Marx's Contribution To Democracy Essay

2811 words - 12 pages

Karl Marx's contribution to politics has been plentiful. His theories, and insights into capitalism have reminded many that despite democratic principles, and ideals, societies can yet still produce, and promote great economic inequality among different classes. This fact is most evident among today's Western society where democracy has become a word intertwined with freedom, and equal opportunity, but where the politically, and economically powerful have used it to justify greater economic imbalance, and have put a stranglehold on ensuring that the system remains the same. But though Marx's theories have been able to deductively elucidate, and highlight this repetitive cycle of economic ...view middle of the document...

The foundation of society would be the economy in which the cultural, political, and social aspects would be built upon. And as seen within most capitalist democracies today, their cultures, and social institutions rest upon capitalist ideals. Those who own and control the economy in Western democracies, ultimately control those other aspects within their society.Class struggles, and conflict, is another concept of Marx's which is highly evident within Western-style democracies. Where democracies evolve to societies insistent upon capitalism, and privatization of property, the interests of the proletariat and bourgeoisie will differ substantially. (McLennan, 1989, 142) They interact through the means of production and become mutually dependent upon one another to the point where this dependency dominates their relationship. But, it will be this dominance, which will generate a kind of social continuity between the classes which will be responsible for an economy that will function on the exploitation of the majority. Marx then insists upon how the differing interests will amount to conflict, which in turn, will lead to social change. He claims that the proletariat will feel alienated, and that the worker will realize that he/she is employed on the basis of their ability to fit into the division of labor rather than their creative skills. Though it is not disputed that the worker will feel alienated, rarely in today's modern democratic society, does a revolt occur where a shift in power ensues like Marx describes. Those who own the means of production often keep them with the government's assistance. Political power often relies on the wealthy, and the wealthy is often those who own the means of production. Legislation, and policies will develop not to assist the worker's emancipation from economic captivity, but rather to aid the bourgeoisie into further strengthening their economic security, and increasing the inequalities between the two. But because the proletariats believe they are protected under the shield of democracy, they become cloaked from the alienation that capitalism promotes. This is why revolutions can't, and don't happen, because those who are disadvantaged, often don't realize it, and hence, aren't able to do anything about it. The economy they so much support, is driven too much by the motivation of profit rather than the satisfaction of human need. And through the rapid improvement of production instruments and the improving, powerful means of communication, even the most underdeveloped nations turned, and evolved into civilizations focused on production. Capitalism, would then evolve into globalization. This, Marx argues, is the major reason why all other systems, communism included, found themselves chasing the idea of wealth through production. (Teeple, 1984, 44) Western democracy, through its emphasis on accumulation, and market expansion, has taken the next step towards globalization, and has moved it to the forefront of...

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