Class divisions persevere as a vital structural characteristic of modern human culture, influencing an individual’s life chances. The study of capitalism by both Marx and Weber related directly to its affect on society. Their works have been viewed by many as the basis by which the structure of society within a capitalist system is best comprehended and have become the subject of much sociological debate.
Marxism theorizes that as capitalism persists, it exacerbates the misery level for working class individuals. The level of working class misery is termed only in relation to the distance between them and the capitalist classes and not meant to imply all persons of labour are necessarily unhappy. “… although the enjoyments of the worker have risen, the social satisfaction that they give has fallen in comparison with the increased enjoyments of the capitalist. Our desires and pleasures spring from society; we measure them, therefore, by society and not by the objects which serve for their satisfaction” (Marx & Engels, 1968).
The central concepts of Marxist economics include the theory of labour value, the disposition of production and the inevitable conflicts between the classes. Conflicts will always persist because the upper class can never totally control the lower classes. Lesser concepts include the idea of increased misery, the obsession with possessions and the consequences of economic alienation. Marx’s theories of labour value combined with his concepts of capitalism endeavour to clarify how the revenue system operates to the benefit of the upper classes and the detriment of the lower classes. Marx defines wealth as something produced by labour from resources originating in the natural world. In terms of capitalism, wealth becomes a vast accrual of possessions. Commodities are articles of wealth created solely as a means to exchange other objects so as to enhance wealth. The instruments of production such as factories,