In chapter 1 of the Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels write a rather awe-inspired analysis and critique of industrial capitalism. Note that while some of the analysis within the chapter does strike a reverent tone (e.g. noting the specific accomplishments of capitalism on a national or global scale), their critique largely focuses on the ways in which capitalism has upset or undone the social status quo that prevailed from the Middle Ages in Europe and the feudal period. But, what if they were alive today?
This week's Reflection Essay is a bit of a 'creative writing' exercise. I'd like you to take on the persona of Marx and Engels, imagining that you are them and that you are writing analysis and critique of modern American capitalism (or political economy, more broadly). Feel free to adopt the rather acerbic prose of Marx and apply the conflict theoretical perspective more generally to our modern economy–which, I should point out, is propelled by key technological advancements, automation of manufacturing industry, and the emergence of the 'knowledge economy' (e.g. IT, communications workers, analysts, teachers, etc.). Finally, a la Marx, where do class relations and the prospect of a class-based political revolution stand today?
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