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Gekko vs. Marx

December 9, 2010

For all who have seen the movie Wall Street, they would surely recognize the video clip posted above. The movie the clip is from shows a business man whose life is surrounded by material items and extreme wealth. To many this would seem as quite the opposite of what Marx would adhere to. Gordon Gekko, the main character, is the staple of greed. He lives his life in order to make as much money he can, no matter the consequences or the route taken to seal any business deal. He loves making money and is extremely good at what he does. Marx would certainly look at Gekko’s lifestyle with repulsion.
To most the lifestyle of Gordon Gekko would be looked upon with astonishment. The money he makes and the ability he possesses to acquire riches would make most extremely jealous. Gekko takes this approach to life that “Greed is good”; the ability for him to live so selfishly is a result of capitalism. Gekko found that capitalism as an economy worked out well. Gekko was able to work and obtain money he had earned. He was able to express his greed because the ability to make copious amounts of money through capitalism.
Marx would certainly not adhere to a lifestyle or behaviors like this. Marx would not stand for such inequality and greed to run rampant. What Marx would consider Gekko to be is the bourgeoisie; this is what Marx comes to speak out about. Marx goes against the ideals of the abuse of the working class, or proletariat. Marx says, “The bourgeoisie, whatever it has got the upper hand” (Marx page 799). Marx is showing that the bourgeoisie has control over the proletariat and stands in control of the economy. Where Gekko sticks out to obtain as much money as possible, Marx speaks out for the distribution to the ones who are less fortunate and the implementation of government programs such as welfare and minimum wage to keep things on more of an even keel and fairer for the proletariat. “Communism deprives no man of the power to appropriate the products of society; all that it does is deprive him of the power to subjugate the labours of others by means of such appropriation” (Marx pg 806). Here Marx is saying that no man is allowed to authorize products, but communism takes away the power of a man to bring under the control of the work of other men.


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