The Industrial Revolution (1750–1850) brought significant changes in agriculture, mining, manufacturing, transportation, and technology and created an era of unprecedented economic growth in a capitalist economy. During this period, Karl Marx observed the difficulties and inequalities faced by the proletariat.
The working class worked for a long time in inhuman conditions to maintain the minimum wage, and the bourgeoisie gave Marx class profits.
The economy, which is extracted from this fundamental imbalance. That’s when he wrote his ideologies. But the real question is are this idea still relevant.
I Don’t in my point of view I don’t think Marxism is still relevant today .This is because if you look Marxism undermined the role of women in society. Today we in contemporary society we now have trade unions and people who are wiling to fight for workers s rights. However Marxism theories about the class struggle being the motivator of change is still much alive.
Marxism is no longer existing in the western world, the western countries. This is because the levels of social mobility have increased. Social mobility refers to a movement in an individual s or group s social position over time and is often assessed on their change in income over time (Borgatta and Montogomery, 2000.87).
So due to this the income is always better to the working class so they have no reason to complain and the bourgeoisie cannot ignore the grievances of workers anymore. According to van Krieken et al (2010 .102) the traditional stratification of classes tendency to overlook the middle class and analyze the two extremes of rich and poor, bourgeoisie and proletariat. During the Marxism era , no one paid attention to the middle class because they had a limited role in the revolution of politics. But if you look at the contemporary world, the traditional laboring jobs have been decreased, which cause a shortage of skilled labourers and traders.
To add on that white-collar jobs were distinctly the most common occupations with the workforce in in Australia by August 2011. According to the Australian bureau statistics the professionals were comprising of twenty-two percent, the clerical and administrative workers were about fifteen percent and fourteen percent were the technicians and trade workers.
The rise of white collar-middle classes in the twenty-first century the weakness of Marxisms theory of class stratification. Marxism had this idea of emergence of classless society due to absorption into the working class. There was can tell that Marxism is still irrelevant to the contemporary world because so far were in 2019 there is no classes state.
To add more on that, if we look at Australia it an economically liberated country, right? But with it being a liberated country there is not necessary been an increase in the distribution of wealth and equal opportunities. The study which was conducted by the National centre for social and economic modelling in 2002 show that the richest fifth of households in Australia have an average of forty times more wealth than the poorest fifty of the population.
Therefore, you can tell that wealthy is not evenly distributed, some are filthy why others are so poor. the fact that some are rich, and some are poor end up bringing class within a state therefore I don’t think Marxism is still relevant today.
Moreover, if you look at what happened sometime Australia where there was a class conflict in the Qantas airway dispute. The C.E.O of the airline announced the lockout of all employees without pay and t the same time the trade unions were seeking wage increases and better job security for stuff.
IF you look at it from a Marxism point of view it means that the rich bosses of the company (bourgeoisie) and managers were going to get more profit from this new means of production and the lower class (proletariat) would suffer with this pay cuts proposed. Remember this high-profile C.E.O s already have large salaries but they still exploiting the poor.
The Critique that industrial societies developed out of the belief that the bourgeoisie and the proletariat conflict would lead to a social change by Karl Marx who went on to believe that the politicians were going to revolt against the exploitative capitalism and abolish class structures and establish a social state failed to recognize important aspects like the middle class and females representation which has significant undermined the Marxism s theory of class struggle. There I don’t think Marxism is relevant today as it had undermined important values.
More so, like any other theorist who wrote during his time, Marxism ignored the contribution and women s role. Marxism ideologies only focused on proletarian of industries because that was were manual labour was involved but he however forgot to consider women s domestic or reductive labour.
According to Federici 2004 Marx failed to recognize the importance of reproductive labour because he had opted the capitalist criteria for what constitutes labor and believed that the wage in exchange for labour would be the paradigm that shapes humanity. If you look at it now forty percent of labour in the world right now is from women, so it Marxism it would seem that social perspective is not equal or relevant to the society we live in now.
Scholars like McDonald and Brownlee (2001) argued that contemporary society exists in a post-modern era where societies enjoy the benefits of higher living standards, rights of employees are elicited within the constitution and human rights are dictated in conventions. So due to this human rights and constitutions it is very rare to employers still exploiting their workers.
They are forced to abide by the laws, laws do jot allow them to do whatever they feel like doing therefore I think Marxism is now so irrelevant to our contemporary society. We are in a era were by employees are entitled to the government allowances and allowed to have sick and annual leaves , therefore due to this rights Marxism is now so irrelevant.
To add more on that in our contemporary society we now have organisations like the trade unions who are always ready to fight for workers against unfair treatments for their employers. Therefore we don’t have a similar situation as of during Marx s society were no one was willing to fight for workers. Some countries have established institutions responsible for fixating minimum wages and resolving work related disputes. Because of this no worker can be exploited, workers are now so protected by all means therefore due to all this protection I don’t think Marxism is still relevant .
More so Marxism over-concentrated on economic relationships and forgot to look at other conflicts which are non economic. He only put his effort on economics as if it was the only cause of conflict within the society .if you look at the issue of feminism its not an economic based conflict but it’s a patriarchal problem between Male and females, therefore I don’t think it has any relevance in today society conflicts
However the idea by of Marxism that class struggle and conflicts are motivation for change are still much relevant.
This is because they are some employees who are still inhumane, they want the best work to get done them but they don’t want to pay their workers good money or improve their working conditions. So if people strike and walk in roads protesting against this inhumane s conditions their employers are going to be forced to change the working conditions and the salaries.
This is happening in most of the third world countries, in mines working places. Employers don’t pay its employees good salaries and the working conditions are so bad. Workers will strike and protest against as a result they are forced to improve the conditions or their going to have loss in the market. Therefore it is very necessary to have sort of conflicts to improve life of others. Therefore Marxism is still relevant today.
In Conclusion I think Marxism is no longer relevant today as we now have trade unions who are there to fight to works s rights, therefore no worker can be oppressed without someone to fight for them , The whole Marxism ideologies undermine the role of women in society. However, the idea by of Marxism that class struggle and conflicts are motivation for change are still much relevant.
This is because they are some employees who are still inhumane, they want the best work to get done them but they don’t want to pay their workers good money or improve their working conditions. Although we still have relevant ideas like the one I just mentioned I think Marxism is now so irrelevant in the contemporary society.
- Edgar F. Bogatta and Ronda J. V. Montgomery, 2000, Encyclopaedia of sociology, New York, The Gale Group
- Robbert van Krieken, 2010, Reassembling civilisation: state formation, New York, Pearson education
- Silvia Federici, 2004, A critique of Marx, New York, Automedia Brooklyn
- Ellen Grigsby ,2008, Analysing politics , fourth edition , California , Wadsworth Publishing