Take Home Exam 1

Take Home Exam 1 - Yip 1 Stacey Yip 1/27/11 COSF 100:...

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Yip 1 Stacey Yip 1/27/11 COSF 100: Section A07 (Jenny Ryan) Question One In Marxism, it is argued that the individual is a product of social systems. These social systems may include education, family, and governmental policies. “But the essence of man is no abstraction inherent in each single individual. In reality, it is the ensemble of the social relations” (Marx). Marxists believe that social systems should work to provide for the individual, in order for a system that is geared towards an individual’s basic rights, such as shelter and food. This directly correlates with Marxist thought of material equality. Marxism criticizes the capitalist system for creating a huge disparity between the rich and the poor. This gap traps the poor class in systems of wage labor and alienates them from the means of production. In turn, the poor class is imprisoned in this system of labor and unable to rise above it and escape it. The Marxist framework believes that the role of the State is important, and that government should be centralized. Marxist theory also calls for government intervention and regulation within a market, which minimizes the power of market corporations. By contrast, liberalism argues that the individual is autonomous. “Human nature is not a machine to be built after a model, and set to do exactly the work prescribed for it, but a tree, which requires growing and developing itself on all sides, according to the tendency of the inward forces which make it a living thing” (Mill). In essence, individuals make choices that determine social systems by exercising their rights to life, liberty, and property. These rights are different than those described in Marxist theory, however, in that liberalists use their rights for freedom in making their own choices. This parallels the liberalist thought of individual responsibility, in that individuals are responsible for what happens to them as consequences of their choices. To encourage idealism and the importance of autonomy, liberalism calls for
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Yip 2 minimal government involvement in terms of the role of the State. Liberalism also argues for private enterprise in the sense that the role of the market should be free and have free trade. In this way, competition is a byproduct that encourages individuals to be self-sufficient, resulting in an efficient free market. This directly goes against Marxist theory that calls for socialism. The issue of healthcare can be discussed in regards to the Marxist framework and the liberal framework. Currently in America, the issue of healthcare is whether the government should set aside funding for those who cannot afford healthcare or whether it should be left up to the responsibility of the individual. Those who favor a Marxist framework would argue that healthcare is a benefit that everyone should have equally, due to the Marxist theory of material equality. With an appeal to a centralized government, Marxists would want the government to provide universal healthcare. Since Marxists allow for government intervention and regulation
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This note was uploaded on 09/28/2011 for the course COSF 100 taught by Professor Fields during the Winter '08 term at UCSD.

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Take Home Exam 1 - Yip 1 Stacey Yip 1/27/11 COSF 100:...

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