Philosophy of the Human Person
May 09, 2014
Marx v. Mises
Throughout time, many philosophers have deliberated the ideals of capitalism, the economic system where industry and trade is privately owned. Through writings and theories, one question seems to be brought up often: how has capitalism affected society? Philosophers Karl Marx and Ludwig von Mises have written about capitalism and their views - some different, some similar. Marx believed that, although capitalism benefited the economy, it created social classes. However, Mises is a defender of capitalism, believing it benefits the consumers just as much as the producers. Altogether, Marx looks at capitalism ...view middle of the document...
Labor doesn’t only produce products and goods; it produces itself and the worker as a commodity. This fact indicates that the product of labor is labor embodied and made objective in a thing. The realization of labor appears as diminution that the worker is diminished to the point of starvation. Objectification appears as a loss of the object and that the worker is robbed of the most essential objects – life and work.
These consequences follow from the fact that the worker is related to the product of his labor as to an alien object. Marx relates this to religion. He states that the more the worker exerts himself, the alien object becomes more powerful, and he becomes poorer, so less belongs to him. In religion, the more man attributes to God, the less he retains in himself. Basically, the worker puts his whole life into an object, and then it is no longer his but it is the objects. Although the worker makes a great product, does not make him great in the world of capitalism. Actually, the greater the product is, the smaller he, himself, is. He states that political economy conceals the alienation in the nature of labor by ignoring the direct relationship between the worker (labor) and production. Of course, labor produces phenomenon for the wealthy, however, produces deprivation for the worker. What it produces for the wealthy, it produces opposite for the worker. It produces palaces, but hovels for the worker, beauty, but mutilation for the worker, intelligence, but for the worker imbecility and cretinism.
Labor is not part of a man’s nature – that is, it’s external to the worker. He doesn’t feel happy, he doesn’t affirm himself, and he develops no free physical and mental energy. This concludes that the worker doesn’t feel at ease while he is working, but only outside of work. Therefore, when he is working, he is outside of himself. Marx sees that the laborers become less and less human, the more they work. He questions: if the product you are producing doesn’t belong to you, then to whom does it belong? It doesn’t belong to the Gods because you aren’t building anything to satisfy them, however, you are satisfying another human. The product of labor doesn’t belong to the worker; it belongs to any man other than the worker. Breaking it down, Marx two classes the proprietors (bourgeoisie) and the propertyless workers (proletariat), is his drive to do away with capitalism.
In contrast, Ludwig von Mises believes capitalism is they way to a successful society. As I’ve talked about, Marx was concerned about the working class; Mises was concerned with the businessman. He believed that the consumers are satisfied because of the product that is being produced. So, in order to become rich and stay rich, you must continue to produce what satisfies the customers. Mises believes that what is needed to bring about wealth and happiness is to put corporations under strict government control. Of course, the most important part about an economic system is...