I find the earlysociologist, Karl Marx, interesting in his study and viewpoints on capitalism.Karl Marx lived from 1818 – 1883 when the Industrial Revolution was already infull swing. Mankind was making large jumps in technologies and newmethodologies to produce goods at rapid rates which before these times wereunknown.
Marx believed that conflict was a mechanism for social change. In thetext, Ferrante states, “Marx sought to analyze and explain how conflict drives socialchange.” (Ferrante 11) I amcurious if Marx was correct in his theory that capitalism actually wasresponsible for class conflict?From my reading and observations, I believeMarx is implying that capitalism, especially during the Industrial Revolution, couldindeed lead to a division of the classes. The classes are the rich, who owned the production materials and facilities, andof course the poor, who worked for the rich in trade for wages. The obviousconflict arose from the rich wanting to cut all costs including wages to make the largest possible profit while thelaborers wanted a larger wage in order to have a better means of life. Capitalism eventually promotes privateownership due to the rich’s ownership of production facilities,therefore leading to the deprivation of the laborer’s sense of self-worth.
Thesocial relationship of the two classes begins to break down, producing a classstruggle that can lead to strikes or lock-outs. In Marx’s early work named the”Communist Manifesto”, he believed the laborerswould eventually overthrow the owners and replace capitalism with a collectiveownership, which is called Communism. My belief is that Karl Marx would besurprised that today capitalism still thrives while Communism has basicallyfailed. Even China, a Communist country, hasincorporated a large capitalist production within its borders.
Producers todayseek global resources for the most economical means of lowering cost via globallabor and resources. Ferrante says in the text thatif Marx was alive today, he would advocate for UBI (unconditional basic income)by “giving every legal resident an amount of money that enables them to livefree of poverty with no strings attached such as a work requirement.” (Ferrante12) I do not agree with Marx on supporting UBI as I believe no one should get afree ride in life and that everyone should do their share of labor to earnsurvival.