Prof. James Click
The Problem of Rich and Poor
For centuries, many philosophers have discussed the issue of class struggle. Karl Marx and Andrew Carnegie both developed theories of the unequal distribution of wealth a long time ago; however the only Carnegie’s ideology could apply to American society today. In “The Communist Manifesto”, Marx first introduces the two main social classes: bourgeois (the upper class) and proletarians (the lower class or working class). He points out the revolution of industrialism has made changes of Capitalism to Communism. He suggests that the rich should redistribute property evenly because the proletarians have put a lot effort contributing in the revolution. In contrast, Carnegie analyzes in “The Gospel of Wealth”, the unequal distribution of wealth is a natural consequence of civilization. Both Marx and Carnegie present the problem within society because they want to contribute their own experiences from various views to resolve the tension between the rich and poor efficiently.
By eliminating the gap between rich and poor, Marx believes Communism should replace the economic system of Capitalism. In his perspective, he claims, “They have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Working men of all countries, unite” (Marx 476). Because he sees the Capitalist system exploits workers who are unfairly treated, he asserts that the proletarians should become the ruling class. The principle of Communism is the ideology of collectivism. Marx states, “Communism deprives no man of the power to appropriate the products of society: all that it does is to deprive him of the power to subjugate the labor of others by means of such appropriation” (470). This means that no private property should be allowed, and no one has even a less or more power in a Communist society. Because Marx illustrates the property ownership would enhance greed, and ambition to win in the
Cited: Carnegie, Andrew. “The Gospel of Wealth.” A World of Ideas: Essential Reading for College Writers. Ninth Ed. Eds. Lee A. Jacobus. Boston: Bedford/ St. Martins, 2013. 485-495. Print. Marx, Karl. “The Communist Manifesto.” A World of Ideas: Essential Reading for College Writers. Ninth Ed. Eds. Lee A. Jacobus. Boston: Bedford/ St. Martins, 2013. 456-476. Print.