in a short-term profit for the undertaker. The profits emerge from the innovator being the only producer and distributor of the product, for a time they have a monopoly on the market. Soon other businesses take notice of the success of the product; in response they create an imitation of the original product, sometimes an improved version, sometimes a cheaper version. Either way, imitations result in increased competition because several businesses are trying to produce the same good....   [tags: Economics, Capitalism, Adam Smith, Karl Marx]

Strong Essays
737 words (2.1 pages)

A Comparison of the Economic Philosophies of Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill, and Karl Marx

- As far back as man has been on earth, he has been driven towards building a community among his peers. Whether that is a community of hunters and gatherers who share whatever the day has brought to them within their tribe, or a larger community which within its structure lie the inner dwellings of division of labor and societal classes. Adam Smith (18th Century), John Stuart Mill (19th Century), and Karl Marx (19th Century) are of the same cloth, but in modern terms their community is referenced as a government, and they each have their own distinct opinions on the 'drive' instilled within human nature that shape their personal economic theories....   [tags: Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill, Karl Marx]

Strong Essays
1775 words (5.1 pages)

Karl Marx And Adam Smith Essay examples

- Many historical figures have different views on how a country should be governed. Two in particular are Karl Marx and Adam Smith. Both men are best known for their opinions on how a country’s economy ought to be run. Adam Smith believes in capitalism, while Karl Marx would rather have a socialist economy. They expressed entirely new ideas that nations still follow today. These two men have completely different views on the class system, economy, and government of a nation. Adam Smith was a Scottish economist and is known as the “father of modern economics”....   [tags: Marxism, Socialism, Capitalism, Karl Marx]

Strong Essays
1015 words (2.9 pages)

Karl Marx And Adam Smith Essay

- Business and Society Ryan Malloy Adam Smith vs. Karl Marx Professor Kushner 9/17/15 Both Karl Marx and Adam Smith were greatly respected economists during the 18th and 19th centuries. They both viewed society, the economy and politics in different ways. Smith viewed capitalism and the free market as a necessity to society while Marx believed that the bourgeoisie and the proletariat were the two classes that would constantly be fighting between each other. Marx believes that the government needs to intervene to help the working class and that the class system needs to be taken down completely....   [tags: Marxism, Working class, Karl Marx, Socialism]

Strong Essays
1095 words (3.1 pages)

The, Wealth Of Nations By Jean Jacques Rousseau, Adam Smith, And Karl Marx

- ... Smith goes on further to explain the importance of education and how it is essential to our society, that in order to improve a certain trade there is a certain level of education required. However, there’s inequality between the common people and the privileged, “It is otherwise with the common people. They have little time to spare for education. Their parents can scarce afford to maintain them even in infancy. As soon as they are able to work they must apply to some trade by which they can earn their subsistence,” (Smith, 276) The common people, being the of the poor and middle class, cannot afford education like those of the upper class....   [tags: Karl Marx, Capitalism, Jean-Jacques Rousseau]

Strong Essays
855 words (2.4 pages)

Comparing Adam Smith and Karl Marx Essay

- Comparing Adam Smith and Karl Marx Smith and Marx agree upon the importance of capitalism as unleashing productive powers. Capitalism is born out of the division of labour... that is, it is made possible by dividing jobs up into simple tasks as a way of increasing efficiency. By increasing efficiency, then everyone can produce more than they personally need. The extra produced can go towards the accumulation of capital, (machines, more land, more tools, etc) which will allow for even more increased efficiency and production....   [tags: Politics Political Essays]

Strong Essays
562 words (1.6 pages)

Karl Marx and Adam Smith Essay

- Karl Marx and Adam Smith Karl Marx and Adam Smith wrote in the same time period – during the industrial revolution, where the bourgeois had risen to power by oppressing and exploiting the proletariat. The term bourgeois refers to the people in the class of modern capitalists, owners of the means of social production and employers of wage labor. The proletarians are the people in the class of modern wage laborers who, having no means of production of their own, are reduced to selling their labor power in order to live....   [tags: Papers]

Strong Essays
1390 words (4 pages)

Economic Theorist : Adam Smith, Karl Marx, And Milton Friedman Essay

- ... According to Bonner (2002) “Greenspan’s theory was that by carefully controlling the cost of credit and the money supply, we could avoid severe economic downturns” (para. 6). Greenspan has been scrutinized about his economic philosophy. However, the earmarks of his decisive reaction brought a series of both interest cuts and increases that lowered the federal funds rate on one end and inflated the prices later on the other end throughout his term as chairperson of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System....   [tags: Economics, Monetary policy]

Strong Essays
717 words (2 pages)

Essay on Adam Smith and Karl Marx

- The task of political economy, Marx argued, was to understand all the presumptions within productive and social relations which made social life in a given form possible at a particular time.(Peterson,17). In some nations, as Hobbes states, the lives of the poor are "nasty,brutish and short", by contrast in other nations , the poor do better within same levels of wealth. The aim of political economy is to understand the processes that produce these differences. The two historical figures that analyzed capitalism were A.Smith and K.Marx....   [tags: Economics Political Economy Capitalism]

Strong Essays
1265 words (3.6 pages)

Adam Smith v. Karl Marx Essays

- Adam Smith v. Karl Marx Being reared in the typical capitalist community in the United States, it is much easier for me to relate to the thoughts of Adam Smith. This is not to say that I do not agree with some of the precepts of pure Communism, but like the old adage says, "Communism looks good on paper, but in practice, it is completely ineffective." Historically, this form of government does not tend to succeed because of many factors. Some of these include basic economic differences, individualism, and technology and how it advances or serves as a detriment to the state....   [tags: Papers Capitalism Communism Essays]

Strong Essays
2228 words (6.4 pages)