Karl Marx On Communism And Capitalism Essay

Karl Marx On Communism And Capitalism Essay

Length: 845 words (2.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Karl Marx was a 19th century philosopher and economist, whose writings on communism and capitalism continue to influence people to this day. His arguments focus mainly on the detrimental effects of a capitalist society on the human condition. He believed capitalism to be an unnatural and unsustainable social and economic system, which not only negatively impacted the poorer facets of society (e.g. the workers), but the rich (e.g. factory owners) as well. Capitalism, according to Marx, fetishizes production, therefore alienating those involved in said production, as it places profit above human existence.
This essay will consist of a close reading of a passage from Marx’s Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844, published in 1927 after his death. They were, however not translated into English until 1959 and have consequently been the cause of a reinterpretation of Marxian philosophy. The passage I will discuss is from the section entitled ‘Estranged Labour’ from the manuscripts. The passage begins “What constitutes the alienation of labour” and ends “he looks upon himself as a universal and therefore free being.”
The period in which Marx wrote the majority of his works was shortly after the Industrial Revolution, therefore, his writing is reflective of this. Means of production had evolved dramatically and new and improved machinery meant that manufacturing commodities was easier, drastically lessening the roles of human workers. Marx posited that labour was essential to the human condition, it is by shaping the world through work that we as human beings, realise ourselves in the world. Marx rejected the Hegelian notion of self-consciousness, that self-consciousness is and always has been omnipresent. Instead, Marx sugges...


... middle of paper ...


...es it for the benefit of his employers and it is they who profit from it. This means that the object he has produced has become an “alien object” to him, it no longer belongs to him, but to his employers.
Accordingly, the worker becomes himself a commodity, who is bought and sold on the market in a similar way. The effort needed to produce a commodity, in the capitalist system, becomes a commodity in and of itself. His wages are a result of what the market deems applicable, the division of labour has devalued his work. Consequently, as Marx affirms, the worker feels “at home [only] when he is not working.” It is only when he is performing the basic human functions of “eating, drinking and procreating” that he is acting of his own free will. This dehumanises the worker, as while these actions are crucial to human life they are what Marx calls, “animal functions.”

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Essay about Capitalism And Communism From Karl Marx 's The Communist Manifesto

- Mine and Yours (An Analysis of the Capitalism and Communism from Karl Marx’s The Communist Manifesto) “We want the government to give things to you and do things for you.” (Voegeli) William Voegeli perfectly sums up the way everyone feels about their government. We want our government to provide for us, but we also want our government to step out of the way and allow us our freedom. There are multiple different types of government that have been formed all around the world. Some of the more aggressive forms of government are dictatorships and totalitarian governments....   [tags: Communism, Karl Marx, Marxism, Government]

Better Essays
1201 words (3.4 pages)

Karl Marx 's The Communist Manifesto Essay

- In The Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx challenges the capitalist society and gives his solution to it. Marx takes a standing on capitalism with his book, The Communist Manifesto and displays his view of the problems of the society and how to fix them. Marx gives his critiques of capitalism and in a plethora of ways. Some of these critiques are the exploitation of the working man due to the greed of the ruling class and the working class becomes like slaves to their bourgeoisie masters. Marx also gives solutions to the problem, he makes the statement that capitalism needs to be worked and run as a whole not worked by the many and run by the few....   [tags: Karl Marx, Marxism, Capitalism, Communism]

Better Essays
1009 words (2.9 pages)

Essay on Karl Marx And Frederick Engels

- In the Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx and Frederick Engels described that the distinction between the bourgeois and the proletariat is the ownership of private property, capital, and the means of production which the proletariat will eventually rise up against the bourgeois to create a system that will seize all the means of production and abolish private property to eliminate the exploitation of the proletariat. The bourgeois and the proletariat come from previous class systems that have been divided by rank....   [tags: Karl Marx, Marxism, Communism, Capitalism]

Better Essays
819 words (2.3 pages)

A Discussion On Capitalism And Communism Essays

- Who’s in Control. (A discussion on capitalism and communism in your personal life) Clean your room. Do the dishes. Finish your homework. All these commands have been barked at kids since they were little. At a young age, there was no question where the authority lay in the household; the parent obviously had the say so on what went on. However, as the adolescents in the home began to grow up, the line between authority holder and the individual respecting that authority begins to blur. For example, if you’re eighteen and technically an adult, but still live in your parents’ house, do you have a say in what goes on....   [tags: Karl Marx, Communism, Marxism, Capitalism]

Better Essays
1190 words (3.4 pages)

Karl Marx 's ' Das Kapital ' Essay

- In Karl Marx’s work, Das Kapital, Marx asserts that capitalism is inherently contradictory. This theory stems from Marx’s analysis of the circulation of capital, which shows that capital can be redistributed and shifted amongst capitalists, but cannot grow. Marx supposes that this is contradictory because, while capital in a system cannot increase, capitalists are forced to constantly innovate to compete with other capitalists. This innovation leads to larger-scale and cheaper production, which one might assume would lead to general public being better off....   [tags: Marxism, Karl Marx, Communism, Capitalism]

Better Essays
725 words (2.1 pages)

The Communist Manifesto By Karl Marx And Friedrich Engels Essay

- Over 150 years have passed since the publication of the pamphlet known as the Communist Manifesto. And, ever since its introduction to the general public this very pamphlet has perplexed, intrigued and insulted millions after having been acquainted with the very ideas of note in this title. Causing a major disruption in the Twentieth century, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels provided the roots for the February and October Revolutions in Russia, the War of Liberation in China, as well as the Cold War....   [tags: Marxism, Karl Marx, Communism, Capitalism]

Better Essays
737 words (2.1 pages)

Karl Marx And The Social Change Essay

- Exam # 1 Karl Marx known today as a man of many talents ranging from a historian to an economist, whose work is to this day just as relevant as it was during his time. Social change is a vital component that drove Marx, and that he sought to instill onto the masses. His work is derived from a changing world, one where a new economic system immerged. Marx advocated for social change amongst the masses that where being exploited as a result of capitalism, the new economic system taking hold. Capitalism brought with it unique concepts, one of those being the exchange of labor for wages....   [tags: Capitalism, Karl Marx, Marxism, Communism]

Better Essays
1041 words (3 pages)

Essay on Karl Marx And Friedrich Engels

- Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels turned the world upside down with their publication of 1848 Communist Manifesto, until the development of this political pamphlet much of the western world had followed a course where individuals owned private properties, business enterprises, and kept the profits that resulted from their own wise investments. Marx and Engels pointed out the uneven distribution of wealth in this capitalist world and predicted a worldwide popular uprising to distribute wealth evenly....   [tags: Capitalism, Communism, Karl Marx, Marxism]

Better Essays
829 words (2.4 pages)

Karl Marx On Socio Economic Conditions Essay

- Karl Marx believed that there were different categories of socio-economic conditions that correlate with historical periods of time. Each category has its own level of alienation because their means of production were different. The workers worked differently under each of the socio-economic conditions. In addition, each category is a level closer to what Marx called “true communism,” which is the ultimate goal that can be reached for mankind. The first socio-economic society was what Marx referred to as a tribal society....   [tags: Capitalism, Karl Marx, Feudalism, Communism]

Better Essays
1141 words (3.3 pages)

Karl Marx And Friedrich Engels Essay

- Marxism is a school of thought that was developed by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in the 19th century. Capitalism dominated the Western world during this time and Marx was one of its most famous and intelligent critics. Marxism is a combination of economic, social, and political theories that aimed to provide a superior alternative to capitalism. Marx developed his theory to try and fix all the ills that a capitalist society brought but his main goal “may be summed up in the single sentence: abolition of private property” (Marx 14)....   [tags: Marxism, Communism, Capitalism, Karl Marx]

Better Essays
1635 words (4.7 pages)