In this essay I plan to analyze the claim by Karl Marx that the bourgeoisie class produces its own "gravediggers". I will first present a definition of the bourgeoisie and the proletariat classes along with what Marx means by his claim. After discussing Marx's claim and his support I will assert that his claim is false and was based on a false assumption. I will argue that Marx does not allow the possibility of an adaptation on behalf of the bourgeoisie. Furthermore, that Marx contradicts his claim with his own ideologies from his critique of capitalism. Finally, Marx adopts historical determinism to support his view which has proven to be flawed. The claim that the bourgeoisie produces its own gravediggers is based on circumstantial evidence and is therefore false. In order to comprehend the claim made by Marx one would have to understand the bourgeoisie and proletariat classes,
the proletariat are those who control no significant means of production and must make a living by selling the use of their labor powers to other who do. The bourgeoisie are these others, people exercising significant control over means of production and mainly deriving their income from the sale of what proletarians working these means produce. The two classes are "two great hostile camps," since the competitive bourgeois drive for profits creates relentless pressure to reduce wages and to eliminate individualized ways of working that conflict with industrial routines (Miller, 408).
A general definition provided by Richard Miller, from an introduction to Karl Marx, allows an understanding of the two classes. With history of class conflicts and the rise of capitalism, Marx claims that the bourgeoisie have created their own gravediggers. The development of modern industry, therefore, cuts from under its feet the very foundation on which the bourgeoisie produces and appropriates products. What the bourgeoisie, therefore, produces, above all, is its own gravediggers. Its fall and the victory of the proletariat are equally inevitable (Marx, 429).
A strong claim made by Marx which he supports with specific criteria and preconditions, which will subsequently be discussed, for a revolt of the proletariat class. Marx fears that the bourgeoisie has produced its own means to an end however, I plan to argue against this claim proving that Marx was too quick to assume the results of a modern class conflict.
Marx fails to foresee the possibility of success, instead assuming that with the proper conditions a proletariat rebellion is inevitable. What Marx believes to be self- evident is in reality a problematic claim. What Marx fails to realize is that the bourgeoisie encompass the ability to adapt to certain circumstances. Contemporary history has provided the data to display that the proletariat class can be purchased. In addition, Marx could not see that an increase in production would logically lead to an increase in wages and therefore and increased standard of living. Marx's analysis is too narrow-minded and does not take into consideration capitalism as it relates to the entire country. Included in the Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844, Marx addresses the issue of an increase in wages, An enforced increase of wages (disregarding all other difficulties, including the fact that it would only be by force, too, that the higher wages, being an anomaly, could be maintained) would therefore be nothing but better payment for the slave, and would not win either for the worker or for labor their human status and dignity (Marx, 416).
Marx's argument against this increase in wages is accurate for the portion that concerns itself with human dignity. However, Marx did not realize that dignity would be disregarded by the proletariat for an increased financial status. Furthermore, Marx fails to...
Cited: Marx, Karl. Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844. In Political Philosophy; The Essential Texts. Steven M. Cahn ed. New York: Oxford University Press 2005.
Marx, Karl. Manifesto of the Communist Party. In Political Philosophy; The Essential Texts. Steven M. Cahn ed. New York: Oxford University Press 2005.
Miller, Richard. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. In Political Philosophy; The Essential Texts. Steven M. Cahn ed. New York: Oxford University Press 2005.
Walker, Kathryn. Social and Political Philosophy, Philo: 2060. York University. 20 July 2005.
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