Essay about Capitalism in Marx and Weber
3426 WordsApr 7th, 201114 Pages
The Concept Of Capitalism In Marx And Weber; What Is The Contemporary Relevance Of Their Ideas?
At the later nineteenth century many social and economical ideas were developed because of the past revolutions and the present conflict of individuals and organised assemblies. Capitalism, one of these ideas, leads bourgeoisie to dream of a capitalist society in order to advance their maintain lifestyle and gain wealth. This economic system which is dominated by private business and the principles of production are for profit works in side of the bourgeoisies. The employees, working to these businesses, carry out the production but don’t own it. They produce «commodities» as they are called by Marx, which belong to the…show more content…
The ruling class increased at the expense of the subject class and a conflict of interest developed between them. This can be demonstrated by Marx’s view of the nature of ownership and production in capitalist societies. According to Marx, in a capitalist economy, goods are the labour power; raw materials and machinery used to produce them are given an economic value. The employer buys labour power, Marx says: “more accurately, I think, he buys the right to use the worker's powers for a day”. Also, he argued that capital was owned by the capitalist class which produced nothing and gained its wealth from the exploitation of the mass of the population the labour.
“Those who produced lost the control of the product of their labour and the process of production” (Marx). Marx developed the theory of alienation since he believed that workers through capitalism were alienated. According to this, things that naturally belong together are separated and because of some forces are not in harmony. In his writings he mostly referred to the alienation of people from aspects of their “human nature”. His theory is based upon his observation that under capitalism in rising industrial production, workers unavoidably lose control of their lives and selves because they can’t control their work. Consequently, workers never become autonomous. Alienation exists in capitalism societies because in work each provides common wealth, but can only express this
Compare Karl Marx and Max Weber
During the nineteenth century, Karl Marx and Max Weber were two of the most influential sociologists. Both of them tried to explain social change having place in a society at that time. Their view on this from one hand is very different, but on the other it had a lot of similarities.
Weber had argued that Marx was too narrow in his views. He felt that Marx was only concerned with the economic issues and believed that that issue is a central force that changed the society. Weber, on the other hand, tried to look at the macro-sociological phenomenon in his explanation. Weber felt that there is just more than one explanation about causes of change.
Marx s perspective was not based on the conflict of ideas, but rather on the conflict of classes. This conflict is the results of a new mode of production. According to Marx, history would consist of epochs of modes of production. He states that these modes of production are: primitive communism, slave society, feudalism, capitalism, and then socialism and communism.
The changes accompany the transition from one epoch to another. In the late nineteenth century labor has become a commodity to the merchants, and the formation of a new mode of production has risen which gave rise to a capitalist society. There is a new class distinction between the
laborer and those who owned the means of production.
Max Weber was opposed to Marx and believed that his theory was an oversimplification of history. He thought Marx s view of history was too focused on economics and was not considering the role of ideas and values as causes. Weber felt that scientific, historical, and philosophical causation was so connected with economic development that they can not be
considered separately as causes of change in the society. He used the relationship between society and the individual to explain the causes of change in terms of social development.
Weber also thought there was a link between capitalism and the Protestant work ethic. Specifically he looked at Calvinism. Calvinism was a simple way of life in which you were to do good for others. The way into heaven was to do the greatest good for the greatest number of
people. Work was done not for one s own personal gain, but for the sake of god. Weber found that in areas where Calvinism was the highest is where capitalism rose first, and no other religion resulted in the rise of capitalism.
Marx was concerned with the structure of society rather than the meaning. He thought that it is the class structure which gave power to the classes. This term of class is used differently between Marx and Weber. For Marx the causes of change was the result of conflict between the
two classes. Weber, on the other hand, felt that once feudalism had been abolished so was the class system. Class in feudal era was determined by one s blood line. If one were a serf then one s son or daughter would be born into the same class status. The same would hold true for any other social status. The next in line for the throne of the king is his first born son. With
change this distinct line between classes vanished. They both may have different reasons as to causes of change, but they both agree as to what society has become.