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Adam Smith Vs. Karl Marx Essay, Research Paper

Adam Smith vs. Karl Marx

Being reared in the typical capitalist community in the United States, it is much easier for me to relate to the thoughts of Adam Smith. This is not to say that I do not agree with some of the precepts of pure Communism, but like the old adage says, “Communism looks good on paper, but in practice, it is completely ineffective.” Historically, this form of government does not tend to succeed because of many factors. Some of these include basic economic differences, individualism, and technology and how it advances or serves as a detriment to the state. My stance is clear: I believe that Adam Smith has the more credible stance.

Beginning with the economic side of the discussion Smith takes a Western approach in his thought processes. He states in so many words that workers are continually looking for the best job and the best wage. Marx believes that a wage-labor war will break down society and cause a downfall of the economic structure. The Capitalist belief is that each individual is continually exerting himself to find the most advantageous employment for whatever capital he can command (Smith 15). Smith says also in paragraph 15 that it is human nature for a person to better society while bettering himself. In Adam’s opinion each person has the right to the pursuit of happiness, and that each person has to take it in their own hands to advance within society. Marx disagrees by saying that when a person betters himself he does not improve but instead endangers society. For example, when the bourgeois cuts employment because of technology, the bourgeois hurts society by “?instead of rising the laborers with the progress of industry, sinks them deeper below the conditions of existence of their own class” (Marx 49). “We Communist have been reproached with the desire of abolishing the right of personally acquiring property as the fruit of a man’s own labor, which property is alleged to be the groundwork of all personal freedom, activity and independence” (Marx 55). In the Constitution under which we live as Capitalist says that each citizen has the right to personal property, Communism goes against everything that the American society is based on, which in my opinion is wrong and unjust.

“?Differences of age and sex have no longer any distinctive social validity for the working class. All are instruments of labor, more or less expensive to use, according to their age and sex” (Marx 31). From this quote he takes away the freedom of expression that we live under in the United States. Marx makes everyone out to be the same with no one having special abilities or personalities. In my opinion Marx and Communism are wrong by saying that everyone is the same and no one is any different than the next. Being a Christian I believe that everyone is different and special, the lack of diversity in the population makes it difficult for progress to advance and to stay ahead of the competition. In Adam’s idea of society each person can do whatever they want to advance themselves and each person can pursue happiness in whatever fashion they believe to be the best.

Technology creates new and better ways to do things which allow society to grow and become more advanced. In the Communist Manifesto Marx says, that when the bourgeoisie upgrade their technology they in turn create less jobs. Marx says that jobs take fewer workers to a job when the bourgeoisie upgrade their technology because newer machines can do more work and allow for fewer people to do the same job. He goes on to say that all new technology becomes obsolete before it can be ossified, or used to it fullest extent. Smith in return says that new technology creates new jobs by expanding the limits of manufacturing and science. With new technology people can do things that they never could do or even imagine before and in turn creating new jobs. Some examples that Smith gives as new jobs are the philosophers or men of speculation. These men do nothing but observe and are capable of combining distant and dissimilar objects. These men invent new things that in turn make more and more jobs, in modern terms these men are scientists. Smith is correct because with new technology the limits on society and the world of science are being broken. I am partially biased because I am an engineer with a strong interest in science, and I believe in the advancement of science.

In conclusion, Smith is correct in many ways, the advancement of technology, the support of individualism, and economic differences. In my personal opinion I believe that Marx is wrong because of my beliefs and morals. Being brought up in a capitalist society makes me side with Smith more because that is what I believe to be right and just. I believe that science should be able to expand people’s minds and grow past the limits of anyone’s imagination so that there are always jobs being created to take the place of jobs that become outdated. I believe that everyone should have the right to make choices that are the best for them. I don’t believe that anyone should limit what a person can and can’t do. Marx says that a capitalist society will not work because of the economic downfall between the bourgeoisie and the laborers. Smith says that the economy will flourish because people will have the opportunity to make their own money. With people wanting to make money and better themselves they will better the society at the same time. From my upbringing and my education, I believe that Adam Smith is correct is his beliefs and ideas. I believe that Marx is wrong in the points that I have described above.


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