question:For example, can you explain how and why class struggle is intrinsically linked to capitalism? What do you mean when you say there is “no equilibrium” in Marx’s model? And what does it mean to say that the company president “owns the means of production”?
work:Marx’s theory of class conflict posited that all social conflict in the modern industrial society could be explained by a class struggle between the working class (proletariat) and the owners of production (bourgeoisie). He posited that this struggle is intrinsically linked to capitalism. According to Marx, this conflict is not a byproduct of capitalism, but its core ingredient.There is no equilibrium to be achieved in this model; the classes will always be locked in conflict with each other. Marx theorized that social change was brought about by a conflict of interests between the various social classes. The industrial revolution brought on sociological change because it provided more power to the bourgeoisie at the expense of the proletariat who became forced to work for them en masse in their factories in order to earn a wage.
Modern Times is a 1936 Charlie Chaplin comedy film designed to satirize the degradation of society and exploitation of the lower classes as a result of industrialization. The first 20 minutes of the film play on the changes brought on by automation as a result of the industrial revolution. These 20 minutes perfectly illustrate Marx’s theory of class conflict. The very first shot of the film is a flock of sheep, followed immediately by the similar image of a herd of workers on their morning commute to the factory. This herd of workers is the proletariat. As they head to work, we see their bosses (the bourgeoisie) stand over them on high platforms as if overlooking their property. While the factory workers are hard at work, the company president is in his office, leisurely solving a jigsaw puzzle. He does not need to work because he owns the means of production and merely reaps the benefits of his workers’ sweat. The bosses who oversee the assembly line are shown to be in constant conflict with the workers they oversee This is in line with Marx’s writings on interclass strife. Chaplin’s “The Tramp” character is so overworked that he ends up having a mental breakdown. Here, we see the bourgeoisie ruthlessly overwork the proletariat who only own their labor and sell it cheaply for a wage.
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