Response To Marxism


Response To Marxism Essay, Research Paper

“The worker sinks to the level of a commodity and becomes indeed the most wretched of commodities?that finally the distinction between capitalist and land rentier, like that between the tiller of the soil and the factory-worker, disappears and that the whole of society must fall apart into two classes- the property-owners (bourgeoisie) and the property less workers (proletariat)”(70).

According to Marx, the proletariat comes into existence when, through the political economy, circumstances force each person into one of the two classes. The distinction between each profession is dissolved and society is separated into two classes, the workers (proletariat) and employers (bourgeoisie). This is a physical fallout of society through wealth and ownership of land. Those who have wealth and land make up the bourgeoisie and those who don’t make up the proletariat.

good in a sense of ‘with aristocratic soul.’ ‘noble,’ ‘with a soul of higher order,’ ‘with a privileged soul’ necessarily developed: a development which always runs parallel with that other in which ‘common.’ ‘plebeian,’ ‘low’ are finally transformed into the concept ‘bad’”(28). Nietzsche is pointing out how society came to recognize its own fall into two classes, those of masters (bourgeoisie) and slaves (proletariat). As a result the common man is thus deemed as “bad” and as being below civilized standards, making him a slave of the bourgeoisie. This way of separating classes acts on a spiritual level, seeing as how the proletariat is deemed “bad” thus reiterates the feelings of the bourgeoisie as being “good” (superior) and the right full masters of the proletariat (slaves).

“His labour is therefore not voluntary, but coerced; it is forced labour. It is therefore not the satisfaction of a need; it is merely a means to satisfy needs external to it”(74). When the land-owners employ the proletariat there are in fact enslaving them through their work. By receiving work the proletariat is given a means of subsistance in order to exist, and work another day. Each day of work results in more capital for the employer thus widening the gap between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. By working the proletariat is further enslaved by the bourgeoisie and this is where the struggle arises between the two classes. This is again a physical labor that creates a struggle between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. The land owners are in a sense enslaving the land less and forcing them to labor away their lives in a meek existence.

“This rule that a concept denoting political superiority always resolves itself into a concept devoting superiority of soul?that ‘pure’ and ‘impure’ confront one another for the first time as designations of station, and where too there evolves a ‘good’ and a ‘bad’ in a sense no longer referring to station”(31).

“The class making a revolution appears from the very start, if only because it is opposed to a class, not as a class but as the representative of the whole of society; it appears as the whole mass of society confronting the one ruling class”(174)” The revolution begins through the common interests of all other non-ruling classes. The common interests of the proletariat, which makes up a majority of the population, comes together under the self interests of each to better their condition. Marx states that the revolution of the people is the most physical class encounter of all. The proletariat will rise up against the ruling class and physically dissolve it through the brute force of the people.

To state his point about the proletariat gaining the upper hand and ultimately triumphing over their masters, Nietzsche describes the revolution of the Jews, who in opposing their enemies and conquerors were ultimately satisfied with nothing less than “an act of spiritual revenge”(34). Nietzsche goes on to quote the Old Testament saying

“‘the wretched alone are the good; the poor, impotent, lowly alone are the good; the suffering, deprived, sick, ugly alone are the pious, alone are blessed by God, blessedness is for them alone-and you, the powerful and noble, are on the contrary the evil, the cruel, the lustful, the insatiable, the godless to all eternity; and you shall be in all eternity the unblessed, accursed, and damned!’”(34).

Once again we see the spiritual implications of Nietzsche’s argument. By giving the common man the ultimate prize, life in heaven, the proletariat are flaunting their spiritual dominance over the bourgeoisie as if to ask “Who is richer now?” It is in giving the common man these ideas that the proletariat is able to gain the upper hand. “There begins the slave revolt of morality: that revolt which has a history of two thousand years behind it and which we no longer see because it-has been victorious”(34).

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