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Marxism - Essay Example

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Marxism

Despite the supposed triumph of capitalism over Marxism, the Marxist philosophy remains, not only relevant to the twenty-first century, but provides tremendous insight into the current labour system. According to Marx, the capitalist economic system is an exploitative one, which dehumanizes labour and reduces it o a commodity and labourers/humans to tools of production.1 The labourer is nothing more than an "agent of production," dominated by the rules governing supply and demand or consumption and production.2 Certainly, Marx admits that in direct comparison to slavery, labourers are given wages but, the payment of wages does not imply that the capitalist system extends labourers their rights. Instead, it solidifies his position as a wage labourer whose status within the political economy is nothing more than that of a tool of production.3 In other words, and as interpreted by Marx, the capitalist system is fundamentally founded upon exploitation.
The above stated recalls the current internationalization of labour, including the sweat-shop phenomenon to mind. The proponents of globalization have often cited the phenomenon of outsourcing as a positive attribute of the globalization of labour but, this is an erroneous representation of the reality. Outsourcing, which is motivated by the capitalist desire to reduce production costs by hiring cheap labour, is effectively based on the exploitation of labour and, just as Marx maintained, lends to the dehumanization of the workforce, reducing them to little more than faceless tools of production.
Proceeding from the above stated, one can even argue that the current labour structure, as in the globalisation of labour, is, perversely, proof of the triumph of Marxism, not capitalism. Capitalism, as is evidenced in its ability to create value, its devaluation of capital and its inefficient allocation of resources is an unsustainable economic system.4 It is inefficient because it "inverts" the true value of labor on the one hand, and is not founded upon a logical economic base, as would guarantee its survival and sustainability.5 On the political level and insofar as it alienates and objectifies human beings and transforms them into tools of production whose only value lays in the produce of their labour - something that is external to them - the capitalist system does is oppressive.6 In the Communist Manifesto, Marx asserted that the increasing devaluation, oppression and dehumanisation of labour, such as what the twenty-first century is witnessing, marks the final stages of capitalism. Therefore, from a Marxist perspective, it could very well be argued that the current internationalisation of labour signifies that capitalism is moving to the final phase of the oppression and impoverishment of the majority, leading up to the time when the proletariat of the world will rise up against the globalization of capitalism and establish a true communist system.
While certainly not claiming that the world is experiencing the final stages of capitalism, the argument here is that much of the developments which have occurred within the labour system, as in the expansion of the proletariat base and ever-increasing oppression and impoverishment, were predicted by Marx over a century ago. This alone ...Show more

Summary

Communism may have collapsed and socialist policies may have receded in face of the advent of global capitalism, the liberalization of economies and the globalization of free trade. Many, especially the proponents of liberalism, capitalism and globalization, have interpreted these developments as evidence for the defeat of the Marxist ideology and the triumph of the capitalist one…
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