Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Marxism versus Capitalism: everyone works and everyone gets what they need versus bourgeois taking advantage of the proletarian. karl Marx believed in a society of equal opportunity. Instead of every man for himself, it is every human being for the whole society. Commodities, or objects of value, are produced by everyone and not only the able worker because there is no such thing as an inept worker. Marx says on commodities, "A commodity is therefore a mysterious thing, simply because in it the social character of men’s labour appears to them as an objective character stamped upon the product of that labour; because the relation of the producers to the sum total of their own labour is presented to them as a social relation, existing not between themselves, but between the products of their labour” (664). Marxism is creating a society for the common good and is repulsed by capitalism. In David Mamet's film Glengarry Glen Ross, we see a capitalistic society and its faults.
One of the first quotes one hears in Mamet's clip is "The rich get richer, law of the land." Wealth is concentrated in fewer hands and only the rich thrive while the workers help the rich thrive. In this clip, a man from the corporate office visits the small branch to lecture the workers on how to produce commodities. He uses his material items to show his identity saying "I have a BMW, that's who I am!" Now the human being is being replaced with a commodity. As well it shows the master-slave relationship between worker and employer. Marx says on family values in captialistic societies, "The bourgeoisie has torn away from the family its sentimental veil, and has reduced the family relation to a mere money relation" (659). In the Mamet's film, the corporate worker scrutinizes the employee's about their families telling them to go run to their wives and go play ball with thier kids, but if they want to make something of themselves then close the deal! The employer also shows how worthless his employee's are showing them he will fire them on the spot if they do not comply, permeating the master's power over them and thier need for the job. He also instill the idea that they can rise up if they try hard enough by giving the illusion that he use to be one of them and now look what he has. Yet, Marx would argue that this is the bourgeois teasing the proletarian and making them disillusioned so they will continue to produce commodities for thier personal gain.
Marx, Karl. "The Communist Manifesto." The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. By Vincent B. Leitch. New York: W. W. Norton &, 2010. Print.
Marx, Karl. "Capital, Volume 1." The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. By Vincent B. Leitch. New York: W. W. Norton &, 2010. Print.