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Marx’s Analysis of Change in Society (Lecture).docx

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David Young

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Marx’s Analysis of Change in Society A) A Dialectical Perspective  Necessary to overthrow the capitalist system & move on to something new  Contradictions and conflicts that exist between opposites  Every social formation carries within itself the germ of its own destruction  Within every social formation, there will be a force or group in opposition to its ruling regime  Opposition  change in society B) The Transformation from Feudalism to Capitalism Factors Behind the Transformation 1) Changes in Production  Growth of large scale manufacturing  Demand for wage labourers  Growth of large scale farms  Increasing use of wage labourers rather than serfs to work the land 2) Feudal Lords were increasingly unable to compete with the large-scale farms  Started releasing serfs  Serfs started going to the cities  Became wage labourers working for the owners of factories Conflicts Leading to the Transformation  Conflict between the emerging capitalist class & the feudal lords  Pushed the feudal lords out of power  Moved to the capitalist mode of production  1) Confrontation & accommodation  2) Revolution  The bourgeoisie – dominant class under the capitalist mode of production  Major conflict with the proletariat C) Factors Contributing to the End of Capitalism 1) Growing urbanization  Propertyless serfs ended up going to the cities to search for work  Concentration of urban labourers  Contributes to working-class consciousness  Shared understanding of their circumstances leads them to rise up and start a revolution 2) Large-scale Production  Workers in close proximity in factories 3) Economic Crises  Depressions in the capitalist economy  Capitalists will lay off workers in the recessions/depressions in order to reduce costs 4) Class Polarization  The Petty Bourgeoisie – middle class in between Bourgeoisie & The Proletariat  Proletariat can clearly see who their opponents are  2 main classes in opposition to each other 5) Class Homogenization  Significant differences in skill levels  Number of them had craft skills  Technological advances and the mechanization of production  Differences are reduced  Working class become semi-skilled workers who operate machines 6) Deepening Immiseration
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