• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Karl Heinrich Marx (1818 - 1883) grew up in an age of repression.

Extracts from this document...


The latter part of the nineteenth century was teeming with evolved social and economical ideas. These views of the social structure of industrial society came about through the development of ideals taken from past revolutions such as the Industrial Revolution which steamed ahead paving the way for growing commerce, and widened the gap between the classes. The development of a capitalist society was a very favorable goal in the eyes of the bourgeoisie. But it had negative implications on was the working-class and the proletarians who were exploited a great deal under the reign of capitalism. During this era of turmoil and anxiety, Karl Marx and Max Weber were two of the most influential sociologist. Both their views on the rise of capitalism have various similarities and differences. Karl Heinrich Marx (1818 - 1883) grew up in an age of repression. Marx's feeling of oppression was heightened by his family's conversion to Lutheranism just prior to his birth in order to escape the legal roadblocks and stigma of being Jewish (Pfohl 433). Marx thus was exposed to systematic discrimination and a strong desire to eliminate this oppressive system with a system that, instead of benefiting a select few, was concerned with the social welfare and social justice for all. ...read more.


Further bureaucratization and rationalization seemed to Weber an almost inescapable fate. Alienation on the same grounds is a subjective feeling, a feeling of individual powerlessness and detachment from self. In the 'Paris Manuscripts' (1844) Marx outlines four key forms of alienation, firstly, that the worker in the capitalist system has lost control of his labour, secondly, through the division of labour, thirdly, man is alienated because his work relationships with his co-workers is not one of natural human unity and fourthly, the worker is denied his true nature through the lack of self expression in his work. Marx's works have been fight against alienation to bring into being his essential political belief that communism is the true nature of humankind; his work is an attempt to battle the ideological superstructure of Capitalism and so he is fighting to relieve false consciousness. Exploitative relationships and false consciousness generated by alienation, made the worker feel like a commodity and thus, planted the seeds of Communism in Capitalism's very womb. 'A spectre is haunting Europe - the spectre of Communism.' (Taylor, 1967:78) For Marx man's labor is his self-expression and by alienating him from it, he is alienated from himself. Therefore both Marx and Weber agree that the new world of rationalized efficiency has turned into a monster that threatens to dehumanize its creators. ...read more.


Therefore, according to Weber, a person's class situation is basically their market situation. Weber identifies several other factors, which can determine group formation and the stratification of society. In particular, groups form because their members share a similar 'status situation.' Whereas class refers to the unequal distribution of economic rewards, status refers to unequal distribution of 'social honor.' Weber also identifies another important factor in determining social stratification, that of 'party.' Weber defines parties as groups, which are specifically concerned with influencing policies and making decisions in the interest of their membership - that is, they are concerned with the acquisition of 'social power.' While Marx argued that classes formed the only significant groups in society, Weber argued that the interplay of class, status and party led to the formation of social groups. Karl Marx and Max Weber's conceptions, lead them to very distinct conclusions about the rise of modern capitalism. Upon careful comparative analysis, a conclusion can be made about the extent to which these theorists are complementary or competing. Marx was too mechanistic, closed off to other causal factors besides that of the economic base. He took historical materialism and historical laws to an extreme and may have been stuck in the one-dimensionality of its causal chain. Weber, on the other hand, was quite ambivalent. He avoided making conclusions about the primacy or significance of certain variables and seemed to lack focus in this respect. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Political Philosophy section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Political Philosophy essays

  1. What did Karl Marx mean by 'exploitation' in a capitalist economic system?

    In the light of Marxism, exploitation exists universally in the capitalist society. (Forman, 1973). Marx felt capitalists exploit workers by squeezing the surplus value of workers. The profit is in fact the surplus of value, which should belong to workers rather than capitalists.

  2. What exactly is Weber's Protestant Ethic Thesis?

    but rather the life devoted to profit making, and the moral reasoning behind the actions of the workers. In their sociological analysis of religion, some theorists focused on social structure as the basic element. Emile Durkheim, for example, suggested that religion, or rather the function of religion was to provide moral social cohesion.

  1. Socialist uses of workers' inquiry

    Thus, the use of the inquiry was intended to reveal a "new worker condition?. Looking at the condition of these new subjects, how they could reopen spaces of conflict and reinvigorate workers' demands become a central theme for the operaisti's practice and discourse.

  2. Compare and contrast Marx and Engels with Mill regarding social and economic progress

    Mill lays out, in Chapter 1 of On Liberty, what he believes were the four stages of social development. The earliest stage is that when 'Liberty meant protection against the tyranny of the political rulers'; therefore the era of history when society had to fight against despotism in order to gain some freedom over their lives.

  1. How and why does Locke explain the creation, value and protection of property?

    There are however limits, as far as property and labor are concerned. One limit is that of non destruction. God did not create anything for man to destroy. The amount produced by any man should be kept in check by his level of destruction.

  2. Russia's Political Party System as an Obstacle to Democratization

    Moreover, the perks of office are very enticing. They include free cars, healthcare and vacations, paid household expenses, and, until just recently, Moscow apartments purchased at taxpayer expense (yazarin kendi ismi). Legislative office also has attracted those seeking private gain through corrupt practices.

  1. Karl Marx's (1818 - 1883) theory of capitalism.

    Marx's critiques of the capitalist system - its tendency towards crises, the necessity of inequality - are still relevant today. The Dialectic Marx's powerful critique has as it basis a unique approach to reality - the dialectic. Taking from G.W.F.

  2. Karl Marx' Exposed Life: Both Controversial and Scheming.

    A government left as dictator has no recourse to its competitors because it has no competitors and acts as the central controller, as would a monopoly, over all goods and services. This implies that Karl Marx ignored these facts when proposing his new socially driven society known as communism.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work