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Karl Marx - Essay Example

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Karl Marx

It is indispensable to refer to the basic concepts, methods and substantive theories presented by in order to comprehend classical as well contemporary issues in sociology. Many sociologists including Weber and Durkheim developed their work in this field by critical discussion and debate on basic theories and ideas presented by Karl Marx (Cohen 10). There is colossal collection of Marx writing covering philosophy, sociology, economics, history and politics. However, this essay deals with the selection of fundamental theories of Sociology such as social history, social change and their core elements. Marxists believe that plan of social life finds its basis in “conflict of interests” between different classes present in the society. The basic conflict prevails between two general classes including ‘the Bourgeoisie’ and ‘the Proletariat’. The bourgeoisie are those who enjoy the control over the resources of production in the market based on capitalism while the proletariats are those who have no control over means of production and they only sell their labor power in capitalistic market (Jones 57 - 60). Following lines describe the key features of theory of human history presented by Karl Marx. Marx’s Basic Theory of Human History – Social Change Marx based his theory of human history on the basis of the division of ownership of resources required for the production of goods and services. He divided human history into five distinct phases with different structure of ownership of resources of production. These five periods of epochs are described below. The first phase is referred as primitive communism. The people had common ownership of the entire resources during this epoch of human history. The structure of ownership of resource changed and next phase started which is termed as the ancient epoch, often termed as slave society. An aristocratic elite class came into being and had full control over the means of production; this society was based on the slavery. The slave masters were the owners of all the resources and they controlled the process of production. In the next phase, structure of ownership moved from aristocratic to feudalistic. During this epoch, land was considered the vital means of production. Again, the land was owned and controlled by aristocratic class which was small in numbers and the rest of the people belonged to the peasant class. The peasant class enjoyed no or little political rights during this phase of human history. The fourth epoch proposed by Marx is the capitalistic society; it is more correct description of the present day structure of society. This phase is characterized by technological developments for the process of production. It is characterized by industries and factory form of productions which allow the bourgeois class to attain their private interests by exploiting wage – laborers. According to Marx, the wage laborers are in majority but they own very little or no capital and have no control over production of goods. The key relationship of production during this epoch is of employer and employee. Employees are not owned by the employers in this social system and employees enjoy relatively higher political freedom as well as equalities than the peasants in feudalistic society (Marx and Engels 40). Communist society is the last epoch which has similar structure to the first one. In this society, resources are held by the people in common and are utilized for the benefit of each member of society. It is also referred as the authoritarianism of proletariat. It is the ideal social system where class conflict will come to an end, the human history also ends and society cannot take any other form (Marx and Engels 199 - 202). It ...Show more

Summary

The origin of the sociological theories owes a great deal to Karl Marx; he exerted a philosophical impact on various basic theories of sociology. It is indispensable to refer to the basic concepts, methods and substantive theories presented by in order to comprehend classical as well contemporary issues in sociology. …
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Karl Marx essay example
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