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MyRenaissance

Icameintothisclasswithnopriorknowledgeoftheeconomyandhowitworks.Iwas
introducedtotheconceptofcapitalismthroughKarlMarx.Iquicklyrealizedthatthese
economicidealsarebeingusedintoday'ssociety.Thiscaughtmyinterest.BeforeIcameto
collegeIhadassumedthatthingswerethewaytheywereandtherewasnoreasonorwantto
change.Ihadneverthoughtoftherebeingmoreideasofhowtheworkforceshouldbe.This
gavemetheopportunitytoexploredeeperintocapitalism,itsproblems,andotheridealslike
socialismandcommunism.
Capitalism,accordingtoMarx,developedinfivestages:primitivecommunism,slave
society,feudalism,andfinallycapitalismitself.Eachoneofthesestagesincreasedthestandard
ofliving,buthadadownfallaswell.Thefirststage,primitivecommunism,beginswiththe
originofmanhimself.Tribesareformedwiththesolepurposeofsurvival.Inordertosurvive,
everythingissharedthroughthepeopletoensurethis.Thetransitionbetweenbeginswiththe
discoveryoffarmingandslavery.Thesemoneyproducingideasbecameprivateproperty,orthe
abilitytoexploitothersforincome.Marxcallsthistheslavesocietystage.Atthispointtwo
classesofpeopledevelop.Thesearetheslaveclassandtheslaveowningclass.Theslavesdon't
earnanymoneyandarenotallowedtoownanyproperty.Theownersexploittheslavesby
earningprofitsfromtheirlaborandowningtheland.Byowningtheland,theyareableto
produceincomefromtheagriculturedevelopmentthattookplaceduringthistime.Duringthe
middleagesathirdstagearriveswiththeendinslaverycalledfeudalism.Duringthefeudalism
stagenewclassesaredevelopedsuchaslords,kings,merchants,andserfs.Themerchantclassis
consideredthestartingpointforcapitalismbecauseoftheconflictsthatithadoverpowerwith
thefeudalsystem.Therewasadramaticincreaseintradeandaprofitmotivebegantodevelop.
Infearoflosingtheirpower,thekingsandlordswon'tacceptthesocialchanges.Thisleadstoa
revolutioninwhichcapitalismoverthrowsthefeudalsystem.
Ourcurrentsocialsystemthroughouttheworldisconsideredcapitalism.Inthissystem,
themajorityofthewealthisinthehandsofasmallpercentageofthepopulation.Thepeople
whooccupythiswealtharethosewhoowntheoutletsformakingmoney.Examplesofthisare
factoriesandland.Manypeoplecharacterizecapitalismasthecompetitionbetweenproducersto
makeaprofit.Advocatesforcapitalismclaimthiscompetitionisthedrivingforcebehind
economicgrowth.
Therearetwoclassesofpeopleintheworkforce,theworkclassandthecapital.The
workclassprovidestheirservicesforawagedeterminedbytheemployerthatdeterminesthe
amountofmoneytheywillmake.Theboss,orcapital,collectstheprofitsfromtheemployees
hardwork.Thismeansthatthecapitalexploitstheworkingclass.
Themainfocusincapitalismistosellgoodsandservicesforaprofit,ratherthanto
satisfytheneedsofthepeople.Inordertomakeaprofit,theproducerssettheirpriceatamargin
tomakeapositivegaininincome.Theproblemariseswhenthispriceissohighthatthe

workingclasscan'taffordthebasicneedsforsurvival.Intoday'ssociety,minimumwageis
oftentimesnotenoughtoaffordthebasicneedstolive.Thecapitalforcedtokeeptheirpricesat
ahighsotheyarenotconsumedbytheothercompaniesinthemarket,causingthemtogooutof
business.
KarlMarxstheoryofalienationoflaborisanotherproblemthatstemsfromcapitalism.
Hebelievesthatworkiswhatmakesahumanandgivesuspurposeinlife.Marxstates,Hence,
indegradinglaborwhichshouldbeamansfree,spontaneousfreeactivitytoameremeansof
physicalsubsistence,alienatedlabordegradesmansessentiallifetoameremeanstoanend.
(Marx,210)Bythishemeansthatcapitalismhasmadetheseworkersintocogsforagiant
machine.Theynevergettobecreativeorseethefruitsoftheirlabor,makingtheirwork
extremelytediousandmonotonous.Theyarenotlivingatwork.Theystartlivingwhentheygo
hometotheirfamilies.
Marxbelievesthateventuallytheworkingclasswilloverthrowthecapitolandadopta
socialistformofgovernment.Afterthecapitalclasshasbeenpushedout,peoplewillfocusona
classlesssocietywhereeveryoneisequal.Socialismpromotestheideasofactingtogether,
ratherthancompetingwitheachother.Productwouldbemadesolelyfortheneedsofthe
people,nomoreandnoless.Thenextdevelopmentstep,aswellasthesolutionforcapitalism,is
communism.Thisisasocialandeconomicsystemwherepeoplewillnolongerbuyandsell
things.Moneywouldnotexist.Allmeansofproductionareequallyownedbyallmembersofa
society..Everyonewillbefreetogetwhateveramountofsomethingtheyneedtosurvive.
Afterdoingallofthisresearchonthedifferentformsofsocioeconomics,iseethatmost
ofthemareveryextremeinnature.Iagreewithdifferentaspectsofcapitalism,socialism,and
communism.Seeingthatwehaveattemptedformsofsocialismandcommunismandfailed,the
conceptappearstobegreatonpapers,butnotrealisticwhenputintopractice.Myfinal
conclusionisthataformofcapitalismwouldworkthebestforeveryone.Keepthedriveof
competitiontoinspiregrowth,butallowgovernmentstoeventuallygaphowmuchoneperson
canownandprofit.Workersshouldbealloweddifferentwages,basedonhowhardtheywork
andhowmuchthecompanymakesasawhole..Ithinkthiscouldpossiblybringaboutanother
classthatisinbetweencapitalandtheworkerclass.

WorksCited
Marx,Karl."AlienatedLabor."
CriticalThinking
.3rded.N.p.:PearsonLearningSolutions,n.d.
20314.Print