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Did marx condemn capitalism as unjust sociology essay

According to Marx, expressions of abstract ideas of justice are: Yet, as Husami explains, Marx also seems to morally condemn capitalism by arguing that it relies on the exploitation of workers, which he sometimes refers to as: Marx appears to critique capitalism from the perspective of abstract ideas of justice, which he himself says is a mistake.

On the surface, it would seem as though Marx has contradicted himself. Yet, contrary to Wood, although Marx said that capitalism is just, Husami argues that Marx really thought capitalism is unjust. I will be arguing alongside Wood that Marx did not think capitalism is unjust.

I shall also be arguing alongside Lukes 1982, p. Yet, Marx argued it is nonsensical to speak in such terms, explains Wood. For Marx, society is the whole social system of productivity that has been conditioned by history Wood, 1972, p.

According to Wood 1972, p. For Marx, justice and morals are concepts related to the laws of the state, and what is just is that what ensures that the current mode of production carries on working effectively Wood, 1972, p.

When the content of a legal law corresponds to the current mode of production, then such a law is just Marx, 1867a, pp.

  • There are facts about what is just, and under the capitalist mode of production, it is a fact that capitalism is just;
  • Under communism, humans would be communal beings that feel for one another, whilst getting from society all that they need;
  • In addition to the argument by Wood, we have key evidence that tells us that Marx did not think capitalism was unjust, since he said so himself;
  • If you want to criticise the capitalist economy from the standpoint of justice, then it seems that justice must provide an independent standard of some sort;
  • The proletariat would develop their own conception of justice, and with Marx acting as a spokesman for the proletariat, that he would come to conceive of capitalism as unjust;
  • Human beings act upon nature, changing the world and changing themselves.

There are facts about what is just, and under the capitalist mode of production, it is a fact that capitalism is just. Thus, as Wood says: Wood writes that for Marx: What is socially necessary is that what keeps the worker going.

But for Marx, none of this is unjust. The worker agreed to sell his labour power in return for a wage, and the surplus value profit belongs to the capitalist Wood, 1972, pp. Husami 1978, pp 47-48 believes that for Marx, the moral beliefs people have are determined by both the mode of production and the class that they are in. Members of the ruling class perceive capitalism as being just, whilst working class persons see it as unjust because they are being exploited by the ruling class, explains Husami.

It is the ideas of the ruling class that come to dominate under capitalist society Husami, 1978, p. Yet, Marx tells us that exploitation of the workers is necessary for the capitalist mode of production to function Wood, 1972, p.

Did marx condemn capitalism as unjust sociology essay

Wood rightly illustrates that for Marx, what is just is that which is necessary to protect the current mode of production. So, under capitalism, exploitation of the workers is necessarily just. Wood illustrates that for Marx, justice is: Marx writes about the content of such laws in Capital, where he says: Husami gives a quote from Marx where Marx is discussing the antagonism between the two classes.

Marx could not even evaluate capitalism as he does if he did not do it from the perspective of the proletariat persons who see exploitation of the workers as unjust, says Husami 1978, pp. And Marx gives no indication anywhere that he thought justice is anything other than this correspondence Wood, 1979, p. When a man takes what does not rightfully belong to him, he is committing an unjust act. Husami thinks Marx believed that the surplus value which the capitalist appropriates does not rightfully belong to him, as it belongs to the worker.

And Wood 1979, p. But as Wood reiterates, Marx would not have accepted this argument. So, Marx could not have thought that the capitalist exploitation of the workers is unjust or that it violates any rights, explains Wood 1979, pp.

Wood suggests that Marx did not think that the capitalist appropriation of surplus value is analogous to illegal activities. This suggested analogy coheres well with what Marx says about the bourgeois continuously using their power and wealth to exploit the proletariat who are less fortunate and more vulnerable. For Marx, communism would be a society where there would be no private property, and under communism, human beings would realize themselves from having the freedom to express their individuality in production, whilst also acting in unity with the communal aspect of their essence.

Yet, Wood 1979, p. Morals facts are facts about what we ought to do or not do, and people get credited for doing moral acts.

  • For Hume, if everyone could have what they need, then there would be no conflicts;
  • Finally there is a related point concerning distributive justice;
  • There are facts about what is just, and under the capitalist mode of production, it is a fact that capitalism is just;
  • The point of the conference was to unite the working class movement after previous splits;
  • A final discussion that is relevant to this side of the debate is moral realism, as expressed by Geras;
  • Marx did not have a juridicial concept of society 7.

But, although freedom, community, and self- actualization are goods, they are not goods that we are morally obliged to have Wood, 1979, p. Marx predicts that a communist society will emerge from the capitalist one, as the working class will have a need to form a socialist revolution Wood, 1972, p. It is also predicted by Marx that a mature communist society will have resources distributed in a way that is: Humans will want to work under communism, and they would each give what they are capable of giving, whilst getting back all what they need.

  • What is Marx's concept of society, and how does it differ from a juridicial conception?
  • Conversely the second camp says that Marx did in fact think capitalism was unjust;
  • But, although freedom, community, and self- actualization are goods, they are not goods that we are morally obliged to have Wood, 1979, p.

Marx saw himself as a scientific socialist rather than a utopian one Wolff, 2008, p. According to Hume, justice is there to resolve conflicts, and if there are no conflicts in society, then justice would be made redundant Lukes, 1982, pp.

For Hume, if everyone could have what they need, then there would be no conflicts. There would also be no conflicts if human beings were completely benevolent to each other either. Marx himself held that justice is used to settle disputes over conflicting needs.

But as Lukes 1982, p.

Under communism, humans would be communal beings that feel for one another, whilst getting from society all that they need. So, for Marx, communism would be beyond justice. Hence, Marx could not have thought that capitalism is unjust because it fails to conform to a communist theory of justice.

Marx did not think capitalism is unjust, because he believed that whatever protects the current mode of production is just. Legal laws are there to ensure that the current mode of production carries on working effectively, and when the content of such laws corresponds to the current mode of production, then such laws are just. There are facts about what is just, and these facts indicate what should be done. Under the capitalist mode of production, it is a fact that capitalism is just.

Also, although Marx believed we would be better off under communism, he thought that a communist society would be beyond justice. Yet, this explanation is both uncharitable and highly speculative.

My following explanation is more concrete: As Wolff writes, for many of us: However, in order for us to understand what Marx actually thought about both communism and capitalism, we need to appreciate the fact that for Marx, although justice is a concept used in rationalizing the workings of our capitalist society, it is of no use in helping us to understand what communism is all about.

Notes [1] Marx, K.

A, 1988p. Self-Ownership, Freedom, and Equality, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995. Princeton University Press, 1980. The Royal Institute of Philosophy, 1982. Marxism and Morality, Oxford: Capital, translated by Aveling. Macmillan Publishing Company, 1988.

The Poverty of Philosophy, 1847Moscow: