Karl Marx and Andrew Carnegie concerning their ideologies on class tensions.

Topics: Working class, Social class, Marxism Pages: 5 (1802 words) Published: May 5, 2003
Throughout history competition has created bitter tension between social classes. Competition has occurred in every social structure that has existed to this day. Social structure has been the determining factor of competition: in essence the poorer classes have always tried to compete with the wealthier classes to seize their wealth and power; the greater the economical gap between the two opposing classes the fiercer the competition between them. Two highly esteemed and different people, Karl Marx and Andrew Carnegie, developed their own ideologies to resolve and ease class tension, that is, whether changes should be imposed on the structure and role of social classes. Another writer, Sam Keen illustrates the effect of competition in the extreme. Within their opposing and controversial views, there lies the more efficient social-economic resolution: a modified version of Carnegie's argument, despite the fact that it has some imperfections. The answer is determined by the acknowledgment by the powerful and the wealthy of certain responsibilities to the poorer classes. Each author feels that the competition within a capitalist society has definite effects on social structure but disagree as to what this effect is.

Competition exists in many forms and in our case it exists in the form of class struggles. The upper class, known as the bourgeois, possess wealth and power over the lower class, known as the proletariats, that consists of the working class in society. The battles between these two classes have ranged from verbal fighting to stages of bedlam and bloodshed. Financial stability allows the wealthy to fulfill their desires and needs by exploiting the working class to a great degree. In response, the working class engages in competing with the wealthy to overcome their control and establish itself as the ruling class. Unfortunately, relatively few people in the poor class ever achieve this goal, thereby showing the level of difficulty of overcoming a higher class authority. To this day true equality has not been established; instead some truce has developed, stemming from their dependency on each other.

A very honorable and well-known socialist, Karl Marx, argued that capital should be socially and not privately owned. He analyzed the conflict between the proletariat and the bourgeois and claimed that the constant battle between them, the never ending subordination of the proletariat, has only established new classes, new conditions of oppression, and new forms of struggle in place of the old. Marx believed that the bourgeois, the large middle class of merchants who rule society, have corrupted all the old values of society and turned them into monetary ones. By this he is taking the intellectuals and artists of society, the honorable personnel (those respected scientists and artists who contribute to society), and portrays how the bourgeois made them part of their workforce, thereby, removing all of their value in society. Marx is rather angry that free competition between the bourgeois has created tension in society, and moreover, has removed the natural values of society and replaced them with competitive monetary ones. He believes that with the growing class of the proletariat, eventually they will all unite and overthrow the bourgeois in an effort to revolutionize society and create unified distribution of wealth that removes all conflicts and battles between the classes. Removing competition will enable society to flourish at a constant rate and revive the humanistic values of society. Unfortunately, such an economic system cannot exist because there will always be people trying to garner more power and authority, and thereby aggregate large wealth that will throw off Marx's Utopian society.

In relation to the pursuit of wealth and control, society's structure is probably determined by the demands of society. According to Sam Keen, people are raised accordingly to the demands of their present society. If...
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