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Karl Marx's Vision of History

Wage labor rests exclusively on competition between the laborers" (Marx 2005, part I). Thus, the bourgeoisie have a vested interest in maintaining the proletariat as a divided entity that competes within itself.

As the bourgeoisie consolidated its hold on power in the dawn of capitalism, however, the proletariat emerged even worse off than they had been. According to Marx, as the capitalist system expanded and became reliant on the use of machines, "the work of the proletarians has lost all individual character, and, consequently, all charm for the workman. He becomes an appendage of the machine, and it is only the most simple, most monotonous, and most easily acquired knack, that is required of him" (Marx 2005, part I). According to Marx, then, the workers have, famously, become alienated from the fruits of their labor through the mechanization of the means of production. As the proletariat first becomes conscious of the problems inherent to capitalist production, they focus their resistance and struggle on the forms of production rather than the system itself├╣such as localized labor strikes, or a Luddite attack on a factory or plant. The initial phase of proletarian resistance is not focused on the bourgeoisie, but rather on the means of production themselves (Reynolds 1997). When profit becomes the over-riding goal, the worker becomes less important and his work product becomes more important. Eventually, the worker and his product seem to become two separate things because the worker has no personal interest in the work product (Marx 1980). This alienation means the worker no longer feels human because, for Marx, "the productive life is the life of the species" (Marx 1980, p. 76). The worker becomes "self-conscious" when he becomes aware of this alienation. Then, only when they have become "self-conscious" of their deprivations would the working classes begin to agitate for more (Coser 2003). On the other hand, Marx be...

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Karl Marx's Vision of History. (2000, January 01). In Retrieved 10:36, March 27, 2017, from
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