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Capitalism and Marx

2. To argue that capitalism is a system of inequality and class conflict, Marx takes as his point of departure the idea that the dominant class, the bourgeoisie, controls capital, property, the means of production, and hence by extension all those (far more numerous than the bourgeoisie) who make up the laboring class (i.e., labor). Indeed, Marx sees an equivalence between capital, property, and the means of production, which are all concentrated in the bourgeoisie. More than this, Marx analyzes bourgeois power as aligned with fundamental forms of social organization and oppression: "Hitherto, every form of society has been based . . . on the antagonism of oppressing and oppressed classes. . . . Society can no longer live under this bourgeoisie . . . its existence is no longer compatible with society" (Marx, 2002, p. 209). Just as Marx links class power to political power, he links political power to industrial-economic power over the laboring classes. The bourgeoisie's ability to control industry and economy had as its consequence bourgeois control of the political system. This dominance, according to Marx's logic, implies oppression of the majority of persons in society because capital will always seek to maximize its benefit. Marx's solution: revolution and dictatorship of labor, which Marx terms the proletariat. He does not deal with the result of such a dictatorship and seems to simply assume that the proletariat will exercise its own power in a just way. He offers no evidence for the conclusion that the result of the victory of the proletariat over the bourgeoisie will be utopia, but he characterizes this victory as such.

Why that is so appears to be attributable to his analysis that capital, which controls the means of production, is powerful and is never imperiled by labor (at least not for long), which is one among many means or instruments of production. To the contrary, labor is always at the mercy of capital control. Emb...

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Capitalism and Marx. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 05:23, July 04, 2022, from