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Is Marx's explanation of social change still relevant to understanding capitalism today - Essay Example

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Is Marx's explanation of social change still relevant to understanding capitalism today

Buttel and newby (1980,p 85) notes that Marx theory of historical change identifies five periods in history, that is, ancient, feudal, capitalist, socialists, and communist .In all these historical periods, the societies that existed were characterised by history of class struggles and conflicts and it is because of what transpired that facilitated the movement from one period of history to the proceeding one. Therefore as the feudal system disintegrated and capitalism emerged, capitalism created contradictions .This Contradictions are what subsequently shaped society and brought about social change. . Long (2009) also re affirms that social change in capitalistic society, occurred due to contradictions between the major classes, that is, the bourgeoisie and proletarian McLaughlin et al (2003, p 249) notes the general Marxist theory central proposition is that the most important element in peoples lives in society is how they relate with the mode of production. The modes of production in society consists of two elements: the means of production, which is constituted of technological process and the relationship of various classes to the means of production whether they either own the means of production or work for those who posses them (Buthel and Newsby, p 89 ) Since the ultimate economic source of surplus in society involves the amount of goods which is produced in excess of what the workers consume, there is a need to understand the difference between those who hold the means of production and those who work for them so as to be able to comprehensively understand who owns the surpluses in society. (McLaughlin et al 2003, p 249) McLaughlin states that means of production in society can either be privately owned or not. In some societies, means of production are owned by state, for example in former soviet Union, in others they are controlled by small groups of workers for instance in Yugoslavia or collectively owned by units of workers, farmers, peasants and other classes in society for example in china This forms of production definitely produces different types of social relations. McLaughlin et al (2003, p 250) notes that in capitalistic societies particularly where means of production concentrates on private individuals, there has been a development of divisions between the class that dominates, that is, the owners of means of production and the class that is dominated, those working for the ruling class. This is because of the contradiction that is created by the capitalist system. Bottero (2005, p 35) add that the various classes in capitalistic societies have opposing economic interests and their relationship is usually antagonistic in nature. To begin with, the first contradiction is that the capitalist enterprise tries to create a desire among the class of workers to consume the products generated by their system. Many of these products do not necessarily contribute to the improvement of people’s well being and also have no value. For their system to be viable, the bourgeoisies develop mechanisms to make the people utilise what they produce. In order for the capitalist to produce their goods, they make labour force to work diligently and over time. This helps the ruling class to accumulate more and more ...Show more
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Name: Tutor: Course: Date: University: Marx theory of capitalism and social change The purpose of this study is to analyse the idea of social change as conceptualised by Karl Marx in his study of capitalism in traditional industrial society and examine whether his ideas still remain relevant in the present modern society…
Is Marxs explanation of social change still relevant to understanding capitalism today
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