The world commenced undergoing rapid industrialization, especially between 1700 and 1800s, led by the global north. During this time, countries such as Britain experienced increased production of goods. The two critical theorists and classical economists, namely Adam Smith and Karl Marx, play a pivotal role in explaining this phenomenon and the causes of economic growth during the industrial revolution period.
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Adam Smith is among the classical theorists who focused on observing the occurrences in the British economy. Based on his arguments, the Global North, particularly Britain, experienced radical developments during the industrial revolution due to the division of labor that informed the British manufacturing sector (Soci 220 FA 21 Wk 04, p. 4). One of the critical examples he uses is the pin factory, which manufactured few pins per day. However, the development of machinery and division of labor led to increased production; hence, leading to the industrial revolution.
On the other hand, Marx’s argument differs from Smith’s conception, whereby he perceives capitalism as the key driver that sanctioned the industrial revolution. In this case, capitalists pursue their self-interest by owning private property, which is used to generate profits. In the process, the generated profits are re-invested or used to purchase technology and expand production, which is essential in driving the industrial revolution process (Soci 220 FA 21 Wk 04, p. 21). While Smith uses the concept of division of labor whereby many people with different responsibilities are used to manufacture the same, leading to massive production, Marx is concerned with capitalism, which is based on capital and investment in new technologies.
The critical lessons based on global developments reveal the various conditions of some countries worldwide, leading to two main categories, namely Global North and Global South (Copy of Soci 220 FA 21 Wk 02, p. 3). Whereas countries in the global north are developed, most nations in the global south are underdeveloped or developing. During colonization, Many European countries shipped wealth from other countries, especially Africa, used for industrialization and development in their own countries. Currently, immense inequalities exist between the global north and south. Various concepts learned in the class are vital in explaining international development. One of these focal terms is development, which weaves together economic growth and increased living standards (Copy of Soci 220 FA 21 Wk 02, p. 6). Another key term is the Gross National Product and Gross National Income, which separates the world into four key segments: low, lower middle, upper middle, and high income. Most Global North countries fall under high-income economies, while those in the global south fall under low and lower-middle-income economies.
Nevertheless, GNI and GDP have been limited because they do not show the actual distribution of wealth in the country. Markedly, societies worldwide can be categorized into either hunter-gatherer, agricultural, or industrial societies (Copy of Soci 220 FA 21 Wk 02, p. 23). While many global societies are industrial, most in the global south, especially Africa, are agriculturally based.
Marx provides a comprehensive explanation of underdevelopment that has constantly plagued the Global South. He argues that people are self-interested and always focus on accumulating capital to generate profits for themselves (Soci 220 FA 21 Wk 04, p. 25). For instance, many European countries dispossessed the colonized people’s resources and land, especially in African and Latin America. These lands and resources were used to develop European countries while the Global South was left to languish in poverty (Soci 220 FA 21 Wk 04, p. 25). Karl Marx’s model demonstrates how the Europeans plundered the resources of the colonized, used them for their industrial development, and shipped the finished products back to the colonized where industries have been destroyed; thus, leading to stagnation in development and economic growth.
Copy of Soci 220 FA 21 Wk 02. PowerPoint. Class Notes
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Soci 220 FA 21 Wk 04. PDF. Class Notes