Class Conflicts In Karl Marx's Theory Of Class

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The main crux of Karl Marx’s theory of class lies on the notion that “the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles” (Marx et al. 1992). As he sees it, humans have been struggling with class divisions and conflicts resulting from that for thousands and thousands of years. The conflict between the haves and haves not continues to build before tensions erupt and a revolution occurs that restructures the order of society. This has been continuously happening over the course of time and has resulted in the current (for Marx’s time, the 1800s) capitalistic society that divides individuals based on their positions in regard to the means of production (Cosner 1971).
Capitalism is intrinsically linked with
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In his view, an individual’s only real determining factor in being assigned their class is their relation to the means/modes of production. The two main classes in Marx’s theory, the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, represent that.
The bourgeoisie were a “minority of capitalists who own and monopolize the means of production” (Dillion 2014:36). They originated around medieval times in European societies. Once the feudalistic means of production and exchange no longer suited them, they overthrew the old system and installed a new one and rose to power in the modern capitalistic society. Now under capitalism, they held control over the means of production and needed workers to come in and do the labor. The bourgeoisie 's products would sell for much more than the product would cost to make (materials and labor worker’s wages) thus making them a profit. This, Marx argued, lead to the exploitation of the labor workers. It was their work that lead directly to the product’s creation and yet they received none of the increased profits that the bourgeoisie were taking
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Once the workers comes to this realization, Marx proposed that they would revolt against the capitalist system and overthrow the bourgeoisie and replace capitalism with communism. As of today, this revolution has yet to occur. While many revolutions have happened throughout the years since Marx’s theories emerged, they have not involved the proletariat overthrowing the bourgeoisie. As noted above, it’s been peasants and the bourgeoisie themselves involved in the revolutions. Capitalism is still remains to this day and has “shown itself to be remarkably adaptive to integrating the crises and contradictions that challenge its supremacy” (Dillion 2014:70).
Weber’s Theory of Social Class
Weber saw social stratification in a much more complex manner than Marx did. His view had a more diverse look at the stratification system versus Marx’s dichotomized conflict between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. He saw stratification as an interrelated system of power, class, and status/prestige.

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