Capitalism and its critics

  1. The Legacy of Robert Owen to the Population of the World – Robert Owen (1834)
    1. Author
      1. Robert Owen (1771-1858)
      2. English cotton manufacturer
      3. “Utopian” socialist
      4. Advocated for universal education for children and workers’ rights
    2.  Context
      1. Owen is addressing members of the Grand National Consolidated Trades Union of Great Britain and Ireland
      2. Written during a time of rebellion
    3. Language
      1. Negative and outraged at the foundations of society.
    4. Audience
      1. For people in rebellion of the unjust system put in place.
    5. Intent
      1. To have people ignore the system and the ideas it puts in individuals. Advocate the value of man and producers of wealth.
    6. Message
      1. Society creates evil and prevents the good that man is evidently destined for.
  2. The Incoherence and Disorder of Industry- Comte de Saint-Simon
    1. Author:
      1. Claude Henri de Rouvroy – Comte de Saint-Simon
      2. European observer of early industrialization
    2. Context
      1. Written during the French Revolution for people of the Third Estate.
    3. Language
      1. Positive and persuasive writing.
    4. Audience
      1. His fellow commoners of the third estate.
    5. Intent
      1. Change the economic system that is intended on destroying your enemies to gain wealth, happiness and glory.
    6. Message
      1. The system needs to be changed to address the needs of the commoners.
  3. Estranged Labour – Karl Marx (1844)
    1. Author
      1. Karl Marx
      2. German philosopher and revolutionary socialist
      3. Created Marxism
    2.  Context
      1. Marx set out to develop a theory of Socialism grounded in a better understanding of both economics and philosophy.
      2. Analyzes labor industry and how its cycle affects workers.
    3. Language
      1. Positive and assertive, using economic facts and to assert his ideas.
    4. Audience
      1. Meant for intellectuals and people that are in the workforce.
      2. The commoner and the proletariat
    5. Intent
      1. To demonstrate alienation as the idea that human beings can become out of sync with the world they live in arguing that alienation arises from the way human beings regard their own labor.
    6. Message
      1. The products don’t belong to the worker. The more the worker produces, the less the worker has.


3 thoughts on “Capitalism and its critics

  1. While I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post, I actually somewhat disagree with the “Language” of your Comte De Saint-Simon piece. While it was certainly persuasive and convincing, I felt it had more a negative tone than a positive one. Time and time again it seemed he formulated negative thoughts and attempted to debunk the laissez-faire thought process. He instead advocated for an “industrialized state directed by science” and made it known his opinion that personal and social interests do not always coincide.

  2. Great job of dissecting each of the readings. It’s clear you put in a lot of time to look at all three of the texts. I found the same message as you did with Marx’s writing, how workers are become more and more cheap as they produce more. In his time, he was very forward thinking when suggesting the new industry wasn’t all it was supposed to be.

  3. The post you made was very well organized, my only critique is that you assert that the writing “The Incoherence and Disorder of Industry” was positive towards the idea of lassiez-faire. Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought the tone was more dark.

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