Karl Marx: Beating Capitalism with Communism

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Daniel Barrera
Soc 356

Paper #1

“The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas: i.e., the class which is the ruling material force of society, is at the same time its ruling its ruling intellectual force” (Reader 35). Karl Marx was basically saying that the ruling class would always stay in power, why? When the ruling class changes, so to do the ruling ideas and the new ruling class instills upon society its own ideas. While giving these “ideas the form of universality, and represent them as the only rational, universally valid ones” (36). However, one might wonder how does this ruling class control these ruling ideas? Marx believed, “the class which has the means of material production at its disposal, has control at the same time over the means of mental production, so that thereby, generally speaking, the ideas of those who lack the means of mental production are subject to it” (35) Marx is saying that, we, the working class are told what to think, that we lack the means to create our own thoughts or as he would put it, our own “consciousness”. These so called ruling ideas today we known as the media, we carry ourselves as we are told by the media because our thoughts have been put in our minds by the ruling class and we fail to see that as individuals, in the society we live in today. Marx believed that society has made us “stupid”, because the values we believe are those that society has installed in our minds (Barnes 2010). We work to purchase goods that we want to be seen with, in order to be accepted into a certain social class.

This ruling class also known as the Capitalists, control the working class in virtually every aspect through the division of labor. The capitalist are basically riding a mule (mule being the working class) while holding a carrot in front of this mule so that it keeps walking and thinking it will get to the carrot; capitalism simply makes the working class think if they keep working they can someday...
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