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In this essay, I argue that Karl Marx’s explanation of capitalism should compel the average person to action and change. First, I explain Marx’s idea of capitalism and how it hinders the average person. Second, I discuss how Marx argues for consciousness, criticism, anti-alienation, and anti-exploitation. Third, I provide and answer possible counter examples for Marx’s ideas on communism and capitalism. Finally, I address some of the ways that Marx might respond to my observations and objections. Capitalism is defined by Marx as a socio-economic system based especially on private ownership of the means of production and the exploitation of the labor force. (Felluga) Commodification is the process of a human’s value being replaced by his or her monetary value. (Felluga) Marx uses the terms proletariat, bureaucracy, and aristocrats, which essentially mean lower, middle, and upper classes, respectively. (Marx, Manifesto) The means of production is a term for the tools and raw materials used to create a product. Marx argues that capitalism functions as “the circulation of money as capital is an end in itself, for the valorization of value takes place only within this constantly renewed movement. The movement of capital is therefore limitless” (Marx, Capital) Marx argues that because the movement of capital is limitless, then capitalists strive for “the unceasing movement of profit-making” (Marx, Capital). I claim that this socio-economic system promotes a competition for basic needs to humans by putting prices, and since everyone aims to obtain all assets, some people will ultimately be left without basic needs. Marx instead argues for a more communal distribution of the means of production for the people would allow a better life for everyone. Marx argues that consciousness is something people develop overtime rather than it being inherently human. Marx is weary of false consciousness, which is the
Cited: Felluga, Dino. "Marxism Terms." Marxism Terms. Purdue U., 1 Jan. 2011. Web. 29 July 2013. Marx, Karl. Capital: A Critique of Political Economy. Harmondsworth: Penguin in Association with New Left Review, 1990. Print. Marx, Karl. "Letters: Letters from the Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher." Letters: Letters from the Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher by Karl Marx. N.p., July 2013. Web. 27 July 2013. Marx, Karl. "Manifesto of the Communist Party." Manifesto.org. Progress Publishers, 2004. Web. 27 July 2013. Matheis, Christian. "PHIL 1304 - Lecture Notes - Marx & Criticism and Marx & Historical Materialism." Https://scholar.vt.edu/portal/site/2a4ef60f-31dc-4277-ac60-858e046dd6d7/page/ae4944ae-3c3b-44f1-9fce-c8cb0ca5fd2c. Virginia Tech, 14 July 2013. Web. 28 July 2013.