Karl Marx

Topics: Capitalism, Marxism, Socialism Pages: 2 (1173 words) Published: November 1, 2014

Karl Marx and Thorstein Veblen: Views on Capitalism and Society Karl Marx and Thorstein Veblen provided two invaluable analyses of Capitalism. They both find fault in the capitalist system and provide criticism. Veblen and Marx were unconventional and truly unique individuals. Both wrote their works as outsiders, which shaped their opinions of economics and society. Their views have similarities but also contain importance differences. Karl Marx and Thorstein Veblen views on class creation, the effect of class struggle, and the effect of machines on the future of capitalism provide areas of identifiable comparison and contrast. Class structure and struggles are an area of particular interest to Marx and Veblen. Both Marx and Veblen believed that Capitalism had the effect of creating different socioeconomic classes. Marx and Veblen posses similar views on capitalist. Marx believed capitalists exploited labor through the capitalist’s ability to treat labor as a commodity. The capitalist possesses this ability because he controls production, which allows the laborers to work. In Marx’s critique of capitalism he creates a perfect economic system in which everything sells for its exact value. The value of labor translates to the cost of keeping the laborer alive, or the “subsistence wage”. The laborer is paid what is needed to keep him alive, but the laborer produces more than that. The capitalist creates profit by reaping the surplus value between what the laborer is paid and what is produced. The capitalist does not directly produce, but makes a profit from exploiting the laborers, because every other resource or product sells for its proper value. This was a point of contention for Marx. Marx believed Class is derived from the economic position of ones work. Marx believed two classes emerged from this system, the laborer and the capitalist. Veblen takes a different view on the creation of classes. To Veblen class was determined by the value societies...
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