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Since its publication in 1848, Karl Marx’s Manifesto of the Communist Party has remained a guiding principle to the Communist movement for the overthrowing of Capitalism. Marx argues that the implementation of a capitalist system has led to the exploitations of one class by another. He essentially divides up society into two social classes; the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. According to Marx, the bourgeoisie is, “… the class of modern capitalists, owners of the means of social production and employers of wage labour.” (1848, pg.14). Thus, the bourgeoisie is the upper-class who owns private property and the means of production. Whereas, the proletariat is “… the class of modern wage labourers who, having no means of production of their own, are reduced to selling their labour power in order to live.” (1848, pg. 14). They’re the lower-class who are dependent on the bourgeoisie for labor. Since its publication, capitalism has changed in form, yet, the essence of the system remains the same. Minorities continue to be exploited by production owners who are constantly seeking profit. Therefore, the bourgeoisie and the proletariat are still relevant to today’s society due to the inequality between social classes, the usage of sweatshops by big businesses, and the wage gap differences amongst workers.
In America, there has always been a great divide between the rich and the poor. This, in turn, has led to the stratification of social classes within American society. Social class is a group that’s fairly similar in terms of income, education, power and prestige in society (The Class Structure in the U.S). Social class is a huge determinant of many of the fundamental aspects of modern life, affecting your education, occupation, and your income. American society is split into five social classes, with the upper class being on the top of the socioeconomic scale. The upper class consists of the capitalists, who possess much of the nation’s wealth, power and influence. This class tends to yield much of political and economic power as well as in the media. According to the Social Class in the United States, about 4% of all American households with annual incomes of $250,000 or more constitute this class (2012). Through investments and capital gain, they accumulate most of their wealth. Within the upper class, there are subclasses that distinguish on how their money is obtained. The upper?upper class includes those who derived their wealth from inheritance or “old money” passed down to generations. The lower?upper class includes those with “new money,” or money obtained from work. All in all, they tend to hold prestige positions, such as board members or CEOs.
On the bottom of the socioeconomic scale, are the working and lower class. Members of both classes consist of individuals with little to no education, low-status jobs, and relatively low incomes. The working class generally work in “blue-collar” jobs, performing physical or low-skilled work for a living, as opposed to the professional jobs held by the upper class. They tend to work in factories, construction sites and in. maintenance work. These manual labor jobs often times require no college degree. The working class constitutes about 25% of American households, with annual incomes of $25,000 to $49,999 (2012). Meanwhile, about 25% of Americans constitutes lower-class, making less than $25,000 a year. They tend to work part-time in a semiskilled or unskilled job with no benefits, like health insurance or pensions. Majority of the members tend to live neighborhoods with higher rates of poverty. On top of that, both classes are less likely to own their homes and typically hold little to no wealth. As a result, Americans in these social classes are less likely to attend college, and if they do, they’re more likely to attend community colleges. Lacking a higher education attainment prevents them from gaining access to better-paying jobs.
As a result, of their wealth and power, the upper class is the modern-day bourgeoisie and the working and lower class are the proletariat. Whether, it’s “old money” or “new money”, their immense wealth, provides them with high educational attainment and high-status jobs with higher salaries. Their children are sent to private schools and Ivy League colleges. Through, their social network, they’re able to obtain private ownership of property. As noted, they yield much of the nation’s wealth, even though, they compose about 4% of America’s population. influencing political and economic power, which often times, affects the vulnerable, social classes. Allows them to distance themselves from the lower social classes,.
The usage of sweatshops by big businesses is a daunting reminder to today’s society of the relevance of bourgeoisie and proletariat. In the pursuit of profit, major companies resort to the use of sweatshops, in where manual workers are employed at low wages for long hours in poor working conditions. In 2013, Walmart was involved revealing it has been, “…employing child laborers to work up to 19 hours a day and only paying them roughly $20 per month.” (Lamarque, 2016). “… employing children as young as 15 in a number of its factories overseas.” (2016). If you own private property, then you seek profit. Thus, leading to the exploitation of laborers. These laborers are a community, they are only useful as long as they are able to work. They only live if they can work and only work if they can make mft oney.

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