Karl Marx and Max Weber Different Views on Capitialism

Topics: Marxism, Karl Marx, Social class Pages: 8 (3000 words) Published: February 10, 2011
Introduction of Karl Marx and Max Weber Theories

Karl Marx and Max Weber speak about capitalism and social class. They both agree that modern methods of organization have tremendously increased the effectiveness and efficiency of production. However they both have different concept of theories. Karl Marx speaks about Alienation and Critique of Capitalism .Marx argued that this alienation of human work is precisely the defining feature of capitalism. He regards alienation as product of the evolution of division of labor, private property and the state: When these phenomena reach an advanced stage, as in capitalist society the individual experiences the entire objective world as a conglomerate of alien forces standing over and above them. Marx with Hegelian notion of alienation but developed a materialist concept. For Marx the possibility that one may give up ownership of one’s own labor, one’s capacity to transform the world- is tantamount to being alienation from ones own nature; it is a spiritual loss. Marx noted that alienation can only be overcome by revolutionary abolition of the economic system based on private property. In his “Preface a Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy”, Marx had expressed this economic dialectic by saying that it was when “ the materials productive forces of society” came into conflict with “ the existing relations of production” that historical upheavals resulted ( Marx, 1976,page 3.). Marx critique of capitalism is that it still produce inequality, reduces family relationship, destroys small business, enslaves and reduces all human relations to commercial relations. Marx states that, for the bourgeois man, the wife is reduced to a mere instrument of production. Moreover, once the exploitation of laborer by the manufacturer has finished, then he is set upon, says Marx by other segments of the bourgeoisie the landlord, the shopkeeper, the pawn broker in bourgeois society “capital is independent and has individuality, while the living person is dependent and has no individuality (Marx and Engels, 1952, pages 51, 53, 65-70). Marx critique of capitalism was dialectical. He regarded capitalist society as an unprecedented historical advance from centuries of benighted feudalism. In 1848 Karl Marx wrote the Communist manifesto which was a formal statement of the communist party. The history of all Hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles and we find it everywhere a complicated arrangement of society into various orders, manifold graduation of social rank, (Cohen and Fermon, 448). Marx believed that throughout the past the great societies of the world have all experienced class struggles in all their internal conflict. Marx felt that the class struggle that exists in illustrated class distinctions in both ancient histories. Marx explained in ancient Rome we have patricians, knights, plebeians and slaves; in middle ages, feudal lords, vassals, guide masters, journeymen and apprentices. (Cohen and Fermon, 448). Marx makes this point to show that if a knight fought a slave then it was a class struggle, the oppressor vs. the oppressed.

In the term of social class Marx’s theories postulate that the owners or means of production exploit those who produce goods and services, while the working class becomes alienated consumers. Most of it centered upon what has been described as Marx’s oversimplification of the dialectical approach in which history is described as little more than series of conflict between the owning and working classes. Capitalism is the idea of a company or corporation owning and controlling all means bourgeoisie control the socioeconomic system and has the proletariat work under them, if the proletariat wanted change; it was not possible because of how the system was designed. In order to gain a capitalist society, the bourgeoisie must first take complete control of the situation and become distinguished owners in a society. After they own a big and...

Bibliography: Karl Lolita, Bryan S. Tuner and others- Book Max Weber and Karl Marx and Unwin- London-1985.
Michael Payne, Meenakshi Ponnuswami- Dictionary of Cultural and Critical Theory.
Marke Skousen – Making of Modern Economic Lives and Ideas of the Great thinkers.
M. Weber- The Protestant Ethic and The spirit of Capitalism- Unwin Hyman Limited London- 1985.
History of Karl Marx and Max Weber
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