Karl Marx research papers report that Karl Marx is known as one of the premier conflict theorists, and he believed that economic factors are the basic source of conflict. Get a biography of Marx or a research project on his most well-known theories and influences in economics, philosophy, sociology and even political science. Our writers will also explicate Marx's Communist Manifesto.
For Karl Marx, social inequality was seen as evil and something that needed to be replaced within society. Toward this end, Karl Marx identified three basic features of society in an effort to show how social structure is determined by a society's economic organization. These basic features include:
- The material forces of production
- The relations of production that arises from the material forces and includes property relations and rights
- Legal structures and ideas developed from conflict between the laboring classes and owners
In addition, Karl Marx believed that what happens in society (changes, conflicts) are a result of the underlying forces of production.
Karl Marx believed that industrialization brings people together into social communities where they are forced to interact with one another. As a result of this forced interaction, individuals become aware of their common interests and have established a base of society. According to Marx, those who suffered from an unjust life did so because of the social system (capitalism) and not because of others. The bourgeoisie created wealth from the labor of the proletariat and was the source that created social classes. The most interesting point that discovered in Marxism was that Marx viewed individuals as inherently good and made his arguments for the universal man who worked for his own subsistence and enjoyed life and recreated when he wished, instead of the proletariat working part of the day for himself and part for the bourgeoisie. For this reason, societal reality could only change through conflict, meaning that change would come when the proletariat overthrew the bourgeoisie.
The Communist Manifesto and the Philosophy of Karl Marx
The core of Marx's philosophy lies in what might be called a quasi-mechanistic view of human history in which historical "forces" and "laws," of an economic nature drive change in such a way that certain transformations in historical circumstances become virtual inevitabilities. A constant throughout history-at least up to the millennial moment when there will be a "withering away of the state" and the formation of a "classless society"-is the existence of classes and struggle between the classes. Thus, Marx tells us, feudal society disappeared because it could not meet the demands of new markets which were stimulated by increasing trade. Labor was thereafter organized for manufacture and this represented a departure from the land-for-service arrangements that had prevailed under the old system. The place of piece-meal manufacture was supplanted in turn by "the giant, Modern industry" and a two-caste system, bourgeoisie and proletariat, came into being. The interests of the two were diametrically opposed. The bourgeoisie revolution caused an unleashing of a "gigantic means of production and of exchange" and these generated in turn forces and events (commercial crises, over-production) which compelled the bourgeoisie to conquer new markets and exploit old ones in a more thoroughgoing manner. As concentration of economic power and infrastructure occurred, the proletariat increased in size, and began to organize, morphing out of an "incoherent mass" and into a coherent class, and, eventually, a political party. In Marx's time the competitive forces among the bourgeoisie have taken their toll, members of that class have been "precipitated into the proletariat". Some of these have identified their interests with the proletariat and have begun to teach it how to organize against the bourgeoisie. In the future, Marx tells us, as the way of life of the masses, the majority, the proletariat, which is dictated by the existence of competition between members of the bourgeoisie, will further deteriorate and society will no longer be able to live under the domination of the bourgeoisie. And thus and it will be found that, "What the bourgeoisieproduces, above all, is its own grave-diggers. Its fall and the victory of the proletariat are equally inevitable".