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Engines of Change: Karl Marx and Marxist Theory Essay

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Updated: Dec 8th, 2021

Canada has experienced massive job losses for the past five years with many people going into self-employment. In 2008, it was reported that many people were in lower employment opportunities. Statistics showed that by October 2009, 503,500 jobs were lost especially from women and young people. People preferred to work for their own businesses rather than for other people. There is a very high rate of job loss even today in Canada. Canadians are continuously leaving the corporate world and opening their own businesses.

Karl Marx urged that specialization could cause employees to have poor expertise in general and lack motivation in their jobs. He said that alienation makes employees focus on a particular activity over and over thus causing one to be totally isolated. He insisted that allowing division of labor employees get miserable both internally and physically. He stated further that for workers to be productive they require freedom and thus he insisted that specialization should occur temporarily when it is completely necessary.

Social class structures were defined in the United States in the early days. In modern society, there are still class structures that people fit in within the society. In the United States, people have various ways of classifying themselves by way of the wealth they have, power, status capability, education level, profession, and where they reside. Social class in modern society mainly refers to all aspects of an individual’s position in the societal chain of command. Many citizens in America define social class as just the upper class who are the rich in the society, the middle class as those working class, and the poor who are semi-skilled and living in poor living standards. However, many levels have been defined today including the upper class, which is for the wealthy and influential. The upper-middle-class belongs to those with good education and well-paying businesses. The lower middle class belongs to those who have college education jobs, office associates, secretarial, and blue-collar jobs with work that is regular. Then there is the lower class that is amid working poor and under rank.

Marx believed that class structures and how they change are what capitalism was all about. According to Marx, classes are made and prepared by issues that relate to occupation and labor, ownership of land, and the level of income. He stated that classes included the bourgeoisie as well as the proletariat. The other classes were not very essential like proprietors, minor bourgeoisie, peasants, and the lumpenproletariat. The Bourgeoisie are the ones who possess the capital, buying and taking advantage of manual labor. They were making use of excess manual labor available to advance their wealth. He argued that capitalists do not have just wealth but use their power to exploit manual laborers to achieve more riches.

The proletariats are those who had the potential to work with their own hands without any other form of resources. This means they had to look for work from the capitalist who was exploitive. Marx explained that landlords were a small group who were once landowners and powerful but had with time lost their essential position in manufacturing within the social order. They had to use their land as an investment in order for them to hang on to their status. The minor bourgeoisie and lower middle class were consisting of the small producers, shopkeepers, peasants and artisans. They had property but it was not enough to employ workers. They had to work so that they could make ends meet and that meant they had double life i.e. as small property owners and workers.

Plastic surgery has been on the increase in the modern society and Canada is not an exception. Many people today undergo plastic surgery to fix certain defects in their bodies. Women mostly and even young girls are the most frequent users of plastic surgery. People with fat bodies also under go the operation to help them reduce. Plastic surgery is also used to make a person look younger when they show signs of aging. Some of these people feel more at ease once they undergo the procedure and participate actively in many things.

Marx argued that commodity fetish is a way in which social relationships come up in commercial like communities. This means that social activities are changed into what can be said as objects of money. This can be illustrated in the case of plastic surgery where people have their bodies modified, like objects. He states that value is found in the objects like the body rather than being put to the bodies by working. This he states is misusing the concept of work which can bring harm to the person. He argues that people use the value of an object to get a certain benefit thus it becomes a commodity. This to him is not right because human beings should work to provide for themselves.

The other area that applies Marxist theory of fetish commodity is the idea of prostitution. This does not reflect the idea of work since individuals use their bodies to make money. This causes many problems for the body and the individual in using the body like an object. Marx argues that this is not right since it does not show how one is using his work to help the body. It is important to note that prostitution is making the body make money for you rather than working to protect the body. This can be harmful in many ways and it is unsafe. (Avineri)

Works Cited

Avineri, Shlomo.The Social and Political Thought of Karl Marx. Cambridge University Press, 1968.

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