Marxs Social Conflicts Theory of Change

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Marx’s Social Conflicts Theory of Change
Conflict theory, as postulated by Marx, influences most of the societal changes,
especially the variation of class organizations as their interests differ and as they compete for
contradicting objectives. This personal interest’s nature of people prompted them to behave in
manners that are intended to protect their interests without caring where the self-protection
measures interfere with other people’s interests. The other people would be another social class.
The created conflict between these two classes leads to changes in the two groups as they try to
adapt and get to a neutral point that they can coexist without offending the other. Most often, the
change demands sacrifice as the opposing groups try to find a neutral ground.
The structural conflict perspectives embark on societal institutions such as education, law, and
wealth, to classify people into groups that are made up of varying achievements of these
measures. The subjects of these institutions are often abused by the people who dominate and
make policies that govern these systems (Tucker 33). Apparently, people think that having
established a stable government system is the end game; however, in the real sense, the dynamic
nature of economic and political activities leads to a constant need for revision of regulatory
systems. Apparently, leaders have to be watched carefully and revoked when they do not
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perform. Equally, the constitution may require changes using bills, as is the case in America so
that conflicting issues are solved using new rules that change the code of conduct (Tocqueville
As the classes develop, the two groups that are created by the classes get to the extreme
ends. For instance, the concept of self-interest indicates that the poor languish in poverty while
the rich amass more wealth. The difference between these two groups creates a conflict between
the two groups, in that while the poor demand for critical survival needs, the rich yearn for more
wealth. In New England, the conflict between the people and the monarchs begets an
independent judicial system that is not answerable to any of the two institutions. Evidently, the
people fear the abuse of power by the monarchs while the monarch fears the abuse of power by
the public (Tocqueville 329).
Within Germany, the rise of classes is related to the bourgeois class that promoted a
capitalistic system with emphasis on production and market. This class was exploiting the people
in the industries, while the poor were regularly explained by the newly developed class of
wealthy people. As a result, Marx referred to this concept as “parochial narrowness” as it
considered the development of the society as the development of the rich, with oversight to the
welfare of the poor who progressively developed changes that would see their strife end (Tucker
148). The concept of self-interest is enhanced by the developing themes of species, uniqueness,
and self-consciousness. In context to human nature, these characters are just but fallacies that
were created by the wealthy, in order to segregate themselves from the poor in the society.
The development of Manchester, which originally, was a swamp, has been as a result of
many industries which have been set in place. As Marx and Engel argue out, the region in
England has attained an epic of development as it hosts the top leaders of the nation who contest
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for economic prosperity. The leaders are interested in retaining their wealth by creating more
wealth using the industries. The industrial development in this belt of England has been
translated to competition, a concept that is common in competition phenomenon (Tucker 170).
The development of resources among humans can be related to the individual’s ability to
utilize the resources around them in a way that the resources create value to people. As a result,
the extent of making value is directly related to human consciousness, a concept that the two
authors, Marx and Engel support, as they account for development in Europe (Tucker 173).
However, this development and human consciousness lead to a perception of self-interest that is
engendered towards further personal growth. Evidently, the concept of changing cultures has
resulted in changing from communal resources that are tribal-owned to private property. Further
advancement leads to exploitation of fellow humans in order to gain more wealth, a concept that
leads to a capitalistic division of labor.
As the workers come to realize that they are being oppressed and exploited. Labor
organizations are formed with a motive of protesting the oppressive nature of their employers
and demanding for improved working conditions and returns. This conflict between the
employers and the employed have been iterated by Marx and Engel as they contend that no
matter how much the employers make working commensurate to the worker's consistent
antagonism continues to exist across the two groups (Tucker 211).
The end resort for the workers is to develop a network of communication that the workers
can use to inform each other and ensure that the working class members are not exploited.
Evidently, this brings about class identification and development; as people in one class become
united to increase their influence against their enemy. The networking can be likened to the
current political parties, as described by Tocqueville (280). Great organizations must be
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committed to their primary goals, which is mostly to improve the welfare of its members and not
well-being of a single group. However, competition and rivalry see parties indulge in morally
unacceptable activities as they try to meet their objectives.
In America, the two groups of societies agreed on the principle aim of improving the
welfare of the people. Instead of developing chaos, as found in other countries, the policy of
popular consent is used. This makes up democracy, as exemplified by America, with suppressed
aristocratic agendas within the parties and uses universal suffrage to execute the desires of the
people and solve the conflict between the contending political subjects (286, 313).
Tocqueville expresses the importance of communication and informing people as a key
determinant of the prosperity of a country. The freedom of the press is a critical factor that
determines the extent of information that the citizens of a country can experience. While Marx
and Engel acknowledged the role of the labor groups as information avenues that were meant to
caution exploited workers, the press sheds light to the citizens on institutions that are oppressing
and not abiding by the institutionalized labor, and general welfare laws (Tocqueville 289).
The created labor organizations develop political impact to the society as their influence
increases. These organizations create a political environment that can be termed as a
superstructure. They can make the laws, states and general human behaviors (Tucker 629). While
the labor organizations are made up of the majority of citizens, their influence easily translates to
political powers. Evidently, even though not directly, the people rule the country, using their
chosen representatives. This has been the case in America, as Tocqueville explores the power of
the majority (279)
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The concept of labor value has created trickery, as people wrongly contend that the
industrial owners pay the workers less than the labor value, while they charge the product at a
value that is exaggerated. However, Marx and Engel argue that the value of a product must be
above the labor cost for the capitalist must gain some profit (Tucker 681). This conflict develops
interference of economic systems using the demand-supply forces.
Mostly, extracting the surplus from the workers pertains a form of exploitation, which
has been going on for years. This phenomenon is referred by Marx and Engel as balancing the
forces of production with the relations of production (717). However, proletarian reforms is a
control measure that extracts the surplus from the public and places the resources under public
power. Relatively, the concept of slavery was replaced by freeing the slaves with free workers
who could be paid for their voluntary contribution to their work. The conflict of freedom and
increased utility of labor force saw the slaves freed and Christianity and morality (Tocqueville
As industrialization brings in development, those people who can afford to buy resources
are the people who get the development resources. As rural resources are moved and used
extensively in the urban centers, areas that are of high economic value quickly turn into towns, as
many people are attracted to the place, as they can generate wealth from the region. This causes
villages that have erected industries quickly turn to urban centers. The cities in America bring
people together to create a neighborhood that can unite to resist a common enemy. This shows
that Americans are social individuals that will readily come together to fight any problem that
comes their way. This unity for a common societal goal, as expressed by Tocqueville (303) has
been inferred by Marx and Engel as they revealed the development of social organizations that
are built by ordinary people as they fight a common enemy.
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From the afore-explored concepts of social conflicts, it is clear that people are exceptionally
committed towards selfish gains that ought to be regulated through an advanced system that
gives a checks and balances. Just as the government officials are checked through recall and
being voted out of office, societies develop such controls measures and avoid the inherent
capacity to outdo and exploit the weaker groups. When societies have a system of controls,
harmony can be established while arising conflicts are attended to by societal adjustments to
form new norms that are commensurate to the different groups.
Works Cited
Tocqueville, Alexis de. "Democracy in America: Historical-Critical Edition of De la démocratie
en Amérique, vol." II,(translated into English by James T. Schleifer, ed. Eduardo
Nolla (2010).
Tucker, Robert C., ed. "The Marx-Engels Reader." (1978).
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