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Social Science
SOSC 1520
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Social Science 1520 Midterm Study Sheet Exam Topic 1) John Stuart Mill • John Stuart Mill stated that laborers could do nothing without capital, while the capitalists can do nothing without the laborers. Although capitalism exhibits a great division in class, and social status, the elite groups would not have been able to collect such surplus value without the labor of the working lower classes. The lower working classes would not be able to spend their wages on capital material that the elites invest in to create. • Mill saw the individual as sacred and as taking precedence over the state, in the sense that the state exists for the sake of individuals rather than the other way around. The elitist can be seen as the state since they control the market, and majority of the outcome of a society. Mill saw the individual as being filled with many potentials that with the right education can be brought about to benefit the society as a whole. Mill advocates the active life so that individuals may use their various gifts and talents to promote happiness for the greatest number. He sees the active life for the individual as morally superior to a passive one. • Wealth is the natural product of labor, but the distribution of wealth is determined by the decisions and the will of actual people (the elite) and is not simply part of the order of nature. Mill carries this view quite far, maintaining that human laws and institutions can and should determine how wealth is distributed. Thus, for Mill, economics is closely tied to social philosophy and politics. • The cooperation of the working laboring class brings about the fruits of labor, which is the surplus value, for the elite groups. Both the laborers and elites have mutual relationship, where both depend on each other. • Karl Marx saw recession and depression as unavoidable under free-market capitalism as there are no restrictions on accumulations of capital other than the market itself. In the Marxist view, capitalism tends to create unbalanced accumulations of wealth, leading to over-accumulations of capital, which inevitably lead to a crisis. In some cases, elitist groups can give off their savings to their descendents, which does not lead to re- investment and growth for wages and earnings for the working laboring class. Since there is no re-investment, all the elitists hold the money, and the lower classes cannot afford the products of labor that the capitalists produce. This is one of the root causes of the Great Depression, which was that people had to money to buy the products of their own labor due to no re-investment. • The Third Estate pamphlet showed the importance of the working class, and how then can be better off from the elitist groups that were using them for wage-labor. In the pamphlet, Abbe Emmanuel Joseph Sieyès argued that the Third Estate – the common people of France – constituted a complete nation, and would be better off without the "dead weight" of the privileged orders, the First and Second Estates of the clergy and aristocracy. He saw the privileged people of the first two estates take advantage of the third estate to build their nation on their suffering in what he called “Aristocratic Parasitism.” Exam Topic 2) John Maynard Keynes • Adam Smith’s the Wealth of Nations brought about the theory of surplus value and capitalism. Elites would grow capital from the working class through the division of labour and
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