An Exploration into Marxist Theory

An Exploration into Marxist Theory - Cason 1 Andrew Cason...

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Cason 1 Andrew Cason Professor Mazzarella History 112 March 5, 2008 An Exploration into Marxist Theory Marx begins The Communist Manifesto with his thesis statement; “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggle” - the defining force of history is that which is between the economic classes – between the “oppressor and the oppressed” (Marx 89). Marx then states that society has moved into a new epoch of history - a pattern of coercive exploitation - which has replaced the feudal system – that of bourgeois capitalism. Marx explains that under this economic system society is radically being divided into two separate classes: the bourgeois - those who own the means of production - and the proletariat - those who can only sell their labor. This new system of modern industrial capitalism has greatly simplified class structures when compared to the more complicated class structure of the gilded age. The old system was based on the traditional and religious order of things; divine authority of kings and clergy, aristocracy, nobility, craftsmanship has been replaced by a system based entirely on ownership. Marx explains that capitalism “has left and remaining no other nexus between man and man than naked self interest…it has resolved personal worth into exchange value… In one word, for exploitation [once] veiled by religious and political illusions, it has substituted naked, shameless direct, brutal exploitation” (Marx 92). Though the bourgeois are the oppressors of the lower class they have “played a
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An Exploration into Marxist Theory - Cason 1 Andrew Cason...

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