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Marx’s Theory on the Fall of Capitalism

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Essay title: Marx’s Theory on the Fall of Capitalism

Why did Karl Marx believe that capitalism would eventually collapse and be replaced by communism?

To what extent were his predictions confirmed by the history of the twentieth century?

Karl Marx is regarded by many as the first social scientist ever. Although it is argued that Adam Smith was the first great economist, and David Ricardo the first great modern economist, Marx is undoubtedly the economist that has had the biggest impact on economic history. It was he that masterminded the concept of a socialist utopia, which ultimately led to over a third of the world been ruled under the communist regime , a model that Marx concocted. Born on 5 May 1818, in Trier, one of Germany's oldest cities, Marx was the first economist who infused history, philosophy, economics, sociology and political theory all into his work. Marx was ahead of his time, his theories were ground breaking, only time would tell whether his predictions would come to fruition. Marx's main claim was that capitalism would eventually fall due to its own internal contradictions and faults, to be replaced by a socialist utopia, so to speak. Marx had many complex motives behind the eventual fall of capitalism, he delves in to great detail about these reasons in his masterpiece Capital (1867), in this text Marx writes about how the capitalist system will falter over time due to the way it operates. It is these faults of the capitalist system that are brought in to question when analysing an issue of this nature, what weaknesses did Marx identify in his writings and were these weaknesses evident in the capitalist system come the end of the twentieth century?

A major argument that Marx put across in his scripts was that capitalism would force society to polarise, causing two classes within society, the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. These classes were at both extremes of the social spectrum, the bourgeoisie been the rich "fat cats" who reeped the fruits of capitalism, they were normally the factory or land owners. The proletariat comprised of the working class, those who worked in the factories for the bourgeoisie, they were the majority of the population often living at a subsistence level, whilst the bourgeoisie were a minority of the population but occupied a large percentage of wealth within society. Marx believed that if ever profit was to be made it could only be made through the exploitation of the worker, the labour theory of value validates this point. In this theory Marx explains of how the value of a commodity can be measured by the amount of labour hours put into the production of that commodity. He argued that through capitalism the workers were been exploited for profit, this profit was known as the surplus value. Marx claimed that the surplus value was the basis upon which capitalism operated, he wrote in his critically acclaimed Capital "Without the production of the surplus value there can be no capitalist production, and hence no capital and no capitalism."(Marx, 1970, p.1005), he was confident that capitalism would crumble should the bourgeoisie stop exploiting the workers for profit. Through his work, Marx managed to put across the argument that if in a capitalist economy

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