Capitalism according to Marx and Engel in the communist manifesto is viewed as a class-based model in the society where individuals are divided into classes based on wealth. The class separation results in class struggle and competition. The capitalism system first causes exploitation of those providing labour that according to Marx and Engel belongs to the proletariat.
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Because the middle class or the bourgeoisie are in control of everything, including the means of production, the market, politics, and laws of the land, Capitalism creates a society where the majorities who belong to the lower-class are dependent on everything that is under the control of the minority. Oppression is widespread, and a visible characteristic of capitalism as those belonging to the lower-class of wage labourers are controlled by manipulation of laws and jurisdictions to sell their labour at a particular price that must produce a profit to the owners or the controllers of the market (Katz 192).
Marx and Engel argue that the elite bourgeoisie are hiding behind the name ‘free market’, yet they are the ones in control of through means of production and prices setting. The class is also in control of politics due to their power of money. The lower-class providing labour is busy struggling to make ends meet, thus does not necessarily have time to take part in policy making and being part of the political class. All these creations and control are based on a feudal society. Because the bourgeoisie owns the means of production and can manipulate the market to always favour their wish, the exploited wage earners are paid low wages as the needs of the owners of production must be met first. The free market results in competition between the owners of the production resources, thus they reduce wages to meet their needs, which at the end affects the labourer (Katz 192).
Capitalism also results in the alienation of the labourers or the lower-class from their own lives and decision making concerning when to work and how to sell their labour. The common labour providers are separated from the means of production, which entirely is under the control of the owners and the products they produce. They even spend their entire time in life working for others without creating relationships with those they work with as they are constantly thinking of wages and class struggle. The capitalist system is argued by Marx to have created a sense of inhumanity, separating human beings from their natural being of controlling their surroundings. The proletariat has been lost in capitalistic free competition resulting in their mutual competition without having time to reason and observe what those controlling policies and the market are up to. According to Marx and Engel, the more a labourer works to compete the more they enrich the owners, and they continuously get alienated (Katz 193).
The class struggle fueled by capitalistic system promotes domination by the controllers of the industries employing others, such that the labourer is always under constant control by the changing economic and political factors. Due to wealth accumulation by the few individuals of the bourgeoisie class, they have power in them to control the lower-class and impose whatever market changes they feel like so long it favours their profit margins. The powerful class created by capitalism has power in ideas, policies, and production means. They fluctuate wages to maintain profits and in so doing dominate the workers by setting low wages that keep them in the same class (Katz 193).
The relevance of the Capitalism Critique in Modern society
The Manifesto by Marx and Engel provides the background of the capitalism that we still see in the society today. It is worth noting that in the modern world, there is a class struggle with everyone struggling to accumulate wealth and become powerful. The Manifesto is relevant to today’s economic factors and politics as there is a notion in our society that money is power. Many policies being developed in today’s governments such as minimum wages are basically based on profit margins by companies. Thus, the owners of the industries must be satisfied before wages to employees are determined (Katz 193).
The present governments in many countries around the world are made up of the rich with the poor left as labourers and followers of the wealthy. The conditions of taxation and wage determination are partly in line with Marxist critique. The society is lost in working for the industries owners for wages to meet their needs and taxations. The industries owners have a say in politics and policymaking. It is very rare in the modern democracies to have a political leader without enough wealth, which points out the class separation and domination highlighted by the Manifesto (Katz 192).
Studying Marxist arguments and the Manifesto is still important to the modern politics and policymakers as it provides a guide on the possible effects of capitalism and class struggles that may arise. It acts as a background for those seeking to create a society where equality between individuals is feasible and effective. Marx was one of the greatest thinkers of the time, with his arguments applicable to modern society. Policymakers have the responsibility to push for better policies in every sector that ensure fairness, free will and self-determination by everyone in the society (Katz 198).
In conclusion, capitalism is a model that favours a few in the society and leaves the majority susceptible to oppression, alienation, and domination by the minority. The controllers of the means of production and the product market have the power to twist policies to meet their needs at the expense of the poor or the workers. Marxism is still an essential ideology even to the modern democracies as class struggle exists in the modern world with the wealthy having control of the economic, policies and politics in general. Thus, it guides the policymakers to push for changes that provide equality in the society to prevent class struggle witnessed as a result of capitalism.
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