Question 1: What are some of Marx’s criticisms of capitalism?
Karl Marx was a decently bright individual, but he was also rather disconnected with the reality of economics. He had several severe (yet unjustified) complaints about capitalism. The first was that capitalism promotes drudgery. In capitalism people usually find a profession they enjoy and stick with it, eventually becoming proficiently efficient at their specific job. Marx’s belief was that this system demoted creativity and stifled self expression, he believed people should have the choice do to whatever profession they’d like the moment they felt like doing it. Someone could be a fisherman in the morning, a painter in the afternoon, and a chef at night. In contrast he also wanted a centralized government to completely organize all the production, a system that would completely undermine his previous economical wish. Centralized government controlling and organizing an economies production is COMPLETELY different than individuals switching between professions whenever they wish, the two systems are distinct opposites. Even if you exclude any reference to centralized government this system would still fail. The reason we take up one job and slowly master it is because it takes quite awhile to master something. If people could switch jobs willy nilly they’d never master anything. They could continuously switch jobs, but they’d constantly be subpar at each and every job. There would be no experts at anything, and our economy would be heavily deprived of strategy and intellect attained from years of specific fieldwork.
Another of Marx’s complaints was that companies in the capitalist system would only pay their employees the bare minimum, then inevitably the employees would get fed up and rebel against the system. What Marx forgets about capitalism is the importance of competitivity. Business’s compete against one another in all areas: materials, equipment, and of course labor force. They create competitive wages for their employees, attempting to pay their employees more than the business next door pays theirs. If a company wasn’t paying their employees enough they’d simply go out of business. The employees wouldn’t rise up against the competitivity of capitalism, they’d use it to their advantage and find themselves a better paying job.
Question 2: How might you respond to the criticisms you discussed in question 1?
To make a long story short Marx is bitterly disconnected with reality. He’s a salesman (more of a conman really), who says hes working for individual liberty when all of his beliefs and wishes point towards total centralized government. His political and economic wants contradict each other viciously, he seems to be living in some sort of economical fantasy land. Its idealistic sure, but its in no way realistic.
Communism promises many things free: free healthcare, free education, ect. But in reality nothing is free, its simply taken from the people who are smart enough to build a successful business for themselves. The way economy should work is those who work hard get more funding, that way economical growth is highly encouraged. Instead of paying more to those who work hard communism does just the opposite, not only does everyone get paid the same but those who work hardest are actually given more responsibilities. Communism does the opposite of what a economical system should do: it discourages economical advancement. Those who put hours of overtime in, or those who study for years and genially apply their intelligence, or those who sincerely want to improve their financial status by working as hard as they possibly can, these people are all punished under the communist system. The ones who are rewarded are the freeloaders, the people that don’t care about an economies advancement and are more focused on selfish desires. These are the people that are pushing for communism, because they know they will get easy money. But for the freeloaders to get their easy money the rest of us would have to suffer heavily. We’ve seen what this system of government does so many times through history, Venezuela is a good recent example.
There’s no such thing as free money, chasing after this fantasy only leads to extreme economical collapse. Our nation has built its foundation upon hard work and genuine effort, selling that out for the false promise of free riches is as lazy as it is unethical. Karl Marx had a lot of ideas, but its very clear that he didn’t have a well structured plan to go along with these ideas. He simply stated that communism was “inevitable” but gave no backing or logic to why it would be inevitable. Capitalism has many flaws, but its at least structured enough to create an enormously large and thriving economy. The financially poor people living within the capitalist economy live better than the richest kings of yesteryear. Technology, large scale production, and financial encouragement of genuine work ethic have all been made real by capitalism, while the examples of communism being implemented into the real world have all ended in economic disaster.