Of the three sociologists mentioned in the question, Marx is the one who gives sociology the meaning of conflict. Even though his philosophical and moral discourses covered a wide range of topics, his ideas about class conflicts between the workers of the world and those who control the means of production were the ones which made him famous. The struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie coupled with the dominance of the bourgeoisie doesn’t actually maintain social order since such a system is inherently unstable according to Marx because a struggle between these classes is inevitable (McLellan, 1973).
Similar to the functionalist ideas presented by Durkheim, Marx presented the function of the bourgeoisie to control society because they controlled the means of production in the system. On the other hand, the proletariat simply has to depend on working as labor for the bourgeoisie simply because it is their natural function. While there is the conflict between these classes, it is not necessarily evil or a step on the way to a revolution since the two classes can live with ease under a capitalist system which provides opportunities for all parties (Avineri, 1968).
Unlike the other two sociologists mentioned in the question, Marx is perhaps the most misunderstood and misinterpreted of all philosophers since his philosophies and social ideas were changed by others enough in his own life to lead him to declare that he was not a Marxist. While conflict and revolution were discussed by Marx extensively he considered them to be natural processes and the functional results of a capitalist or feudal system. Once a revolution happens and the struggles subside, a Marxist society would evolve into a classless system which remains in perfect harmony (McLellan, 1973).
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