Karl Marx and Andrew Carnegie Compare and Contrast

Topics: Marxism, Working class, Communism Pages: 3 (1018 words) Published: October 31, 2011
Expository Essay #2
Compare and Contrast Essay:

During the nineteenth century, Karl Marx and Andrew Carnegie had definite opinions about the affects of industrialization on society. A greater understanding of their views on history and humanity can be gained by comparing and contrasting two written artifacts: The Communist Manifesto and “Wealth.” In 1848, Marx, a German philosopher, wrote a supposedly scientific account of his perspective on history entitled The Communist Manifesto. As a materialist philosopher, he believed that economics was at the heart of history. He examined the tools and technology being used to understand the material substructure of how people were fed and clothed. Marx believed class struggles had existed throughout history and concluded that because of industrialization, society had dwindled down to two classes: the proletariat (laborers) and the bourgeoisie (owners of the means of production). He viewed class struggles and industry as harmful to humanity because they allowed the bourgeoisie to exploit the proletariat. Marx believed the factory system had resulted in a “cash economy”. Owning the means of production, the bourgeoisie kept wages low in order to get cheap supplies, improve the technology of their factories and increase their markets. According to Marx, dependency on low wages had reduced factory workers to “wage slaves,” deprived them of the satisfaction that should be found from working and made it more difficult for the lower class to provide for their basic needs. He wrote, “The work of the proletarians has lost all individual character…and all charm for the workman. He becomes an appendage of the machine.” (Paragraph 22) The differences in their basic interests pitted owners and workers against each other and the inevitable result was tension. Marx predicted that the proletariats would eventually rebel against the bourgeoisie who continued to exploit them. While he supported the basic premise of the existing...
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