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The World and Ideas of Karl Marx
The latter part of the nineteenth century was teeming with evolved social and economical ideas. These views of the social structure of urban society came about through the development of ideals taken from past revolutions and the present clash of individuals and organized assemblies. As the Industrial Revolution steamed ahead paving the way for growing commerce, so did the widening gap between the class structure which so predominantly grasped the populace and their rights within the community. The development of a capitalist society was a very favorable goal in the eyes of the bourgeoisie. Using advancing methods of production within a system of free trade, the ruling middle class were strategically able to earn a substantial surplus of funds and maintain their present class of life. Thus, with the advancement of industry and the bourgeoisie's gain of wealth, a counter-action was undoubtably taking place. The resultant was the degradation of the working-class, of the proletarians whom provided labour to a middle-class only to be exploited in doing so. Exploitation is a quarrel between social groups that has been around since the dawn of mankind itself. The persecution of one class by another has historically allowed the advancement of mankind to continue. These clashes, whether ending with positive or negative results, allow Man to evolve as a species, defining Himself within the social structure of nature. Man's rivalry amongst one another allows for this evolution! through the production of something which is different, not necessarily productive, but differing from the present norm and untried through previous epochs.
At this time in history, mankind was moving forward very rapidly, but at the price of the working-class. Wages were given sparsely, and when capital gain improved, the money payed for labour did not reflect this prosperity. This, therefore, accelerated the downfall of the proletarians and progressed towards a justifiable revolt against the oppressive middle class. The conclusion of this revolt was envisioned to be a classless society, one in which its people benefit from and that benefits from its people. The overthrow of capitalism would create a socialist society eventually flourishing into communism. Karl Heinrich Marx (1818 - 1883) was the philosophical analysis who created communism and saw it as an achievable goal. Marx denounced religion and created what were thought to be radical ideas, which resulted in the banishment from his native land of Germany and then France, eventually ending up in England. (Compton's Encyclopedia, 121) Through dialectical processing Marx was able to synthesize a theory of a classless society. This society would be achievable through the joint union of the proletarians and overthrow of the governing bourgeois. For the working-class man does not benefit from the labour which he provides. His labour is external to himself and is not actually belonging to his essential being. Therefore in work, the proletarian denies himself and does not validate his worthiness as an individual.(Marx from Haberman, 183) The worker has no existence except to work, which furthers the employer, but degrades the labourer and eventually results in a grasping individual.
Marx realized that with the unification of the working-class, they would be able to better themselves and their lives, and in doing so, better society on the whole. The aspiration to achieve this was purely theoretical and though Marx felt attainable, it was undoubtedly flawed. The communist ideals are purely a utopian dream which cannot be reached because of humans inescapable desire to satisfy their own egos. A proletarian society would not remain harmonious without individuals seeking personal satisfaction, and without a governing body chaos would result, paving a road which would lead to totalitarianism. Marx's views were of the proletarian class rising to crush the bourgeois ideals which governed their lives. This would result in a proletarian dictatorship, through which ends would have to be met in order to rid the community of the existing means of production and prosperity. The abolition of private property would be achieved by ridding the bourgeoisie's ownership of lands, and allowing them to be publicized. This would enable the removal of selfish individualism which splits society into segregated portions, and allow the rich and poor to become more economically equal in status. This however is only partially attainable, for one cannot undo what has already taken place. Marx states that the faster industry progresses, the weaker the proletarian becomes. Eventually storming the top of the social pyramid in order to reconstruct and overthrow the bourgeois assembly. This revolt would take place as a result of the demands of the labourers not being met, and wages not increasing with the increase of profit. The proletarian would feel worthless, and with nothing to lose, revolt against their employers. The vision of a capitalist state neglecting its workers and allowing them to use their mass of people to simply reverse the ways of society is ridiculous. In a capitalist state, the class which finds itself in the position of dividing up labour to produce a marketable product is the one which benefits the most. The bourgeois in this case would be in this class, and in ruling, would not allow the organized overthrow of their established system. In order to increase net profit, the employer must exploit the labour provided by his workers to ensure the increase in overall revenue. In a capitalist society, the expansion of markets and growth of production allows for the unfortunate increase between classes and their economical value. Having acquired business sense which has allowed them to maintain their more than satisfactory lifestyle, the bourgeois would have unquestionably not have exploited the work of proletarians to the extreme. Not increasing wages and allowing the workers to become restless would have been a grave mistake on the part of the employers. A solution in preventing an outcry at a revolutionary level would be to i! ncrease wages sufficiently in providing maximum surplus capital, but at the same time creating a payroll which would satisfy the workers. While raising the level of pay would create wage wars amongst different proletarian groups, it would stabilize the lifestyle which the bourgeois were living. If wages did not increase at least a minute amount, then the middle-class lifestyles would become threatened, eventually resulting in personal instability which would not be worth the money saved in keeping payrolls at such a low level.
If the working class did decide to proceed to overthrow the bourgeois, then yet another problem would arise. This problem would be in the control of the revolting populace. The communist goal is to achieve a classless society with the eventual abolition of the state itself, in order to unite all working-class men. This would be very difficult without the organization of a governing assembly which would then defeat the revolutions own purpose. In order to achieve an ultimate goal, there must be some type of plan implemented in order to successfully do this. A spontaneous clash with an opposing minority would just reveal to that class what it is that they have done wrong, and allow them to correct their errors in order to restore the profitable production which they have to this point maintained. To properly overthrow the ruling class, an appointed assembly, within the revolting assembly, would need to direct and acquire the ideas and interests of all its followers. This would create the es
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