Marx vs. Weber

Topics: Capitalism, Sociology, Marxism Pages: 7 (2538 words) Published: March 12, 2006
Marx vs. Weber

In this essay, I will argue that Karl Marx's theories contain a better perception of the creation of capital and the origins of time discipline use in the modern world compared to the theories of Max Weber.

The basis to Marx's theory in which capital is created is based on writings of his works; Manifesto of the Communist Party, Capital, Volume One and Wage Labor and Capital. Through these readings, it can be derived that his main thesis is to understand history, you must understand class struggles. The classes of owners of the means of production and employers of the wage laborers, the bourgeois, have the will to obtain capital in the easiest means possible. On the contrary, the classes of wage laborers, the proletariat, have no means of production of their own, and are reduced to selling their labor power in order to sustain their lives. These classes have sustained themselves through history and are evident in modern society. "The modern bourgeois society that has sprouted from the ruins of feudal society has not done away with clash antagonisms. It has but established new classes, new conditions of oppression, new forms of struggle in place of the old ones." This explains that even though our society has new technology, different political and economical circumstances, the existence of these two classes are still in existence. With that, the Materialist Conception of History is established; the struggle between the two classes and the modes of production can be documented as the driving motor of history, regardless of the economic system. I believe Marx's theory is extremely accurate and applicable to our present society, and with support of Marx's works, this leads me to believe Marx accounts are more convincing than Webers.

To produce capital, it is necessary for the bourgeoisie to have more advantages, such as the control over the modes of production. Feudalism, for example, is a prime example of the class struggle in a simplistic form. Once the serfs were no longer needed by the bourgeoisie in the monopolized industries of the feudal system, the creation of manufacturing system in the feudal times became the turning point in the division of labor. The division of labor was now within each workshop instead of between the different corporate guilds. This is a perfect of example of the shift in the dominating class. It then drove history into manufacturing individual workshops and then into the usage of steam and machinery, creating industrial production, known as Modern Industry. The beginning of Modern Industry shows the existence of modernity, the constant revolutionizing of instruments and techniques used in production, making it a vital aspect to the bourgeoisie. "The bourgeoisie cannot exist without constantly revolutionizing the instruments of production, and thereby the relations of production, and with them the whole relations of society." Although the working class did overthrow the bourgeois, resulting in the end of feudalism, they did return in the modern form. "The place of manufacture was taken by the giant, Modern Industry, the place of the industrial middle class, by industrial millionaires, the leaders of whole industrial armies, the modern bourgeois." The recurrence of the classes through history leads me to believe that the demand for capitalism will always remain in the origins of discipline. The modes of production, the forces and relations of production, are used to the bourgeois advantage by means of exploitation.

Once labor is recognized as a commodity, it is then treated as if it is a product that can be bought, sold, and exchanged. This is how the bourgeois class creates its capital and excess thereof, creating the acquisitive need or greediness for capital. This is process is known as Primitive Accumulation. Marx defines it as, "… a process that transforms, on the one hand, the social means of subsistence and of production into...
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