Capitalism withinAmerica has not only benefitted our country, but the entire world; havingexpanded over the globe pushing the economic boundaries of many continents, andconverting them into a 1st world country. Within these countries lieindividuals who have acquired unmatched levels of financial abundance, throughthe actions of entrepreneurship and globalization.
Nevertheless, when takinginto account the elitists who own such a high percentage of the global affluence,it cannot go unnoticed that the enormous wealth gap between these fewcapitalist alongside the rest of all social classes remains a predicament thathas been left disregarded in political matters for more than a century. Thus, ithas led to debates focusing on whether the current economic system is a just one.For Example, Andrew Carnegie, in “The Gospel of Wealth” explains that the richhave earned the right to spend their fortune as they see fit, and stated thatthe rich watch over lower classes assisting them in the “proper administrationof wealth”, which in Carnegies’ eyes would lead to cooperation between echelons.
On the contrary, Karl Marx, in “The Communist Manifesto” disputes that ruling capitalist’sact as leeches to society only wanting to selfishly enlarge profits, andfurther their ambitions by exploiting their workers. Marx’s argument betweenthe rich and poor is more convincing than Carnegie’s notions of segregationbetween classes because, Marx believes that although capitalism has broughtupon an increase in the standard of living for all partitions, at its pinnacle,the division in society splits farther apart due to the assets one has acquiredthrough the exertion of others.Throughmeans of subjugation and exploitation, an issue brought into the limelight inthe “The Communist Manifesto” and the “The Gospel of Wealth” would be the expositionof labor. As time progressed, the method of producing capital boiled down, tohow much labor you can extract from your workers while paying the lowest wagespossible in order to increase profits. In “The Communist Manifesto”, Marxstates that, “The bourgeoisie is unfit to rule because it is incompetent toassure an existence to its slave within his slavery, because it cannot helpletting him sink into such a state it has to feed him, instead of being fed byhim” (347).
For this reason, Marx believes the bourgeoisie see the proletariatas nothing more than an object for the method of producing financial means forone’s own gain; ultimately, exploiting their workers for the betterment oftheir company. Moreover, this can relate to Marx’s “Labor Theory of Value”, inwhich the value of an assigned commodity can be eventually traced to the laborneeded to construct it. Therefore, the focus of this would be that theprinciple goal of a capitalist is to accumulate the commodity of currency in amarket full of competition. Inthe primitive times of man, the rules given by nature were straightforward;life consisted of competing for, a place to live, a mate, and finding enoughfood to keep you nourished. Which, up to this day in society these rules stillapply, to a certain extent. There are many variants of competition, whichexists across the world, throughout occasions, this has brought upon more harmthan good within a society.
The disputation between Marx and Carnegie on the upperclass (known as the bourgeoisie), and the lower class (known as proletariats)are a prime example of this, these two classes fight between each other,ranging from word of mouth to the wounding of many. According to Carnegie,”Under the law of competition, the employers of thousands is forced into thestrictest economies, among which the rates paid to labor figure prominently,and often there is friction between the employer and the employed, betweencapital and labor, between rich and poor” (365). In essence, Carnegie believesthat an individual who is part of the bourgeoisie or, once an individual entersthe society of the bourgeoisie, is then in the hardest position of the socioeconomicclass. This contrasts distinctly with the ideas of Marx, which debates that themain purpose of the bourgeoisie class is to immerse in capital gained through modificationof wage labor, which in turn, causes critical living conditions for theproletariat: “The essential condition for the existence, and for the sway ofthe bourgeois class, is the formation and augmentation of capital. …. Whatthe bourgeoisie therefore produces, above all, are its own grave diggers. Itsfall and the victory of the proletariat are equally inevitable” (347). Conversely,Marx creates an image, which displays that the proletariats depended on the lowwages given by employers due to the competition for labor, thus, hadfiguratively turned them into slaves of the bourgeoisie; specifically,depriving them the enjoyment of working and the struggle for obtaining theirbasic needs.
The differences brought upon by these viewpoints shows how eachside faces struggles of their own, but ultimately the lower class must take thefall in the end.Socialclasses steer the population to become separated from one another, andconsequently from themselves as well. As stated by Carnegie, “When visiting theSioux, I was led to the wigwam of the chief. It was just like the others inexternal appearance, … the difference was trifling between it and those ofthe poorest of his braves. The contrast between the palace of the millionaireand the cottage of the laborer … measures the change which has come withcivilization” (364). Carnegie observing the Native Americans, and calling them”uncivilized” due to the unobservable differences in status is the leading example of how socioeconomicclasses separates one from another believing that just because, an individualdoes not own materialistic objects, (such as, Mansions, Cars, or Jewelry) that dictatesone wealth from the rest. On the other hand, Marx believes that when pursuingCommunism, the principle of “Alienation” which is caused by capitalism, repealsitself.
Then forth, every individual no matter status is equal to one another,and not seen as more than a commodity for labor and capital.Marx’sperspective on capitalism mainly focuses on the socioeconomic effects that industrialismhas brought about differ from Carnegie’s (Such topics as the financial wealthone gains, the property owned, the clash between related industries, and theill-treatment of the Blue-Collar worker). With “The Communist Manifesto” facingthe social problems of governing within a society, meanwhile “The Gospel ofWealth” overlooks the affairs of our economy. While this is the case, when it came down tomatters of communal problems brought upon by the industrial era, andthe harnessing of the working population, their views would coincide with oneanother. Consequently, the lower classes have and will always struggle when putagainst the wealthy as they have aimed to grasp the same lifestyle as theirs.
Asa result, the rich get richer, while the poor not only aim for a better income,but also strive to seek academic and life prosperity.