"Assess the sociological contribution of Karl Marx to an understanding of contemporary society"

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Neelam Farooq


“Assess the sociological contribution of Karl Marx to an understanding of contemporary society”

This essay will discuss how the Karl Marx contributed his knowledge to the understanding of contemporary society. Karl Marx is often referred to as the ‘intellectual father of modern day Marxist economics’. Karl Marx was a philosopher, a social scientist and also a historian. He is also known as a revolutionary whose ideas and theories are known as scientific socialism or Marxism.

Marxism helps us to understand society and the way in which individuals within society behave and the reasoning behind this behaviour. Marx explained how employers can exploit and alienate their workers; this is described in more detail and is known as ‘the labour theory of value’. Marx also goes on to explain how in a business falling rate of profit can lead to an inevitable crisis, revolutions can emerge and then finally leading to the socialist state. Marx also goes on to explain that if workers start to earn more money and gain more wealth then he becomes poorer in values and the more his production increases in power and range of materialistic substances. One of Marx’s sayings to support this theory was “The worker becomes an ever cheaper commodity the more commodities he creates”.

Karl Marx was largely ignored by his scholars during his lifetime; however his theories and ideologies came to surface after his death during the labour movement. Now his theories regarding capitalist economy, historical materialism, class struggle and surplus are used as the basis of the socialist doctrine. Therefore it can be said that Karl Marx by developing Marxism has given us a much deeper understanding of society and socialism.

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Marxism explains how the most fundamental part in any society is the economic part of that society. It is due to the economic part of society that all the other sections the social, cultural and political sectors of society function. All of these sectors are driven by the economic relations within society. It shows how all societies must produce their own means of subsistence and that the relationships present here are of the utmost importance. The relations between people involved in production and maintaining subsistence are the most fundamental within a society. Marxism describes how these relationships of production refer ...

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