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Unformatted text preview: Introduction to Sociology
Lecture Lecture 4: Capitalism, Stratification, Conflict
Wednesday, February 10 Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels
Marx Marx Engels • Marx: German political-economist, philosopher (1818-1883) political(1818who advocated activism over armchair theorizing
– Famous works include Manifesto of the Communist Party Manifesto (1848), Capital, numerous (1848), Capital, numerous essays – “Philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways the point however is to change it.” • Engels: German political-economist, collaborated with Marx, politicalalso advocated activism
– Famous works include Manifesto of the Communist Party, The Manifesto Condition of the Working Class in England Capitalism
• The means of production are privately owned and controlled privately and • Everything is exchanged in the context of a market economy market • People own and can sell their own labor According to Smith, this is the best available system for increasing everyone’s wealth and productivity Class Class conflict • Under capitalism, inequality between the “haves” and the “have“havenots” increases
- Bourgeoisie: The group that owns the means of production - Proletariat: The majority class – the workers – who have only their own own labor to sell • The bourgeoisie controls the State, which controls the proletariat (e.g., through law, the police force) (Government (Government troops firing into a crowd of demonstrators in Petrograd, July 1917) Exploitation Exploitation • Proletarians are exploited by the bourgeoisie
- The exchange value of proletarians’ labor power (i.e., wages) is lower than what the owners get by selling their products - Workers must sell their labor merely to survive, thus becoming merely survive, commodities commodities Alienation • Proletarians are alienated…
– from the objects of their labor – from the labor process – from themselves – from each other The The destruction of capitalism • The workers must replace their “false consciousness” with “class consciousness” • Revolt against the government and the bourgeoisie • Capitalism will self-destruct self– Concentration of workers promotes solidarity – Downward mobility sends some bourgeoisie into proletariat – Class consciousness forms • Socialism emerges as a transitional state between capitalism and communism (Bolsheviks (Bolsheviks taking over the czar’s Winter Palace, October 1917) ...
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- Spring '09
- Christiansen, M