Essay about Capitalism: Karl Marx vs Adam Smith

1022 Words Mar 3rd, 2013 5 Pages
Marx v. Smith on Capitalism

Capitalism, according to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, is “the means in which production are privately owned and production is guided and income is disputed largely through the operation of markets”. Capitalism saw the emergence after the feudal system of Western Europe can do a halt. Many economists, even today, dispute the simple beginnings of capitalism. Some theories range from religious reasons, such as the rise of Protestant Reformation in the 1500s, to the enclosure movement in England. How capitalism differs from the feudal system that preceded it is fairly simple. Prior to capitalism the title in economic system at the time consisted of kings, lords and serfs. An example country would be ruled
…show more content…
The whole movement, therefore, seems the turnaround in a never-ending cycle, which we can only get out of by assuming a primitive accumulation which perceived capitalist accumulation; and accumulation which is not the result of the capitalist mode of production but it's point of departure” (Marx 873). This in turn means that Marx is looking for an explanation as to how a capitalist will acquire capital in the first place. He even likens primitive accumulation so that of original sin (Marx 873). Marx also begins to use the word class to separate the capitalists from those who are merely workers (Marx 876).

The following chapter, titled the Expropriation of Agricultural Population From the Land, has Marx discuss how capitalists were acquiring the land they use this capital. Under the feudal system cousins work for the Lords by producing whatever crops the Lords told him. Anything extra the peasants use for their own livelihood. Marx claims that at the end of the 14th century peasants were pushed off of the land that they had been tied to and were forced to find some other means of living (Marx 877). But this was not enough to spur capitalism as it was only a small amount of free peasants roaming their home countries. In

Related Documents