Karl Marx


Marx's notion on class

- capitalism is a peculiar economic system 

- two classes - bourgeoisie and proletariat 

- this is a direct consequence of capitalism - not natural or necessary feature of society

- these classes are needed for capitalism to function 

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what makes capitalism endure?

  • surplus value 
  • capitalists cannot make profit unless they exploit workers 
  • marx sees surplus value as basis of capitalism and key for understanding why it persists
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how does capitalism function?

  • the two classes need each other 
  • their relationship can only be based on exploitation 
  • mutual need for each other does not mean harmony 
  • only working class can achieve full consciousness and bring happiness to society through revolution - a future without social class
  • class conflict is inevitable but so is revolution 
  • communist manifesto: "its fall and the victory of the proletariat are equally inevitable"
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