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Karl Marx and Capitalism - Essay Example

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Karl Marx and Capitalism

I discuss these points under three areas that form the premise of my argument. The first deals with Marx's Labor Theory of Value in which Marx talks about the distribution of wealth as being unfairly in the control of the capitalist, and the profits being usurped by the provider of capital, leaving the laborer with meager wages that just provide them for nothing more than bare existence. In the second, I analyze the idea of doing away with private ownership of property and its being under the State's control. In the third, I draw a parallel between labor and capital in the way they work, establishing that capital and capital instruments are a necessity in the means of production, and hence that their investors are legitimately eligible for the profits generated through surplus. Thus I bring forth the ideas that lead me to believe that Marxian theory, in effect contributed to the development of, rather than demolish the capitalist structure it had set out to do away with. Having said this, I would also like to add that while this is an interesting phenomenon to observe, one cannot completely discount Marx's role in developing the economic theory and his contribution to the recognition of the value of labor at all levels in an economic and political setup that forms the social structure of today.
The basic premise of Marx's theory about the value of labor is the claim that the value of a commodity is defined by the average number of labor-hours that go into its production. Then, the profit a capitalist makes when such a commodity is sold is what forms the surplus value of the commodity, and is not his rightful share but what he makes by cheating the laborer. The capitalist buys labour-power in order to use it; and labour-power in use is labour itself. The purchaser of labour-power consumes it by setting the seller of it to work." (Kelso, 2005, n.p.) Here, if one were to take into account the scientific and technological developments the world has seen since the industrial revolution, we find that it's the capital-provider who becomes the rightful recipient of the profits made by them by selling the product. Let me elaborate.
With the advancement of technology, we have seen times, as much as we are seeing now, the production of machines that create more machines, automated ones too, which create a commodity that is sold. The machines themselves form a commodity too. Thus the profits that are brought home would be deserved by the ones that produced them: the machines which are owned by the capitalist, and hence the profit should go to him or her. Besides, if a product's value were to be defined by the number of labor-hours that go into it's making, then the fundamental paradox that is brought out is an interesting one: how can a product, say, an automated coffee-maker be of such a low value as the number of man-hours a labourer spends in operating the machine that makes it Or, say, the value of a cup of coffee it makes be what it takes to make it: pressing the on/off buttons I am not overlooking the fact that in my example a cup of ...Show more

Summary

To envision that Karl Marx, through his doctrine, would espouse Capitalism seems almost impossible at first glance. But, understanding his philosophy, it becomes apparent that these seemingly diverse views can co-exist in harmony. This paper is what forms my attempt to look into the possibility of Marx's economic theory forming a ground for advancement and modernization of capitalism rather than its annihilation as Marx himself had predicted and wanted…
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Karl Marx and Capitalism essay example
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