Tag Archives: politics

Marx and Politics

BLOG #1 In The Communist Manifesto, Marx says “the executive of the modern state is but a committee of managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie”. I agree that the wealthy people through out history have controlled a lot of what went on in the political world. We saw this clearly during the recession millions of dollars were given back to banks and investors who were mostly to blame for the economy failing in the first place. But I do believe that Marx would be shocked today to know that someone like Obama is president. Marx believes that the bourgeois will always be in control of all political activities in a capitalist society. But is that still true with Obama as president? More middle and lower class people voted for Obama than Romney in this past election. And we know Obama won. Obama’s policies clearly reflect the wants and needs of the middle and lower classes. Obama has made it clear that the rich shouldn’t pay less in taxes than the lower classes. Even though the wealthy have the money to support any candidate and through them push for their personal agendas. I believe that a new generation of “proletarians” has been formed. A generation that realizes their power is in their numbers.

Marx believes the only way for the proletariat to be heard and have power is through civil war. Marx says “the violent overthrow of the bourgeoisie lays the foundation for the sway of the proletariat”. But history has shown even without overthrowing the government we can have a say. With Obama winning two elections I think it is clear we don’t need an uprising to get our voice heard. If the working class realizes their power, (sort of like the way unions work) then change will ultimately happen and things will work in their favor. Marx seems to only see the negative side of a capitalist world. There is no doubt, plenty of corruption in politics. But I also believe there are a lot of people with good motivations trying to help build good communities and cities. Of course civil war is always possible. Marx makes a good point when he calls the proletariat an “oppressed class”. Essentially the proletarians are oppressed unless they stand up for their rights. If they don’t get their needs heard then they will be frustrated and feel beaten down. This then will lead to the proletarians doing something drastic. But if they involve themselves in their community and go out and vote then they have a better shot of living a happier life. This is why we have the voting system. Everyone has a voice and everyone has a chance to be heard.

Rape Culture

For some, the word ‘stop’ and ‘no’ are perceived to be as a turn on, as words to be ignored. This is wrong, but it is what we are brought up to believe. It’s part of ”teasing” but how far can one tease without it going too far? It is a dangerous game that involves too many risks. The confusion between how a ‘no’ is said or how it was meant is a debate that has happened within people I have personally encountered. The lines become blurry and it becomes a he said, she said situation.

In the movie, Filly Brown, there was a great example where after a couple drinks a male and female go into a small room upstairs. When it begins to get hot and heavy, the girl asks for the guy to stop. At first it is said gently, calmly, and with a bit of a sexual undertone to it. The second time and any time after, it was obvious she meant it. When he didn’t stop, she proceeded to smack him and in return he punched her in the face. Immediately after,  he looked frightened and apologized and insinuated that it was reflex and then said these words, “So why did we come up here then. Why did you come up here!” He then stormed out, confused, scared, angry, and disorientated. It became a  traumatic experience for both. Of course we can easily jump to who was more hurt or he was a cruel person, but if we sit back and evaluate the situation sociologically, a lot is learned. Questions arise, such as: why did he look so frightened?; why was he shocked about his own actions?; why does he have these assumptions set up in his mind?; why does he feel entitled?; and why didn’t she firmly say stop the first time?

There are far more questions that can be listed, but the point is this is an issue that absolutely needs attention – before people continue to hurt each other and themselves.

Post#5

Racism

I’ve personally sat and listened to conversations with co-workers of black and white ethnic background. It ultimately would end with the white individual stating they were not racist and the black individual  slightly confused. They only agreed that they regretted voting for Obama; therefore the skit viewed in class had me laughing hysterically because conversation such as those do occur -frequently.(Of course, I am only stating my own experience.)

After class, I was enlightened on how mainstream and pervasive the saying, “That’s racist!” is. With in my own group of friends it is never said and I obviously was not paying attention to my surrounding because once I did, I heard it everywhere. Mostly in the mornings  on the bus from children in their teens and younger. And just as reported, it would make no sense. One child said: How you not know how to swim though?!. And the other responded: That’s racist. Another example I heard at work while we were guessing our middle names. It was the turn of a co-worker who is from the Caribbean and identifies as black. One co-worker guessed: Jackson!. And then everyone proceeded to laugh. More than one individual said: that’s racist! By that time of the day I knew those two words were going to be uttered by someone…

Post #4

Rick Wolff on capitalism and system – My 2nd post :)

rick wolff was saying how the right wing could blame poor people for taking out morgages that they couldn’t afford or illegal immigrants. The right wing also blames the illegal immigrants. The left wing is blaming corporationsfor the economic down fall. When it comes down to it, placing blame doesn’t help. Throwing people in jail may make society feel better, but in reality  the cycle will continue. because when you throw these people in jail, they will only be replaced. in essence, that is not a solution. He gave an example that if we were to build a bridge , it would easily employ 25,000 people. Thus helping the economy.

I couldn’t agree more with Rick Wolff.  I don’t think there is any one side to blame.Truthfully, I feel it’s probably a combination of who both the right and left wing want to blame. But like Rick said, placing blame doesn’t make for a solution. I feel his example would definitely be a step foward in helping the economy.

~Stephanie Carbone

Blog 1: Is Capitalism Doomed?

Social scientist and philosopher Karl Marx could not stress enough his strong dislike of capitalism. He saw capitalism as a selfish system that was a never ending struggle between classes. He detested how some people were living off the labor of other people, while those people who were working very hard for them were doing so for a wage of a diminutive amount of what they actually made. Marx believed that everyone was equal and should be treated that way. On Nouriel Roubini’s blog about capitalism he wrote that Karl Marx was partly correct in arguing that globalization, financial intermediation run amok, and redistribution of income and wealth from labor to capital that could lead capitalism to self-destruct. Roubini is right saying that this financial system conflict is not just regarding one country, but a worldwide crisis. There has been a huge shift of power and wealth away from the working and middle class and these financial problems have led to an aggregate demand problem.

Though Roubini touched upon Karl Marx’s idea of inequality and distribution of income being a huge problem, Marx’s key concept was more that this is the outgrowth of when you have a tiny percentile owning the commanding heights of the economy. What we have to focus on is ownership. The top 1% in the U.S. owns a vast majority of wealth and uses it to influence politics. This does not represent a democracy and is a sham. Even Marx said that when you have a system that’s run by a very small group of capitalists and it’s depleting the rest of the economy, the economy is ripe for a revolution. Right now we are in a crisis of overproduction. We have too much products in our stores that no one is buying; people do not want to put items on their credit line even if they still have a credit line left. There is a big contradiction of not spending money versus being urged to buy things. Our economy cannot in any way survive if people do not buy things.  So I do have to agree that capitalism is headed for failure if things stay the way they are today. We need to figure out how the middle and working class can come together to challenge this system as even Marx himself thought would occur. If not I do believe that the way things are now will lead to major political and economic crumbling.

–Nicole Rizzo