Marxist Analysis Essay
Marxism is a social, political, and economic ideology pioneered by German philosophers, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, in the early part of the 19th century. This ideology interprets human development through the history from materialistic point of view. Marxists hold that materialism is the foundation of society since; human beings must satisfy their basic needs before embarking on secondary needs such as politics, arts, science, and religion, among others.
Since capitalism is a dominant economic system, Marxist analysis suggests that capitalism oppresses the poor and empowers the rich; thus, it creates two antagonistic classes in society, which ultimately lead to revolution struggle of classes. Rosenberg (2007) argues that Marxists perceive capitalism as a form of an economic system that creates inequality in the society by favouring accumulation of wealth and class struggles (p. 8).
Therefore, Marxist analysis of a capitalism system on the international scale shows that it entails accumulation of capital from the poor countries into the rich countries thus causes global inequality and class struggles among nations. The existence of massive global inequality validates Marxist analysis that capitalism enhances global inequality.
Exploitation of Resources
Marxists view international relations as a complex system of capitalism that has penetrated and integrated into every aspect of production in the world. Since the basic ideology of capitalism is to accumulate wealth, developed countries employed capitalism system to infiltrate into developing countries, acquire resources, and control various modes of production.
During the colonial times, developed countries scrambled for resources in developing countries and accumulated a considerable deal of wealth, for they did not only obtain raw materials for their industries, but also cheap labour.
Milios (2000) asserts that there was massive exploitation of resources from developing countries during the colonial period, which led to unequal development of nations across the world (p.285). Thus, the economic, social, and political development gaps between developed and developing countries are attributes of capitalism system according to Marxist analysis.
It is true that, after colonialism, developing countries attained their independence; regrettably, neo-colonialism persisted as developing countries still employed capitalism strategies by establishing multinational companies. The objective of establishing multinational companies was to control modes of production and create monopoly in the industrial sector.
Since industries contribute significantly to economic growth and development of a country, monopolization of industries, by multinational companies, provides an opportunity for developed countries to amass wealth, a practice that leads to inequality.
According to Walker and Greenberg (2003), monopolization of industries by multinational companies infiltrated the ideology of industrial capitalism that led into increased cost of manufactured goods (p.38). The cost of manufactured goods increased since multinational companies wanted to exploit industrial resources and reap huge profits. Ultimately, industrial capitalism resulted into global inequality as resources flowed from developing countries to industrialized nations.
Marxists also argue that global inequality occurs due to unequal distribution of power and resources among various classes of people created by capitalistic systems. Capitalism creates different classes of people because accessibility to income-generating resources or employment, determines one’s capacity to emancipate from economic oppression in a capitalistic system.
Marxists argue that working classes are people who ensure that routine activities run in industries, for they perform activities such as producing commodities, selling, and managing organizational tasks under capitalist management that exploits them maximally.
Wolff and Zacharias (2007) argue that, from 1989 to 2000, interclass inequality in the United States increased from 30% to 42% (p.24). This trend is also similar in Europe since capitalist classes accumulate most resources with time. Overall, interclass inequality is increasing across the world since the current economic systems are virtually capitalistic.
Domination of the Markets
Marxists perceive globalization as a construct of capitalism that results into power and class struggles. Individual members of the society are competing for the available resources so that they can attain social classes of their choice.
Moreover, countries and mega-companies are also striving to achieve international domination by keeping abreast with the demands of globalization. Given that the global economy is subject to local factors such as surplus and deficits, consumers and producers, which regulate it delicately in the world of capitalism, inequality is a weak link that determines their movement.
Thus, from a Marxist point of view, capitalism is shaping individual, companies, society and countries through globalization towards power and class struggles. Kuhn (2011) argues that globalization provides capitalists with international infrastructure that they employ to penetrate countries and amass wealth through free markets (p.17). Therefore, creation of free-market provides a favorable business environment that allows free movement of goods, services, and capital; therefore, it enhances global inequality.
Since developed countries have a competitive advantage in the world’s market, they advocate for liberalized trade and free markets. According to a Marxist analysis, the wave of globalization that is sweeping across the world is preparing countries to enter into liberalized trade and free markets, which are very competitive for developing countries to survive.
In the liberalized trade, no one regulates the movement of goods and services since they self-regulate through forces of supply and demand. The forces of supply and demand increase inequality as essential goods and services will move to developed countries leaving developed countries with deficiency.
Heilbroner (1999) asserts that globalization increases competitiveness in local and international markets, which subsequently increases inequality in trade potential (p.9). Since goods and services from developing countries face stiff competition in the liberalized markets, developing countries fetch low gross domestic product and achieve low economic growth, which is a factor of inequality.
Also, human resources are critical resources that a country depends on because; labor plays a significant role in economic growth and development of a nation. In the face of globalization and liberalized trade, developed countries tend to lose labor resources due to emigration of workers in search of better labor markets.
Easterling (2003) asserts that globalization dictates market wages and the extent of brain drain (p.5). Massive brain drain towards developed countries is a major challenge that is facing developing countries since it slows down economic growth and development, and aggravates states of inequality between the countries.
The existence of massive global inequality validates Marxist analysis that capitalism enhances global inequality. According to Wright (1999), Marxist analysis concludes that capitalism system is responsible for enhanced inequality in the world characterized by class and power struggles (p.16). Through capitalism, developed countries have been exploiting developing countries directly, by accumulating resources, and indirectly, through liberalization of markets.
Direct exploitation involves acquiring of resources, monopolization of industries, and use of cheap labor, while indirect exploitation involves giving unfair competition in markets, globalization of markets forces, and brain drain. Under influential economic forces of capitalism, developing countries are disadvantaged and thus trail in economic growth and development. Ultimately, global inequality increases due to capitalistic economic system.
Easterling, S., 2003. Marx’s Theory of Economic Crisis. International Social Review, 32, pp. 1-23.
Heilbroner, R., 1999. Marx’s Analysis of Capitalism. The Worldly Philosophers, pp.1-9.
Kuhn, R., 2011. Karl Max and Frederick Engels: Manifesto of Communist Party 1848. Communist League, pp.1-32.
Milios, J., 2000. Social Classes in Classical and Marxist Political Economy. American Journal of Economics and Sociology, 59(2), pp. 283–302.
Rosenberg, J., 2007. Marxism and International Relations. University of Sussex, pp. 1-26.
Walker, R., & Greenberg, D., 2003. A Guide for the Ley Reader of Marxism. The Journal of Socialist Theory, 6(5), pp. 38-42.
Wolff, E., & Zacharias, A., 2007. Class Structure and Economic Inequality. Levy Economics Institute, pp. 1-42.
Wright, E., 1999. Foundations of Class Analysis: A Marxist Perspective. American Sociological Association, 6, pp. 1-23.
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