Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Enemy Forces

According to Karl Marx, one of the greatest modern thinkers, Bourgeoisie and Proletariat are two major enemy forces which have greatly influenced the history of mankind. Marx believed in the overthrow of capitalists by workers whom he referred to as the proletariat. Such forces represented a major class conflict as the Bourgeoisie, or capitalists, are driven into building a disproportional wealth at the cost of exploiting cheap labor and subjecting the workers to such extreme conditions that they resembled slavery.

Marx believed that the only way for equilibrium between these two forces would be through a revolution. The Bourgeoisie were mainly represented by a group of people that owned the means for production including; factories, machines, land and capital. They basically held the power and dictated the rules of society at according to their will and their needs. The proletariat on the other hand was the exploited worker who struggled through harsh conditions in order to survive. Marx believed that at some point the workers would get themselves organized and stand up against the oppressors in a bloody revolution. The consequence of such an uprising would be a classless society free of exploitation and people’s talents would be utilized and compensated fairly. They also would receive services and goods according to their needs.

Such concepts were mainly advocated by Anarchists and Communists and can be seen through developments made during the Industrial revolution which took place between the 1800s and 1900s. This revolution started in England and spread throughout other western nations, including the United States. Obviously, during that time, many new opportunities spread throughout society and capital started to flow down to the continuously growing middle class. However, the capitalists had a much better prospect of doubling their investment at a faster rate while most of those who worked in industrial process, in urban areas, struggled very hard to make a living. During that time there was a huge gap between capitalists and the workers who were treated inhumanly. They worked many hours in the factory production lines for considerably low pay and little or no benefits. They also struggled in rural areas. The capitalists would quickly build their empire and distance themselves from the working class who lived almost like slaves.

Many things have changed throughout the history of mankind; however, regardless of government systems, there has always been inequality and a certain level of dissatisfaction for the people of society. Economic inequality has always existed and will likely never be rectified. The reason for that is because people are different. Some people have resources and others do not. Some develop an intellectual ability and are actively engaged in a process of growth. Others may not have such ability or the will to compete. Under such circumstances it becomes extremely hard for the latter to ascend on the social ladder. Despite this, people in this society have unique opportunities today to develop themselves and reach their highest aspirations provided they have the willingness to cope with adverse circumstances. In this country, people are encouraged to grow and prosper and the middle class is quite robust. This is no comparison with the newly born capitalism of the early years of the industrial revolution. We live a much better life today as society has grown dramatically; however, class conflict is always going to be present no matter how developed a society is.

Karl Marx stated that class conflict is the key to human history. He arrived at that conclusion after doing a study on society throughout history during the industrial revolution. When Marx made such observations, capitalism was only in its beginning and he was moved by the way workers were so mistreated by employers and how they lived in such precarious conditions. People’s wages were barely enough to eat and life expectancy was about thirty to thirty five years. Society has changed dramatically since then and now we live in a different capitalism age. As part of a developed nation we are privileged in many respects but the conflicts are always going to be there. As society has continuously changed and become more dependent on technology over the years, people’s expectations and needs have also changed overtime. Labor has become more specialized and capital has been distributed throughout the whole society. In a highly competitive environment there is constant struggle for the survival of the fittest.


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