As part of the Marxism theory, the writing by Karl Marx on capital expressed his sentiments on alienation and pain among the lower class workers imprisonment by the private individuals, who have the resources to manipulate and twist social, development, and welfare aspects of the masses in the society, as the controllers of capital. Marx argued that these private individuals are drawn from the bourgeoisie and the ruling elites in the society who exploit the masses because they control the property rights (Marx 1859).
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The bourgeoisie is thriving in discrimination and exploitation of labor supply to satisfy their selfishness since the capitalist state encourages the individual holding of the surplus value from the specie. Since the bourgeoisie is the masters of labor production tools such as wages, this group, comprising of just a small percent of the society, comfortably sits at the apex of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs pyramid and cannot share the huge profits with the actual laborers who are subjected to harsh working conditions to create a surplus for their exploitative bosses (Shimp 2009). Marx notes that “the commodity is the basic “cell-form” (trade unit) of a capitalist society, but capitalism is distinguished from other forms of production based on commodities in that here labor power becomes a commodity like any other” (Lindsay 2008, p. 45).
Karl Marx’s capital is one of the most controversial theories of economic development. This theory is a result of the revelation of the Marxist philosophy. The theory is based on the study of the behavior of economic units or providers of labor as a factor of production. It argues that the surplus-value currently owned by the developed economic units was extracted from developing economic units.
For instance, a developed economic unit may acquire raw materials from a developing economic unit at a very low price and resell the finished product at an exorbitant price after small value addition. The continued interaction between the two economic units will result in misery and chronic poverty in the developing economic units or source of labor (Contreras 1999). Finally, Marx’s ideology is that it is nearly impossible for the developing economic units or providers of labor to experience commensurate returns since the masses are stuck in an imbalanced economic relationship with the owners of capital (Contreras 1999).
Summary and Critique
The views of Karl Marx on the nature of the class struggle, causes and responses to these struggles by the masses were drawn from France during the period of 1848 and 1850 in the quest to control the flow of the specie. Marx acknowledged the dynamics of the labor market. In the ideal, the segmentation degree is controlled by union and government regulations that are designed to encourage rigidities and drive the costs of labor above the market-clearing level.
Therefore, the informal sector remains non-proportional to reflect on the magnitude of the reforms required. When there is an assigned probability of selection within a specific period of time, then the probability of ingression into formal employment should be a rising experience function in the labor ratios (Marx 1850). However, one of the critiques of Marx’s capitalist ideology called Adam Smith opines that in a free labor market, wages are supposed to be determined by the cost of production and total output, since labor is just one of the many other factors of production (Lindsay 2008).
Marx was of the opinion that market equilibrium will be reached when market prices and production prices are equal, as market competition will conspire to redistribute the excess value. Thus, increasing the function of production would eventually stabilize the profit rates in any long-run production function. Though the approach adopted by Marx was very abstract, he succeeded in extrapolating the factors of product to different labor determinant ratios such as social standard, compulsory labor, and the abstract labor to homogeneous labor called the “multiple of unskilled labor” (Shimp 2009, p. 22).
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Karl Marx further pointed out that the agents of these masses, such as labor unions, are sometimes compromised to support the selfish course at the expense of the ordinary employees. Marx noted that the exploiters have formalized their definition of partial policies in employee welfare and social interaction. The passionate appeals by the exploited proletariats who give ‘free labor’ are ignored by the bias labor policies and internalized corruption among the labor agents (Marx 1859). Marx identified selfishness, definition partial policies, and class systems as propagated by the political classes in capitalist societies (Marx 1850). Marx concluded that political revolution is possible if the masses change their perception of labor provision and the laws that imprison them. However, this ideology appears as very naïve since the interaction between suppliers of labor and owners of the specie was voluntary and not forced.
From the theoretical capitalism perspective fronted by Karl Marx, it is apparent that his ideology was based on a revolutionary view of the labor market and other factors, which affect wages and surplus in production. As a result, Marx proposed a socialist approach through passionate appeal to the proletariats to rise above the normal way of life and start to question these bias policies and governance of labor, which they provide for peanuts (Shimp 2009).
In a perfectly skewed labor market, Mark argued that wages are supposed to be determined by the cost of production and total output. Unfortunately, this is not the case. The masses are mere spectators of exploitation, as though their hands and minds are imprisoned in the dungeon of social classes. Noting that the bourgeoisie cannot operate and meet their selfish goals without free labor provided by the masses, Mark proposed that ordinary workers should unite and move from mere spectators into agents of quantifiable and desirable change they long to witness (Shimp 2009).
In the text, The Shawl, by Cynthia Ozick, the Nazi holocaust by the ruling class was an organized, systematic, state-sponsored, and bureaucratic prosecution of the innocent families. The atrocities were committed in the inhuman concentration camps, where Rosa, Stella, and Magda were among the victims of the holocaust. The young baby Magda was thrown to her death on an electric fence when her wails for a shawl become a form of disturbance in the eyes of the Nazi guards (Ozick 2012).
In addition, the prosecution targeted ideological, political, and behavioral differences directed towards the perceived socialists and communists. The victims of this madness had to live in inhuman conditions and congested camps where death could call at any time without a warning. The victims had to endure being called dogs and facing prosecutions without being told of their crimes. The victims lost private property and their homes were burnt to the ground (Ozick 2012).
The few who survived had to deal with diseases without any access to the hospitals. The holocaust was basically influenced by power games and the need to create a uniform society consisting of a single race. The ideology of a uniform social system pushed Hitler to convince his collaborators to conspire against the small racial groups viewed as creating the cultural imbalance in society.
As observed by Marx, just as is the case in Ozick’s text, the powerful private individuals influence different processes in any country to suit their private selfish needs. Marx described these laws as ‘only good’ when they meet the bourgeoisies’ opinionated threshold characterized by mere confirmation of their will, which may not necessarily be in line with the will of the employees subjected to inhuman work conditions with very little and unreasonable pay (Marx 1859).
Marx’s labor theory of value adopts a very simple approach to describe the type and source of profits in production activity. Marx suggested that market equilibrium will be reached when market prices and production prices are equal as market competition will conspire to redistribute the excess value. In the case of Rosa, Stella, and Magda, they were subjected to the holocaust as a political and ideological strategy of reducing the population of the minority races.
Nazi regime and its allies created transit camps, ghettos, and forced labor centers. These intellectual and ideological developments were properly organized and presented to the public as necessary in order to get their support. This form of racial discrimination, economic struggles, differences in religious ideology, and divergent opinion on governance motivated Hitler to adopt the ‘final solution’ which involved deportation, mass murder, and conspiracy to completely erase those he felt were not human enough (Ozick 2012).
Marx noted that the class struggles were influenced by the economic, social, and political disparities between the bourgeoisie and the proletariats in society. Marx concludes that the only solution to the class struggle is a revolution to restore socialism in society. This is achievable when the ordinary workers unite and move from mere spectators into agents of quantifiable and desirable change they long to witness. Marx’s theoretical review of historical materialism is applicable in modern society (Shimp 2009).
The philosopher relates the political, social and religious systems of the past as a result of capitalism. Marx notes that the building blocks of these systems are inequality, selfishness, and vested interest. Apparently, these disparities have continued to promote class struggle in modern society and during the holocaust as captured by Ozick. The above views are applicable in the modern society because of the fact that development and perception of an individual are greatly influenced by events in his or her external environment, such as the type of education received, religious doctrines, and the social media of interaction, as was the case of Hitler and Nazi who had power to decide who to live and who to die.
Contreras, R 1999, Competing theories of economic development. Web.
Lindsay, D 2008, Karl Marx’s capital, Read Books, New York. Web.
Marx, K 1850, The class struggles in France, 1848-1850. Web.
Marx, K 1859, A contribution to the critique of political economy. Web.
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Ozick, C 2012, The shawl, Orion, New York. Web.
Shimp, K 2009, The validity of Karl Marx’s theory of historical materialism. Web.