Karl Marx was a socialist who developed a conflict theory about the struggle between the lower class proletariat and the higher class capitalist bourgeoisie of an industrial society. His theory was a conflict view of a modem ‘nineteenth century’ society.
There are two classes of the ‘modern’ society:
The bourgeoisie, Owners of factory buildings and have the means of production. They have many workers producing items for trade as a source of income and profit, they would use their political power to exclude and oppress for personal purposes, they are Capitalists.
The Proletariats, The lower class workers who work for a wage (or factory tokens).
In the 1800’s the industrial revolution developed society and with it so did the widening gap between the class structures. There were many differences arising between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat people.
The bourgeoisie were mainly interested in developing a capitalist society, using advanced methods of production. They owned factories, the products made in the factories and they controlled the trade.
The Proletariats or working class people have gained nothing in society but work and hard labour, they were oppressed by the bourgeoisie and were given a sense of false consciousness, they felt that being poorly treated by the middle class society was normal.
The proletariats received only enough wages to survive and were not getting the wages that they deserved for the labour that was accomplished. The bourgeoisie were exploiting their workers. The Proletariats worked hard and helped to improve production in society, which developed capitalism and helped the economy to grow faster.
Very soon the middle class were taking over and the rich were staying rich and the poor continued to be poor. The bourgeoisie had political power, they could choose laws, control society and education whilst exploiting there workers.
Critisms of the Conflict Theory