Summary Of Karl Marx

Submitted By carls23
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Summary of Chapters 6 and 7 Karl Marx is an influential individual in socialist theory. He felt that capitalism was set up in a way in which it would eventually fail. To study capitalist society, Marx used a method of simplification to study relationships of systems from a historical approach, called historical materialism. He believed the mode of production of a society was the most significant feature in shaping the social configuration. Karl Marx divided the mode of production into two parts, the forces of production and the relations of production. Conflicts result when the mode of production changes, usually due to forces of production changing, while relations of production remain stagnant. When forces of production change and relations don’t, it causes an imbalance and unrest amongst social classes. Marx concluded that systems of the past crumbled as a result of social class struggles, and so would capitalism. He further thought that capitalism would be the final society containing distinct and separated classes. Karl Marx stated that the only source of production in the market, was labor, which is used to transform nature into a good. The capitalist market contains a large complex system of interdependencies. For most final products, production branches back to a large system of inputs and social interactions in order to create the final product. Capitalism interdependence differs from other systems because social interactions are indirect. Marx divided social classes in capitalism into four categories; professionals/shopkeepers, capitalists, workers, and the poverty stricken class. The capitalist class was thought to have the most power economically and politically. Members of this class were owners of capital, but rarely worked with their capital, instead they made profits from hiring the workers to use the capital. Small shop keepers, independent craftsmen, and professionals made up the second class. The second class appeared to be a blend of the capitalist class and the working class. They performed labor and hired workers. This class owned some capital, but much less than capitalists. The working class had very little or no capital. This class made money by offering labor to capitalists and some to the shopkeeper class. The working class is the largest class in population size. Individuals in the poverty stricken class, for one reason or another, did not work. They also owned very little or no capital and made little or no income. The term alienation was used by Marx to refer to his opinion that the working class was withdrawn from the products they contributed to. The working class could do nothing but offer labor, and had no other contribution to a product. They did not have a say in what they produced or on the environment in which they worked. This major limitation of the working class to obey the demands of the capitalists was viewed by Marx as dehumanizing. This gave the working class no options to advance and progress. Karl Marx continued to determine that alienation would be a self-destructive practice for capitalism because it would cause a struggle between the classes. The labor theory of value was an idea that Karl Marx believed that the most important factor of value was the amount of labor a commodity required. Other factors of production had little or no input in the value of a commodity. Surplus value was a term Marx used when describing an input of labor that is greater than that necessary to reach substance. Any amount of labor surpassing the substance level was a surplus and profit for capitalists. Capitalists who accumulated this