Karl Marx: The German Ideology: Part I



In German Ideology Marx talks about impact of capitalism on working class and upper class or “Bourgeois.” Before capitalism social classes were divided as land owners and serfs, in capitalism the social classes are divided as bourgeois and working class. In capitalism bourgeois “own the means of production” means capital; land and factories are under their control. The working class sells their time and creativity to bourgeois in order to earn money. This money is not adequate to accomplish all the human needs and wants of the workers. The money earn by the workers is for their survival. To satisfy their hunger so that they can work in order to feed themselves again on the next day. It is a vicious circle of work and eating; work so that they can eat and eat so that they can work. In fact working class is selling its time, energy, talent and creativity to fulfill their needs. Workings class don’t sell their time and energy because they want to sell it, they sell it because they need to sell it. Thus, it is a social and economic pressure on working class which makes them sell their time and talent to bourgeois for sake of mere survival not because of their free well. Moreover, due to privatization of common land the number of workers was more than job opportunities. This leads to cheap workers and exploitation of workers by factories owners, accumulation of wealth in few hands and majority of the people struggle for survival. Division of labour also benefits upper class because due to specialization now workers are producing more goods in less time but their wages are not increased. Division of labour also takes away a personal interest of the individuals over the needs and demands of a society. Marx argues that due to division of labour working class are more exploited and bourgeois get utmost benefit.


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