To Discuss Whether the Classless Society Is Attainable and Sustainable in This Century
The aim of this assignment is to discuss whether the classless society is attainable and sustainable in this century. To begin the definition of concepts are given, then the origin of the classes. It then looks at how the capitalist society cannot evolve to the classless society in this century. According to Ernesto (2007:17), Classes are a large group of people who differ in their relation to the means of their role in the social economic and political organization. Their class stratus is determined by their position to the means of production.
According to Ernesto (2007:17), the theory of Karl Marx depicts four stages that have societies evolved in the last centauries and from the last stage, the class struggles can hence bring the classless society. According to Friedrich (1944:25), one of his greatest debates was the issue regarding the freedom of mankind. The main determining factor for Karl Marx for a classless society and freedom is class conflict. He also asserts that Karl Marx traced the history of mankind by the ways in which the economy operated and the role of classes within the economy.
Because of this, the greatest factor in the classes was determining who owns this freedom. With this in mind, Karl Marx gives us a solution to both the issues of freedom and class conflict in his critique of capitalism and theory of communism, which is the ideal society for Marx. His theory of communism is based on the “ultimate end of human history” because there will be freedom for all humankind. Ernesto (2007:18) asserts that the conflict theory looks at how certain social interactions occur through conflict. People engage in conflict everyday to gain more power than others in society.
Karl Marx is known for studying the conflicts that occur between different classes. Karl Marx has introduced some radical ideas and theories to society through his writings. As the industrial revolution moved forward in society, so did the widening gap between class structures. Karl Marx studied the differences arising between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat people. According to Bellamy (2003:49), the bourgeoisies are interested mainly in developing a capitalist society, using advanced methods of production. The bourgeoisies are the capitalist who own the factories; the products made in the factories, and controlled all the trade.
The Proletariats or working class people have gained nothing in society but the thrill of their own labor. The Proletariats feel that they are treated poorly by the middle class society. They receive only enough in life to survive and have no chance of achieving a higher, class status. According to Harding (1984), the bourgeoisie or middle class people in society were exploiting and degrading the Proletariat people. The Proletariats helped to improve production in society, which developed capitalism and helped it to grow faster.
The Proletariats were not getting the wages they deserved for the labor that was accomplished. Capital gain was being made for the labor the working class provided, but there was still no way of improving status in society. The middle class was taking over and the rich were staying rich and the poor continued to be poor. Marx wanted the working class to stand up to the bourgeoisie and cause a class conflict. The idea was that if the working class revolted against the capitalist, it would bring about the revolution that would usher the capitalist society into a classless society.
According to Holmes (2009), Karl Marx saw communism as the ideal society which was also the classless society because it is the genuine resolution of the conflict between man and man; the true resolution of the strife between existence and essence, between freedom and necessity that capitalism fosters. Holmes (2009) also alludes to how Karl Marx was also committed to the notion that theory and action go hand in hand. He dismissed earlier philosophers or thinkers because they only interpreted the world in various ways; His main idea however is to change the world.
He also stated “Ideas cannot carry out anything at all. In order to carry out ideas men are needed who can exert practical force”. From Dirlik (1989:28) view of this theory, there are various reasons why the classless society cannot be attainable in this day and age. Firstly Attaining the classless society using Karl Marx’s theory of communism is not possible because it failed to offer principles or guidelines of even the most general kind for how the system of communism was to be fully established. He is simply shows the stages and the classless paradise which could be attained by conflict.
No procedures of conflict are also depicted for the working class to be able to come into harmony with the capitalists. It is this lack of practical guidelines that shows the theory would be doomed to fail if used in practice. Another contradiction of its failure to be attained and sustained is the fact that Karl Marx’s theory stems from the social conditions existing during his lifetime. According to Theodore (2004:66), this was when the industrial revolution was hitting its stride therefore led him to making this theory. Great technological advances were being made to the modes of production.
According to Theodore (2004:67), Mobility of people from class to class is hindered by who owns the means of production. Moving from a mere worker to a producer can be so costly on individuals and sometimes impossible in other instances. The people having the power increase in power while only serving their own interest. For example, if a person was working as a worker in a mine, it can sometimes be impossible even if the social conflict exists. The worker will not move from the side of the proletariat to the bourgeoisies but will simply move to a higher class within the working class.
The worker is only likely to be promoted till he can even have the power to lead the organization but not own the means of production. Because of the nature of their training and the labor they offer according to their skill, they are trapped on the working class side of the capitalist society. Dirlik (1989:120) Mobility form one class to the other is also sometimes impossible because the capitalist will only have economic deals with other capitalists. One producer will interact with another producer making it impossible for the working class to even know the world of the producer.
It would even be foregn to him as long as he works. If mobility was easy from the working class side to the capitalist class, then we would one day have what is called an equilibrium where everyone can freely determine their own place in the class they belong to. From Bellamy (2003:97) view, a classless society also means an environment of equity in distribution of resources. This can be impossible because equity is simply dividing all resources and power equally to all. Such an environment also entails that there is no need for political leadership or governance because everyone has the same level of political and economic power.
According to Bellamy (2003:98), Karl Marx’s idea of man in the state of nature is that he is selfish and will take advantage of others for their own selfish gain. This also means power cannot equally be divided. Democracies therefore choose representatives who are empowered by the people to make state decisions because they understand that not everyone can lead at the same time. Therefore political equity is an impossible situation. According to Theodore (2004:68) equality is fairness in the distribution of resources means of production and power. It means people are treated fairly depending on their position to the means of production.
From the deductions made above, Classes will still exist in a state of equality but fairness is the leading factor. The working class should not be exploited by the capitalist but their surplus value should be equivalent and proportional to their labour input. Fairness can also mean the working class can determine their own class because the means of production are not to the advantage of one class only but to everyone. The individual in an environment of equality will have the power to determine their own position in the political and economic stratus.