Adam Smith v. Karl Marx Essays

Adam Smith v. Karl Marx Essays

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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. My stance is clear: I believe that Adam Smith has the more credible stance. Beginning with the economic side of the discussion Smith takes a Western approach in his thought processes. He states in so many words that workers are continually looking for the best job and the best wage. Marx believes that a wage-labor war will break down society and cause a downfall of the economic structure. The Capitalist belief is that each individual is continually exerting himself to find the most advantageous employment for whatever capital he can command (Smith 15). Smith says also in paragraph 15 that it is human nature for a person to better society while bettering himself. In Adam's opinion each person has the right to the pursuit of happiness, and that each person has to take it in their own hands to advance within society. Marx disagrees by saying that when a person betters himself he does not improve but instead endangers society. For example, when the bourgeois cuts employment because of technology, the bourgeois hurts society by "…instead of rising the laborers with the progress of industry, sinks them deeper below the conditions of existence of their own class...


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...both of their ideas. They seem to use similar methods, using logical statements to convey their points that seem to very much contrast each other. Marx’s philosophies deal with improving society for the better to reach industrial prosperity while Smith believes that the incentives of a free market will allow this happen and that human nature will cause Marx’s theory to fail. In the end both men want one common goal which is the best possible economic system for society because both realize that economics is single greatest controller of the major aspects of society.



Bibliography:

Works Cited Page Marx, Karl. “The Communist Manifesto.” A World of Ideas. Ed. Lee Jacobus. Boston: Bedford Books, 1998. 209-32.

Smith, Adam. “Of the Principle of the Commercial or Mercantile System.” A World Of Ideas. Ed. Lee Jacobus. Boston: Bedford Books, 1998. 195-205.

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