Karl Marx History of Economic Thought

Topics: Karl Marx, Capitalism, Surplus value Pages: 4 (1441 words) Published: July 16, 2012
HS11-7,756,1.00 History of Economic Thought
Christof Zanecchia 10-992-204
Professor Allgoewer

Karl Marx:
“A context for inevitable social revolution”

Of particular interest in Rima’s summary and critique of Marx’s background and social/economic contributions is the quote: “It is not the consciousness of men that determines their being, but, on the contrary, their social existence that determines their consciousness.” Karl Marx, in reference to modes of production, which refers to the social relationship present in ownership and the use of the means of production, explains how the effects of the control of modes of production on society are intrinsic in a capitalistic system. The modes of production of material life condition the social, political and intellectual processes of society, leading to an inevitable conflict in classes over the control of production and, ultimately, on the character, quality of life and consciousness of society as a whole.

In Marx’s view, the working class proletariat, which is property-less in the sense that it owns only its labor, is exploited by the wealthy capitalist bourgeoisie class - the owners of the means of production. This class division leads to an inevitable social revolution through the struggle for the control of production. As outlined in Marx’s Communist Manifesto, “the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles” and, like Ricardo, Marx’s class conflict theories are linked to the control of the “distribution and produce of the earth.” This is referred to as his “economic interpretation of history” in which Marx asserts the hypothesis that “human history is the product of economic forces that determine the character of the other aspects of human experience.” Not so apparent, however, are the specific economic agents that control the material well-being, psychological development and...
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