One thing a Marxist might say is that capitalists, these people that control the means of production, (owners of corporations in our modern day) capitalists are always looking to make more capital.

How do they get more capital? Marx would say a convenient place to start and one that is a huge expense to most high production, profitable entities is employee wages. Employee wages can sometimes be 30-40% of your sales. So the capitalist tries to compensate for this, they respond and try to make things more efficient in the work place. Maybe they introduce technology to take over certain jobs. Maybe they lay people off, they have less employees do the same amount of work more employees used to do. They stagnate wages as profits increase. They do all this not because they are bad people but because they are operating in an intrinsic system where capital is an intrinsic good. What happens Marx says is that naturally when you are paying less people less money, capitalism begins to cannibalize itself. It ensures without intervention the rich will always get richer and the poor will always get poorer within a capitalist system.

One of the biggest criticisms Marx has of capitalism is that it alienates the worker from a sense of purpose or fulfillment. We have all had a job at some point or have at least known somebody who has had a job that is boring and unfulfilling it makes you feel like a meaningless cog in a machine.

cogs-in-a-machine

We have actually created an economic climate that is so efficient and so productive that in theory no one ever has to go without anything. What other economic system can claim to have done that? More importantly to Marx is we have more empty houses than we do homeless people, we have more cars in these unsold overflow dealership lots than we have citizens without reliable transportation. In fact we have the capacity to produce way more than we would ever need.

When we elect a president and beg for them to get America back to work, Marx would look at that process and see us as begging them to put us back in chains.

From the podcast, Philosophize This!

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