End of Capitalism and Rise of Socialism: Can Marxism Explain the Economy and Society in the United States Today?
Carl Marx believed that there are two major outcomes of prolonged capitalism. The first outcome is the gradual formation of a smaller and wealthier social class (the capitalists). Because the wealth of society continues to accrue to this wealthier class, the increasing wealth of society is controlled by less and less. At the same time, weaker capitalists gradually sink into the lower class of laborers. The second outcome is the alienation of workers. While workers produce more and more wealth, they turn poorer and weaker to the point they become mere commodities.
I don’t think it’s hard to connect the dots here. On one side, forclosures, tanked businesses, lower incomes and wages, lower quality of life. On the other, corporate executives getting billions of dollars in salaries and short term severance packages.
Marx: Capitalism is Self-Negating
Capitalism, Marx said, will eventually eliminate itself. Ultimately, overproduction will lead to economic crisis, falling profits, and increased exploitation of the working class. The proletariat (the working class) will become intolerable of increasingly bad conditions and will revolt. As a result, dictatorship of the proletariat will happen. In the new social order the means of production and property will be socialized and class differences will disappear. We are indeed in an economic crisis—it’s called recession. So, where’s the revolt of the working class? The revolt could be popular vote for Obama. But it is hard to imagine a dictatorship of the proletariat.
Views of Today’s American Politicians Are in Conflict with Traditional American Political Thought
American political thought was (and still is) greatly influenced by John Locke (1632–1704), a political philosopher who developed the idea of natural (inalienable) rights. His thought on the aims and purpose of the state is incorporated in the Declaration of Independence, the American Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. Locke’s theory of property rights (which are the natural rights to property) states that people have equal right to property, but they don’t have right to equal property. Most American people, I believe, would agree with Lock’s ideas on property rights. Money is also property—one that the executive branch took from the U.S. taxpayer and “invested” for the good of all.
Finally, look at the new editorial cartoon for insparation of your comments.
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