Karl Marx was not wrong in his critique of Capitalism as we witness the effects of Capitalism’s ills in our society today: igniting unnecessary wars, threatening our environment through excessive consumption, leaving its people hungry and without any form of healthcare, etc.
Over the course of time, capitalist ideologies have done nothing but teach the people of our society to become competitive, conforming, fearful and politically complacent as it forces everyone to put economic interest at heart of our lives. One specific critique of Capitalism that Marx warned us about was the idea of “Primitive Accumulation” as he states that it “plays approximately the same role in political economy as original sin does in theology.” Adam Smith’s view of primitive accumulation portrayed a peaceful process by which those who worked diligently would be able to build up their wealth gradually while those workers who were not as diligent were left to accept wages appropriate for their labor. Marx, on the other hand, knew that this would lead to exploitation as workers would get paid little for their labor while capitalists get rich—society as we know it.
Capitalism has ultimately led to a division of wealth, creating two distinct classes— Bourgeoisie and Proletariat, where the proletariat is at the mercy of producers because their intentions are to prolong this separation. In “Wealth of Nations”, Adam Smith stated that “Civil government is instituted for the defense of the rich against the poor, or of those who have some property against those who have none at all.” We see, however, that this is not the case.
There is no longer a separation between our government and the economy of this country, as we now live in a society where our government is ruled by an elite or privileged upper class. Politicians are now being bought out by corporate lobbyists to further their corporation’s agenda and improve their profit, proving how American citizens are no longer represented by the people in Congress and the United States is no longer a representative democracy.