Marx's exploitation view

Essay by archdukeUniversity, Bachelor'sB, February 2009

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In Marx's view, exploitation is based on two structural characteristics of capitalist society: the ownership of the means of production by a small minority in society, the capitalists; and the inability of non-property-owners (the workers, proletarians) to survive without selling their labour-time to the capitalists (in other words, without being employed as wage labourers). The context of "Not on the label", written by Felicity Lawrence, relates very much to Marx's ideology of exploitation.

The issue of exploitation, as described in the book, would appear to accord with the beliefs of Marx and therefore could be affirmed by him. For instance, in Chap. 2, p.37, it is stated, "…over 50% of the workforce of 100 people at one factory were foreign. Of those more than one third were in the UK illegally. Of the local workforce, 10% were claiming benefits they were not entitled to. The factory was working three shifts, and the foreign workers were doing either twelve hours or double shifts of sixteen hours a day, seven days a week.

They were being paid less than the minimum wage, though exactly how much was hard to tell, since the gangmaster was deducting accommodation charges as well as tax and insurance." This certainly satisfies the idea of exploitation.

Marx regards exploitation to be deeply wrong and in this modern world society, he regards capitalism and all class ridden societies as exploitative. He is concerned with both freedom and justice; he wanted to bring change to the then current society.

Surplus-value means profit. Due to the fight for survival and the nature of industrialised way of modern business operation, workers are often forced to produce commodities for their bosses, enabling these capitalists to sell the produced products to the market and gain surplus-value.

Anthony Giddens whilst trying to explain exploitation,