Capitalism_and_Exploitation - Capitalism and Exploitation...

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Capitalism and Exploitation (pp.138-140). A. Development of Capitalism: Adam Smith's (1723-90) laissez-faire capitalism -- in the long run, a free competitive market serves the good of all. The rich should get richer. Self-interest should be promoted, an invisible hand will make it good for all. B. Smith furthered argued that the value of a commodity = the amount of labor it can purchase , People with capital or stock have the power to hire labor to produce a product. If a division of labor is established, a SURPLUS value beyond wage cost and materials will result, which is the profit that the capitalist keeps for himself for his creative ingenuity. So this makes the recipe for advancement of self-interest. C. Predecessor for Smith: Locke's (1632-1704) theory of private property , which ensures individual rights -- right to life, liberty and the preservation of property. Thomas Jefferson in the "Declaration of Independence" adopted Locke's liberalism with slight modifications. American society, ever since, has thrived on a capitalist-liberal politics and economy. D. Communist objections to capitalist society : Community is not an atomistic whole, as the capitalist thinks it is, but it as an organic one . Human rights are not just for freedom to compete, but also ensuring equal opportunities to compete (and capitalism does not allow for this). If there are no equal opportunities, then liberalism turns out to be sham. In promoting self-interest, a capitalist economy leads to alienation, envy, corruption, greed. E. Communism/ Socialism : Marx and Engels argued that workers and children, in a capitalist society, are abused as commodities. The capitalist society is divided into 2 antagonistic classes: Proletariat (wage-earning workers) and Bourgeoisie (Owners of production, bankers, financers). Division of labor results in mechanical, repetitive jobs that alienate works from what they produce. They are thus treated as machines. Workers are exploited – they give more than they receive. That is how the capitalist benefits and becomes richer. Capitalist owns the product and disposes it off when he wishes to.
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This note was uploaded on 10/13/2010 for the course PHIL 1301 taught by Professor Lolly during the Fall '10 term at Lone Star College System.

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Capitalism_and_Exploitation - Capitalism and Exploitation...

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