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Marx vs. Carnegie
Transcript of Marx vs. Carnegie
After examining the main ideas of Marx and Carnegie, one can conclude that Communism and Capitalism have polar opposite characteristics. Although Karl Marx and Andrew Carnegie identified the problem within society, their execution to resolve the conflict between the classes differed.
Contrasting the views of Karl Marx and Andrew Carnegie
CREATED BY: Elaina Torres
CLASS: ENGWR 302
What is The Gospel of Wealth?
Topic 1: What's the problem with society?
During the 19th century with the rise of
industrial production, Marx and Carnegie recognized that the unequal treatment in regards to economics and politics between the socioeconomic classes. By taking into consideration that Marx and Carnegie overcame their own class struggles, their personal experiences contributed to their contrasting views to resolve the tension between the socioeconomic classes.
Topic 2: Collectivism vs. Individualism
Topic 3: The Means of Production
What are the pros and cons?
Individualistic Perspective on Education
The most shocking statistic is that " the top 1 percent own[ing] more than 40% of the nation's approximately $54 trillion in wealth" while "earn[ing] about 19% of the income" (Archer). Because of this fact, workers continue to strike and protest to obtain higher wages, while the rich enjoy the best standards of living. But the worst part about this inequality is the fact that majority of America don't even realize the how skewed the distribution of wealth really has become.
Collective Perspective on Education
What's so bad about consumerism being the new opiate of the masses?
Marx and Carnegie created well-
structured ideologies about two very different types of governments. Even though the components of Communism and Capitalism were founded a long time ago, there are still parts of each theory in modern-day America.
Today, America still struggles with the economic problem of the distribution of wealth, effecting the lives of the lower socioeconomic classes.
Lastly, America continues to be tricked by the ideology of consumerism that has become the new opiate of the masses. Americans should learn by now that they should stop repeating history. Not only do the problems of the Marx and Carnegie's age continue today, but their success, their failures and their ideas are available to the public to be reexamined. I'm not saying that America should become Communist, but look at Marx's ideologies in order to create a better solution. To create a society that Carnegie's Capitalistic system benefits the masses rather than the rich. Find out what exactly was the problem these men were trying to fix. America cannot plan for the future until they have learned from the past.
Archer, Dale, Dr. "Could America's Wealth Gap Lead To A Revolt?"
Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 04 Sept. 2013. Web. 31 Oct. 2013.
Cline, Austin. "Karl Marx on Religion." About.com Agnosticism /
Atheism. About.com, n.d. Web. 02 Nov. 2013.
Jacobus, Lee A. A World of Ideas: Essential Readings for College
Writers. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2002. Print.
Mahalodotcom. "Wealth Inequality in America Explained in 60 Seconds."
Online video clip. Youtube. Youtube, 17 May 2013. Web. 01 Nov. 2013.
McLeskey J., D. L. Westling, and Rosenberg, M. S."The Impact of
Culture on Education." Education.com. Pearson, 2008. Web. 01 Nov. 2013.
YepYouKnowlt. "Typography Animation on Consumerism (HSC Major)."
Online video clip. Youtube. Youtube, 11 Jan. 2013. Web. 01 Nov. 2013.
Distribution of Wealth in Modern-Day America
Even though Marx and Carnegie
wrote developed their philosophies a long time ago, the distribution of wealth problem still lingers throughout 21st century America. Karl Marx would be disappointed about America's lack of inequality among wealth,whereas Carnegie would enjoy the fact that there continues to be a disparity between the socioeconomic classes. Americans strive towards a more equal distribution of wealth, but the reality is that the distribution of wealth is far from equal.
In The Communist Manifesto, Marx
believes that capital should be obtained through hard work, specifically the proletarians who continuously produce the means of the industry.
The rich should maintain their wealth and redistribute a portion of their capital to society.
Who deserves the money?
What is The Communist Manifesto about?
The Communist Manifesto , written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels,
attempts to explain the goals of Communism by breaking down the basic concepts that underlie this theory. Marx first introduces the class struggle between two main social classes, the proletariat and the bourgeoisie.
DATE: 3 November 2013
The proletarians consist of the majority of the modern day population, those who perform manual labor. Other terms to describe the proletarians within today's society would be the working class or the middle class.
The bourgeoisie are the highest socioeconomic class in society. They control the world's economic and human resources. The bourgeoisie are the owners of the means of production and employers of the laborers.
According to Marx, the tension between the two socioeconomic class was a result of the industrial revolution.
As there continues to be a dramatic increase in industrial
production, Marx suggests that the proletarians should lead the revolution. This Communist revolution is very different than past revolutions, which focused on redistributing property. When the proletarians rule, they will abolish private property and strive to create a classless society. In order to achieve these Communist goals, there must be reforms within the government.
Andrew Carnegie begins his essay, The Gospel of Wealth, by identifying the problem with
the distribution of wealth. He explains that the unequal distribution of wealth is a natural result of civilization. When he contrasts the different social classes, he applies the ideologies of Darwin to distinguish the civilized and non civilized individuals within society.
Carnegie's Use of Darwinism
The Civilized Citizens of Modern Society
On the other hand, civilized people are among the millionaires and the hard working laborers. According to Carnegie, the rich should live in mansions while everyone else live in mere cottages. In addition, the fittest individuals or the people who successful beat the competition in society should enjoy the benefits of Capitalism.
Uncivilized People of the Past
During Carnegie's visit to the chief Sioux, he noticed that the leader of the Sioux didn't appear to wear any different clothing or accessories than the others in his tribe. Even among the poorest within the tribe, the Sioux chief had similar food and shelter. Since there isn't a clear class distinction within the Sioux tribe, Carnegie implies that these Indians are uncivilized.
Capitalist Concepts Explained
"Law of Competition"
In Carnegie's opinion, the law of competition is the most beneficial law because it concentrates capital into the power of few. These wealthy few people create capital which maintains civilization . Although many aspire to achieve wealth, only a small portion of the population actual succeed.
"Law of Accumulation of Wealth"
As the growth of capital expands around the world, the proletarianization of the social classes increases. Normally, the most efficient and most educated people accumulate the wealth within a capitalistic government. However, these individuals who work in huge firms tend to invest in millions beyond their expenditures while accumulating additional capital to collect their salaries. Consequently, the law of accumulation of wealth leads to bankruptcy and the collapse of capitalism.
Religion of Wealth
Despite the fact that Andrew Carnegie supports the capitalistic system of wealth, he condemns anyone who give away their money to charity. He doesn't approve of simply tossing away money to someone who doesn't make a contribution within society. If a person decides to distribute their wealth they should benefit the public through funding parks, art and other public institutions.
Marx, insists that the proletarians should become the ruling class because they, "have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Working men of all countries, unite" (Jacobus 476). The current position of proletarians are similar to the relationships of the slaves and freemen or the serfs and lord. Although these classes don't exist anymore, they equally represent the oppressive relationship between the proletarians and the bourgeoisie. While the proletarians or the oppressed work hard to earn enough money to put food on the table, the bourgeoisie or the oppressors enjoy the financial benefits of their employees. Fortunately, the ideologies of Communism resolves this tension between the classes by eliminating the exploitation of individuals and other nations, under proletarian rule. Resulting in a number of revolutions that address the political and economic problems of the socioeconomic classes.
Although Carnegie believed that people who work hard deserve to a successful life, he suggested that the solution to the problem between the rich and poor was up to the highest class of society. He states that, "The best minds will thus have reached a state in the development of the race in which it is clearly thoughtful and earnest men into whose hands it flows save by using it year by year for the general good" (Jacobus 495). Instead of Marx's proletarians ruling society, Carnegie believed that the rich are better qualified to improve the standard of living of society. He refers to the wealthiest social class as the "best minds" because these individuals represent the most educated and successful group within the population. The responsibilities of the rich resides in their duty to make a contribution to various public institutions in order to maintain harmony between the socioeconomic classes.
Marx and Carnegie passionately contrasted
against one another in regards to collectivism and individualism. Not only did Carnegie defend the benefits of individualism, but he pointed out the problems with collectivism. Marx, executed his argument of Communism with the ideology of collectivism as well as disregarded the effectiveness of individualism.
The basis of Communism is the ideology of collectivism. Marx claims that "Communism deprives no man of the power to appropriate the products of society" (Jacobus 470). This means that through the collective nature of communism, no one has any less or more power. In a Communist society, there aren't any political or economic difference between one individual to the next.
Promotes equality among individuals, creating a mutual agreement in regards to moral standards.
Since everyone owns private property, each individual has an incentive to work harder.
Citizens have the freedom to buy, sell and trade any products of manufacture, securing a satisfactory standard of living.
In a classless society, the foundations of civilization diminishes.
Collectivism destroys the rewards of competition within the economy.
The concept of individualism is embedded within the minds of those living in a capitalistic society. The conditions of individualism include citizens accommodating themselves, "great inequality of environment, the concentration of business, industrial and commercial, in the hands of a few and the law of competition between theses, as being not only beneficial, but essential for the future progress of the future" (Jacobus 486). Carnegie explains that individualism promotes independence and self-reliance which is an important characteristic in a capitalistic government.
Promotes the needs of the individuals and provides communication between different socioeconomic groups, leading to a stronger society.
Individuals that work hard enough and receive a good education have the opportunity to improve their standard of living.
Cons from Marx's Perspective
The wealth is controlled by a few and despite the efforts of the laborers and lower classes, there is an inequality within society.
Cons According to Carnegie
Capitalists believe the means of the production benefit the nation.
Carnegie argues, a world that "obtains commodities of excellent quality at prices which even the generation preceding this would have deemed incredible" (Jacobus 486). The building of factories allow the masses to enjoy commodities that have a fair price and good condition. Over time, the technology continues to improve, allowing the average citizen to products that used to be a luxury.
On the other hand, Communists think that the increase of mass production creates a negative effect on society.
Marx focuses on the working conditions of the employees, who are "crowded into factories" and "organized like soldiers...Not only are they the slaves of the bourgeois class and of the bourgeois state, they are daily and hourly enslaved by the machine, by the over looker, and above all, by the individual bourgeois manufacturer himself" (Jacobus 462). Besides the horrible sanitary conditions, the factory employees literally worked themselves to death. The lives of the workers were tied to huge, dangerous machines under the strict supervision of the bourgeois.
What is the industry of production like today?
Since Carnegie and Marx's time, new technology has found its way into the hands of the masses. Although creating numerous products that are affordable and great quality appears to be beneficial, consumerism has turned into the new opiate of the masses.
The industrial revolution changed the methods of
production which effects society in a positive and negative manner. In order to understand both perceptive, one must look closer at the capitalist view compared to the communist view.
In order to understand the unequal distribution of wealth in America, let's watch a video to visually see the extent of this economic problem.
The American culture encourages students to "work independently" and be told that "helping others may be cheating" (McLeskey). Teachers constantly tell students not to look at others papers during a test and that cheating will not help oneself in the long run. Education should be learned from hard work and dedication by oneself and not the dependence of others.
In addition, students should participate in class in order to strengthen their critical thinking (McLeskey). If students stay quiet and twiddle their thumbs in the back of the class, they are not active learners. In order to optimize a student's education, they must put in enough effort to clarify confusing concepts and grasp as much information as possible.
Although learning to become an individualist perspective provides students with valuable knowledge, there are alternative perspectives to teach students. Compared to students working independently, students need to learn to "work with their peers and provide assistance when needed" (McLeakey). Collaborating with other individuals allows students to solve problems from different perspectives. Also, through helping peers, students improve their educational and communication skills.
Furthermore, just because students don't vocally participate doesn't mean they aren't learning. In fact collectivists would say, "students are quiet and respectful in class in order to learn more efficiently" (McLeakey). Students who behave in a more reserved manner tend to actively listen instead of interrupting the teacher every five minutes. Sometimes the most effective way to learn is to pay attention to the guidance of the instructor.
Wait! What does the opiate of the masses mean?
During Marx's lifetime, religion was "the opiate of the masses" (qtd. in Cline). Religion, a type of ideology, that helps lower socioeconomic classes tolerate their lives because there might be a better life waiting for them in the afterlife. In general terms, the opiate of the masses is a type of ideology that the masses believe in because of the nation's exposure to cultural conditioning.
Let's watch this video to understand the effects of the supposedly harmless ideology of consumerism. Our nation has only been culturally conditioned into consumerism to boost the economy, that doesn't seem so bad right?
Also in modern-day America, there is a mixture of collectivism and individualism perspectives.