Karl Marx and Adam Smith: Division of Labour

Topics: Capitalism, Adam Smith, Karl Marx Pages: 3 (1116 words) Published: March 17, 2011
Karl Marx and Adam Smith: Division of Labour
A nation is just a vast establishment, where the labour of each, however diverse in character, adds to the wealth of all. Two brilliant people of their time are both respected in their views for creating a near perfect society where everyone is happy. Adam Smith, a respected Scottish political economist philosopher born in 1723, had the goal of perfect liberty for all individuals through the capitalistic approach. While Karl Marx, born in 1818, believed in individual freedom for society and intellectually criticized capitalism giving reasons as to why it was irrational and why it would fail. Adam Smith’s very first sentence claims that, "The greatest improvement in the productive powers of labour, and the greater part of the skill, dexterity, and judgement with which it is anywhere directed or applied, seem to have been the effects of the division of labour."[i] Smith gives priority to the division of labour among workers as an enormous insight. But we differ and agree with his claim, followed by Karl Marx, that the degree of specialization is limited mainly by the extent of economic interest of capita to take advantage of or exploit workers, nothing could persuade capitalists to change their ways. The comparison between Karl Marx and Adam Smith is interesting because it shows how specialization and the division of labour differ and compare and also demonstrates the amount and extent of knowledge in modern day industrialism. The purpose of this essay is to compare and contrast these political philosophers’ economic theories and find the point at which their ideologies differentiated. The view of Adam Smith and Karl Marx are complex. Through their work society has opened gateway of understanding with the help of more modern intellects to further our society knowledge on building a society around happiness. People work cooperatively, but they have set tasks, each carrying out a one or limited number of...
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