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Marxist View Of The Capitalistic Mode Of Production And Exploitation

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Karl Marx's view on the capitalistic mode of production highlights the exploitative nature of this economic system and points to its development as a necessary continuation of feudal societies many centuries ago. He demonstrates how the bourgeoisie take advantage of the labor power of the proletariat, creating profit and fueling the expansion necessary to keep profit margins at acceptable levels. Marx argues that this economic system, in which capital is the basis of wealth, sprung from the fall of feudalism when the means of production made obsolete the feudalistic relations of production, in which ownership of land was the basis of wealth. His claim, therefore, that capitalistic societies are exploitative class societies is true when one considers the relationship between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat in our own modern economic system.

Marx claims that societies which make use of the capitalistic mode of production are exploitative, and this claim is proven through his description of the needs of this system and the ways in which the bourgeoisie fulfill those needs. The capitalist mode of production requires exploitation because it relies on the profit created when labor is bought in one market and the product of that labor is sold in that or another market at a higher price. The difference between the cost of labor input and the revenue of product output is the surplus value, which according to Marx is directly related to surplus labor, which can also be defined as profit. Because the means of production, or the technology, machinery, and methods involved in production, are so far advanced, the old mode of production of feudal society is not a viable option for a member of the proletariat to sustain himself. Therefore, he his bound to the bourgeoisie and is dependent upon it to give payment for his capacity to provide labor.

This dependency of the proletariat upon the bourgeoisie constitutes the choke-hold which the latter has on the well being of the former, and allows for profit to be accumulated in the upper class. Since the proletariat is reliant upon the bourgeoisie for wages, or more concretely the means to survive, the bourgeoisie are able to set prices for labor artificially low. This upper class then finds a market in which the fruits of proletariat labor can be reaped at a higher price, and the surplus value of that transaction is hoarded by the bourgeoisie. It is important to note that these wealthy persons have considerable incentive to reinvest their profits into the means of production, thereby improving technology and lowering input costs, but at the same time furthering the dependence of the proletariat on the bourgeoisie by making the prospect of a return to the old modes of production increasingly less viable. However, Marx argues that this process cannot sustain itself without the fulfillment of certain conditions.

The capitalist mode of production relies upon an expanding market and the constant overhaul of the means of production, though these requirements are not always met and the result is economic crises. Marx argues that it is essential for these conditions to be met in order to keep profit margins from falling to unacceptable levels at which the economy will inevitably sink into depression or recession. However, he also acknowledges the impossibility of maintaining economic stability over the long run and submits that there will always be instances of economic crisis.

Marx's reasoning demonstrates how the capitalist mode of production arose from the fall of feudalistic methods when the means of production had advanced beyond the relations of production in the middle ages, and thus much has changed. For instance, instead of the simple two class system Marx outlines in modern capitalist society, feudalistic relations of production involved a complicated class structure, involving the lords, vassals, guild masters, journeymen, apprentices, and serfs. Each of these classes fulfilled an important function towards the beginning of the feudalistic era, but the bourgeoisie had begun to siphon power from lords and vassals by the decline. The rise of a bourgeoisie



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