Class Struggle

Jamie Ward

        The American dream claims this a country of equality, but is that really true? In Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto, the father of modern communism talks about how wealth made should either go to enriching the minority that comprises society or improving the quality of life of the working majority how produce the wealth. Class Struggle came about due to the fact of society: slaves, patricians, lords, serfs, guild-masters, etc. Marx defines class struggle as “a class defined by the ownership of property: the bourgeoisie, landowners, and the proletariat.”[1] Since the working class and the owning class continue to have conflict, Karl Marx makes it clear through his work that class struggle is caused by society, and causes eternal class contradictions in the modern world.

        Karl Marx begins by talking about the difference of the Bourgeoisie and Proletariat. While the bourgeoisie are the “owners of the means of social production and employers of wage labors… Proletariats are reduced to selling their labour power in order to live.”[2] Karl Marx saw the development of the class struggle. As the modern feudal system grew, so did the industrial production which called for more workers. This mostly pertained to those who worked in factories and saw what it did to the exploited worker causing them to “deteriorate so badly that the social structure collapses.”[3] As the working man collapses with fatigue, the already rich get more money from doing nothing off the working man. With that being said, “It appears as if famine, a universal war of devastation, had cut off the supply of every means of subsistence; industry and commerce seem to be destroyed.”[4] The bourgeoisie cannot handle the amount of people in control, causing the working class to take what they can’t.

        Though this seems like something that doesn’t affect the modern economy, it has caused many issues for class struggle. Many people consider America to be free of class struggle since America is the “home of the brave and land of the free.” America has an enormous and powerful working class, though some argue its diminishment, and the fight over who deserves the wealth continues to grow. “American workers create vast amounts of wealth for the capitalists, but receive only a small ratio of that back.”[5] Those who work the longest and the hardest have seemed to only receive a small amount of money to live on rather than those who already have the wealth. Workers have begun to refuse working long hours to get nothing in return. “In 2012 and 2013, workers in the fast food, retail, and service industries have organized walk-outs, work slow-downs, and strikes.”[6] While those who have more money control more of the American economy, is it clear to see that the lifestyle Marx was talking about is a struggle of the survival of the richest.

[1]“MARXISM AND CLASS: SOME DEFINITIONS.” MARXISM AND CLASS: SOME DEFINITIONS. 1999. Accessed December 05, 2016. http://www.mltranslations.org/Britain/Marxclass.htm.

[2]“MARXISM AND CLASS CONFLICT.” MARXISM AND CLASS CONFLICT. Accessed December 05, 2016. https://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/CIP.CHAP5.HTM.

[3]Marx, Karl, and Frederic L. Bender. The Communist Manifesto. New York: Norton, 1988.

[4]Marx, Karl, and Frederic L. Bender. The Communist Manifesto. New York: Norton, 1988.

[5]Peterson, Written By John. “The Class Struggle and the American Working Class.” In Defence of Marxism. 2014. Accessed December 05, 2016. http://www.marxist.com/the-class-struggle-and-the-american-working-class.htm.

[6]Peterson, Written By John. “The Class Struggle and the American Working Class.” In Defence of Marxism. 2014. Accessed December 05, 2016. http://www.marxist.com/the-class-struggle-and-the-american-working-class.htm.

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