Capitalism in America today

Now that we’ve read about communism in Marx and Engels, what, if anything, applies to capitalism in America today.  As food for thought, here are a couple of recent articles from the (admittedly liberal) New York Times:

Do these articles show that Marx and Engels are correct in their analysis of capitalism, or are the articles irrelevant?   Feel free to post and discuss links from conservative sources, such as the Wall Street Journal, in rebuttal.

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One Response to Capitalism in America today

  1. sweiswasser2015 says:

    I think that there is definitely a fascinating correlation between Marx’s capitalism and American capitalism today. The above article entitled: “Incomes Flat in Recovery, but Not for the 1%”, provides statistics showing that the income of the 1%, or the equivalent of the bourgeoisie to Marx, is in fact rising, while that of the 99%, or the proletariat according to Marx, remains the same. Economist Emmanuel Saez states in the article: “The disparity between top earners and everybody else can be attributed, in part, to differences in how the two groups make their money. The wealthy have benefited from a four-year boom in the stock market, while high rates of unemployment have continued to hold down the income of wage earners.” The idea that the 1% is making more money because of booming stock corresponds directly to Marx’s definition of the bourgeoisie. To Marx, the bourgeoisie owns the means of production and does not actually work, while the proletariat is the means of production yet receives less. After reading Mr. Saez’s quote, I then considered, how has the means of production changed? For instance, in the New York Times article entitled: More Jobs Predicted for Machines, Not People (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/24/technology/economists-see-more-jobs-for-machines-not-people.html), journalist Steve Lohr argues that technological advances in production has contributed to the booming unemployment rates. As Marx stated on page 222 of the Communist Manifesto: “The bourgeoisie cannot exist without constantly revolutionizing the instruments of production, and thereby the relations of production, and with them the whole relations of society.” Marx here explains that the bourgeois pecuniary interests makes them constantly hungry to change the means of production, as seen in modern society today. Therefore, I think there is a direct correlation between Marx’s theories on capitalism and modern unemployment in the sense that perhaps modern unemployment is contributable to new, more advanced means of production that does not require actual laborers.

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