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Frederick Taylor’s and Karl Marx’ View of Workers


Frederick Taylor and Karl Marx had the views that the worker was not getting a fair deal and thus formulated theories geared at improving their lifestyles. Frederick Taylor came up with the Scientific Management Principles theory whereas Karl Marx coined the Communist Manifesto theory with ideas on how their livelihoods would improve (Taylor 1; Marx and Engels 2). This paper focuses on the differences that emerge between these two views as presented by their authors that include socialism against the revolution, communism against capitalism, and employees against their employers.

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Karl Marx modern socialism versus Frederick Taylor’s revolution

Modern Socialism characterized Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto whereby he emphasized equal distribution of wealth. His views were based on laws, which he saw as the only way to bring sanity to the laborer’s world. Economic interpretations defined the views he had for laborers whereby he foresaw financial stability as the product of equality in terms of wealth gain. He also foresaw a collision between the various classes in society whereby the workers responsible for driving the economy would fight to achieve a classless society where equality would be exercised (Marx and Engels 2).

In contrast to these views, Frederick Taylor summed up his Scientific Management Principles with a revolution call for the laborers. He felt that workers had lived long enough with laxity whereby they underperformed with the idea of remaining relevant to their employers. They, therefore, did less work per day, which served as job security as they would still be needed to complete the tasks. According to him, this laxity was unhealthy to the worker and employer since the productivity was low and thus the wages. He felt that if efficiency was increased, there would be high production, more employment opportunities, and increased wages. This would go a long way toward improving their living standards (Taylor 1, 2).

Comparing communism to capitalism

Communism and capitalism were at war where Karl Marx was for communism and Frederick Taylor the latter. Taylor advocated for individual efforts towards wealth creation whereas Karl Marx was for socialism whereby all classes in society benefited. Karl Marx was working hard to enlighten the proletariat on the ills of the bourgeoisie who had taken over the industry. Karl Marx felt that the worker was abused in the sense that he generated profits that were enjoyed by the employer alone. That is why he was fighting hard for communism to allow for equal sharing of profits made by workers among other resources. Another contrast between these two views was the agenda they had on politics according to Marx and Engels (10). Compared to Frederick Taylor’s principles based on Scientific Management, the communism manifesto appeared more political and saw the workers’ salvation from exploitation by their employers coming from forming strong political parties. This was meant to rid the society of private owners and give the government an upper hand in the running of businesses.

This is evidenced by the fact that Karl Marx worked closely with leaders of trade unions who later formed the Labor Government. Most of the communist manifesto objectives targeted the government of the day and these included free education in public schools, progressive taxation, and expansion of factories. These objectives could never kick off without the intervention of the government (21-30).

Views on employees and their employers

According to Frederick Taylor, both the workers and the employers were at fault. He felt that a balanced system where all involved reaped good returns would involve an objective approach that would not weigh one against the other as portrayed by the Communist Manifesto. Instead, Taylor advocated for teamwork since he felt that the Communist Manifesto was abusing the hierarchy of organization (Taylor 1-2). Karl Marx’s views appeared impractical as compared to those of Taylor as they tended to focus on a harmonious working relationship between employers and employees.

However, the Scientific Management Principles viewed this as too tall an order due to the antagonistic relationship that existed between workers and their employers. These two parties had dissimilar interests and this could only lead to war if the communist manifesto was enacted. The conflict was that workers sought to earn more whereas employers wanted cheap labor. Taylor argued that a higher output would lead to a higher outcome and this would enable the employer to increase the wages. He saw it as two-way traffic where efficiency was the only way for workers to earn higher wages (6).

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There are several differences between Frederick Taylor’s Scientific Management Principles and Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto. Both present a strong case and seem bent towards a quality life for the worker through their perception is quite different. Karl Marx feels that socialism is the way to go whereas Frederick Taylor views capitalism as the savior where only the most deserving will be rewarded. Karl Marx seeks to empower the worker whereas Frederick Taylor seeks to empower both the worker and the employee citing that satisfaction is two-way traffic; efficiency on the part of the worker will lead to a high production that will, in turn, reward the worker with a high wage and thus improve the living standards.

Works Cited

Marx, Karl and Engels, Friedrich. “Capitalism challenged: The Communist Manifesto.” London: Penguin Press, 1.3(1848):1-4.

Taylor, Frederick. “The Principles of Scientific Management, 1910.” Library of Congress, 2.1 (1911):1-7.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, January 14). Frederick Taylor’s and Karl Marx’ View of Workers.

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1. StudyCorgi. "Frederick Taylor’s and Karl Marx’ View of Workers." January 14, 2022.


StudyCorgi. "Frederick Taylor’s and Karl Marx’ View of Workers." January 14, 2022.


StudyCorgi. 2022. "Frederick Taylor’s and Karl Marx’ View of Workers." January 14, 2022.


StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Frederick Taylor’s and Karl Marx’ View of Workers'. 14 January.

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