I found it captivating to read The Communist Manifesto Party by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels shortly after discussing Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations. Smith advocated for industrialization and capitalism in his work. He believed that as a states’ wealth and productivity grew, class disparities within that state would decrease. Marx and Engels disagreed with this idea. Wealthier, stronger entities dominated over less developed ones for centuries during the time these authors wrote their works.… Read the rest here
Marx, Saint-Simon, and Owen both address the inherent issues of capitalism. In his writing of “Estranged Labour”, Marx suggests that the worker will never be satisfied because of labor’s “alienation.” As workers produce more, the owners and employers take in the product and become wealthier—the workers gain little. Individuals work for survival purposes; they do not partake in labor because of any passion or interest. Because the worker gains nothing except for the ability to survive, the worker becomes alien to not only himself, but society.… Read the rest here
Most Americans would argue that a capitalist economy is one of the strongest factors in forming a nation, however Karl Marx and Comte de Saint Simon, two enlightened philosophers, found major flaws in this system. Marx points out in his essay “Estranged Labor” how a capitalist economy alienates certain workers. Specifically he pointed out how some workers do not own the goods they produce and solely work for others, which in turn lends to a loss of self.… Read the rest here
Comte de Saint-Simon disparaged laissez-faire industry in “The Incoherence and Disorder of Industry”, saying that capitalists are not concerned with the well being of society and are solely individuals looking to profit. This leads to men emphasizing their cunning and shrewdness and leading them to be “lost to humanity”.1 Marx took an equally negative stance on capitalism in “Estranged Labor” although he chose to focus on the worker and not the capitalist. Marx argued that every step of the production process estranges the worker from the product they are creating, as the more the worker produces, the less he is able to possess.… Read the rest here
Watching Aleksandrov’s “Circus” it’s certainly hard to not notice the main message of the film, propaganda of national equality and tolerance among the soviet people. However, the plot itself is based on another interesting idea.
“To catch up and overtake [capitalists/America/etc]” is the slogan used for a really long time to explain the motivation of soviet people to work hard to reach the level of the Western countries and to be better then they are in everything.… Read the rest here
- The Legacy of Robert Owen to the Population of the World – Robert Owen (1834)
- Robert Owen (1771-1858)
- English cotton manufacturer
- “Utopian” socialist
- Advocated for universal education for children and workers’ rights
- Owen is addressing members of the Grand National Consolidated Trades Union of Great Britain and Ireland
- Written during a time of rebellion
- Negative and outraged at the foundations of society.
- For people in rebellion of the unjust system put in place.
The economic collapse in 1928 left the United States close to ruin. Jobs didn’t come easily, and when they did, workers often found themselves over worked, under paid, and without viable options for social and economic upward mobility. The same can be said for Nazi Germany. Suffering both from the crushing debt accumulated after the First World War and the global effects of the American economic collapse, the German people found themselves in a similar situation to the Americans.… Read the rest here
“These workers, forced to sell themselves piecemeal, are a commodity like every other article of commerce, and are consequently exposed to all the vicissitudes of competition, and all the fluctuations of the market.”
I chose this passage because it relates directly to the readings and class topics that have been discussed over the past week. It expresses very similar ideas to those of Oastler and Heine, and the tones are very similar to Marx’s estranged labor.… Read the rest here
Owen, Comte de St. Simon, and Marx share similar disdain for laissez faire economies. All three vilify the effects of a free market, in stark contrast to the beliefs of Adam Smith. Owen and Comte de St. Simon are most explicit in their attacks on the free market, blaming its systems and its supporters for the overwhelming decadence of industrial Europe. They argue that laissez faire economies rewards those who exploit others while punishing those with any shred of decency or respect for their fellow man.… Read the rest here
All three of the historians that we examined had different viewpoints regarding economics than did Adam Smith. While Smith believed laissez-faire capitalism was the best economic method a country could employ, his opponents (Marx, Saint-Simon and Owens) all believed that it belittled the poor to such an extent that it was not a viable option. Although the capitalist method increases production to unforeseen levels, it creates an undeniable divide between social classes. The owners of the companies become much richer than the working class people, while all they have to do is sit down and watch the money being made in front of their eyes.… Read the rest here