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Summarize Karl Marx's critical analysis of the capitalist mode of production and the forms of exploitation it entails.

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Introduction

Literary Theory Essay Question: Summarize Karl Marx's critical analysis of the capitalist mode of production and the forms of exploitation it entails. How do Antonio Gramsci's concept of hegemony, Louis Althusser's theory of ideological interpellation, Michel Foucault's understanding of the disciplinary society (in Discipline and Punish), and Jean Baudrillard's emphasis on the semiotics of consumption (in "The System of Objects") revise and extend this analysis? Critics of the World, REWRITE!! In his critical analysis of capitalist society, Karl Marx emphasized that the division of labour and class is the foundation for the reciprocal interrelationship between history, society and political economy. Conflicts arising from this relationship are often transhistorical class struggles. There have always been and will always be those who do all the work and those who profit from their labour. When the capitalist ruling class separated agricultural labour from industrial and commercial (subsequently industrial from commercial followed by the separation of mental and manual labour) it also created a division between town and country. The urban population quickly surpassed that of the rural and the country became dependent on the enormous towns. ...read more.

Middle

Social class and economic power gives the dominant group social prestige and implicitly political power. In a capitalist society, those who make money are respected. The role of the intellectual is as a functionary of the dominant group. The intellectuals become deputies to subvert any proletariat class consciousness that may arise. Not articulated, it is as if it does not exist thus theory is needed to be the voice. Despite the exploitation and labour alienation, as posited by Marx, Louis Althusser's theory of ideological interpellation ensures the reproduction of labour for capitalist owners. Ideology prepares workers to submit and become diligent; Conscientious, and punctual they adhere to deadlines functioning productively and unsupervised. Ideology's material existence is the performing of prescribed behaviour. Individuals become subjects and are always-already a subject due to the totality of ideology; one can move to different ideologies but there are always already within ideology. The structure of ideology ensures the interpellation of individuals as subjects, the subjection of subjects, the mutual recognition of subjects and understanding that proper behaviour requires reason. ...read more.

Conclusion

A psychological transformation [m8]of the consumer results[m9] in the pursuit of to fulfill new needs, or fetishes. The code consists of a lexical grid that is full of signification, or signifiers, but empty of meaning like a brand name when objects are personalized. The consumer exercising the freedom of choice reaches for the brand that is the embodiment of all things sacred which thereby is transferred onto him/her[m10]. To choose that commodity is to possess the perfect ratio of conformity and uniqueness. Consumption is an active mode of relations, the material object is not what is truly desired, rather it is the series (series of objects that manifests it), [m11] the idea of the relation and its manifestations is consumed. This bares a resemblance to Marx's ideas on exchange value which is not concerned with the actual object or its[m12] use-value of objects. The ideas of reification and animism of desired objects through personalization is an evolution of Marx's commodity fetishism. [m1]his or her or it [m2]what is the line? [m3] [m4] [m5] [m6]what kind of code? [m7]or affect? [m8]syn [m9]syn [m10]him/her should be at the start of the paragraph? [m11]syn for series [m12] ...read more.

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