PowerPoint Slideshow about 'Marxist Theory of Power' - havyn
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Marxists define capitalism as ‘commodity production’. A commodity being an item produced for sale in a market place.
Marxists oppose capitalism because they see it as anti social – workers get exploited via the wages system, and goods and services are only produced if they can be sold for profits
The motivation for production is therefore ‘greed’ rather than ‘need’
There is an essential conflict in capitalist society between owners and workers
Political Marxists suggest that eventually this conflict will lead to proletarian consciousness leading to communist revolution.
Power in capitalist society (both force and ideological power) is therefore deployed by the bourgeoisie to make sure such revolution does NOT happen and that existing capitalist system is reproduced and perpetuated.
Capitalism is seen by Marxists as the latest economic system in history – earlier systems such as feudalism were brought down by class conflict as will capitalism eventually. The struggle between classes is seen as the motor which drives history forwards.
Determinism – Marxism sees economics as the determinant of everything in society and everything in history
Capitalism has not developed in the ways Marx predicted – the class structure is more complex than the two class model offered – the distribution of power in society could therefore also be more complex
Contradictory? Revolutionary consciousness and false consciousness – early Marxists suggested that the experience of capitalism (low wages, long hours and exploitation) would result in the working class becoming conscious and revolutionary. Later Marxists have emphasised the role of the superstructure creating ‘false consciousness’ amongst the workers leading to the working class accepting and consenting to the capitalist system as natural and desirable.