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Marx and Bourgeois Society

In the perspective of Karl Marx, the bourgeois society in which he lived and which persists to this day in the developed West was a system of class conflict and the domination of the bourgeois class over the proletarian class. Marx described the nature of this society not as an aberration but as a stage in social evolution, succeeding the feudal period and preceding the era of the dictatorship of the proletariat. His view was based on the idea that these stages were inevitable and that the only way for the proletariat to gain a better position in life was through revolution, through the violent overthrow of bourgeois society. Yet, as we have seen in subsequent history, this is not the case, and while we have not produced a classless society, the classes are not in conflict to the degree Marx saw as inevitable and inescapable. Marx ascribed the social inequalities of society to class differences based on material inequalities separating the working class from the mode of production and from the product of their work in a form of social alienation.

Karl Marx argues that bourgeois society is a system of domination, with the bourgeoisie dominant over the proletariat. The economic system that is explained in this fashion came about with the demise of the feudal society that preceded it. Marx says his own epoch is the epoch of the bourgeoisie that has simplified the class antagonisms that always define a society. Marx wrote:

The modern bourgeois society that has sprouted from the ruins of feudal society has not done away with class antagonisms. It has but established new classes, new conditions of oppression, new forms of struggle in place of the old ones."

Marx says that bourgeois society has simplified the antagonisms that existed before so that now there are only two great hostile camps standing as two classes directly facing one another--the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. Marx describes these antagonisms in his wr...

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Marx and Bourgeois Society. (2000, January 01). In Retrieved 03:46, February 20, 2017, from