Tuesday, April 2, 2013
MARX ON CAPITALISM
• Marx sees this as progressive because of the labour process. When existing means of
production become chains, then the class system is ready for revolution.
• The discovery of new trade routes opened new markets. The feudal system of industry
had relied on clothes. This closed system of production could not meet market demands.
Thus, the integrated workshop was created. When this happened, power in society shifted
from aristocracy to owners of production. Markets then continued to grow and increase,
and the Modern Industry eventually superseded the integrated workshop.
• The state itself then existed to serve the purposes of the owners of production (the
• In the Manifesto, he does not overlook historical accidents like the timing of the
discovery of the New World. Nonetheless, he argues that what happened in human
history had to happen. The bourgeoisie was a product of a long system of production.
They played a major role in the revolution – they are revolutionary. It cannot exist, then,
without revolutionizing the instrument of production, to produce more and more.
• According to Marx, all social relations stem from the fundamental relationships in the
mode of exchange
• Capitalists in their unending pursuit of profits always try new efforts for non-commercial
relationships. There are vocations like law and medicine, that was originally dedicated to
justice and healing, but eventually became business ventures.
• Capitalism does not respect customary values or tradition. The bourgeoisie has put an end
to all feudal, patriarchal, idyllic traditions. It has left remaining no other connection
between man and man than competition. In one word, it is shameless, direct and brutal
form of exploitation.
o Nonetheless, Marx has tremendous respect for what the bourgeoisie have
o Capitalism does away with one-sidedness
• Triumph of the bourgeoisie- just as feudal society was undone by the contradiction
between evolving industrial means of production and the modes of production and
exchange associated with capitalism, bourgeois civil society contains contradictions of its
own. These contradictions inherent in the structure are manifest in periodic economic
crises (recession and depression). According to Marx, he said they happened because of
overproduction- too many goods were created. Ultimately, the system is untenable
because the contradiction is crucial to how it works.