Marxist Critique Of Capitalism Essay

How Relevant Is the Marxist Critique of Capitalism to the Analysis of the Modern International System?

2040 Words9 Pages

Throughout the past century, the modern international system has been characterized by dominant practices in all of its distinct sectors. In the economic sector, capitalism has been a key economic activity since the 16th century in the form of mercantilism (Encyclopædia Britannica Online 2014). Since then, capitalism has evolved to become the principal economic model in the modern international system in the form of neo-liberal capitalism. For this reason, it has been shaping, and continues to shape, societies on a global scale.

Although it can be said that capitalism has prospered throughout the centuries and has turned into a strong economic practice, it hasn’t been exempt of criticism. Marxist school of thought sets forth the most…show more content…

Throughout the past century, the modern international system has been characterized by dominant practices in all of its distinct sectors. In the economic sector, capitalism has been a key economic activity since the 16th century in the form of mercantilism (Encyclopædia Britannica Online 2014). Since then, capitalism has evolved to become the principal economic model in the modern international system in the form of neo-liberal capitalism. For this reason, it has been shaping, and continues to shape, societies on a global scale.

Although it can be said that capitalism has prospered throughout the centuries and has turned into a strong economic practice, it hasn’t been exempt of criticism. Marxist school of thought sets forth the most challenging critiques capitalism has encountered. Marxist doctrine emerged in the 19th century with Karl Marx, along with Friedrich Engels (Encyclopædia Britannica Online 2014). Their critiques focus on the modes of production and determine class struggle as the central dynamic within the capitalist economic model, which as a result produce injustice and social inequality. These critiques had a global impact in the 19th and 20th century because they proposed a new and different way of understanding the international system. In more recent years, Marxist ideas have been exceedingly influential in opening the path to new theoretical developments in International Relations discipline.

With the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet

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Karl Marx and Capitalism Essay

880 Words4 Pages

Karl Marx, in the Capital, developed his critique of capitalism by analyzing its characteristics and its development throughout history. The critique contains Marx’s most developed economic analysis and philosophical insight. Although it was written in 1850s, its values still serve an important purpose in the globalized world and maintains extremely relevant in the twenty-first century. Karl Marx’s critique of political economy provides a scientific understanding of the history of capitalism. Through Marx’s critique, the history of society is revealed. Capitalism is not just an economic system in Marx’s analysis. It’s a “specific social form of labor” that is strongly related to society. Marx’s critique of capitalism provides us a deep…show more content…

Capitalism’s profits are produced by the surplus value comes from the unpaid, exploited workers. The workers’ wages, under the system of capitalism, are not equal to the value of their labors. Their wages are kept down to the subsistent level in order to maintain profits for the capitalists.
Just like the slaves in slavery and the serfs in feudalism, the wage-laborers are exploited tremendously. Capitalism, under the disguise of fair exchanges, carries its exploitation nature from previous economic systems. Many proponents of capitalism argue that the wealth is shared with the workers. But is it true? According to an annual report in 2008, an average American CEO makes as much money in one day compared to what an average worker earns in one year1. And the disparity between business leaders and average workers continues to grow over time. From 1990 to 2005, the CEO’s salaries increased almost 300%, while a worker received a scant 4.3%2. The social consequence of this disparity is the concentration of wealth on a small percentage of population.

In Capital, Karl Marx reveals the ugly truth that capitalism lays on the foundation of class exploitation. Without such exploitation, there is no profit to be made and capitalism will cease to exist. Capitalism, which relies on the reproduction of capital, creates and concentrates wealth to a small portion of society’s population while reproducing poverty and widening the size of inequality. Class

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