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Is there a Bourgeoisie and Proletariat in America?

December 9, 2010


As I have grown up from a shelter life to realize that not everyone is fortunate to have a warm place to sleep at night let alone a house. In America this is reality. People make minimum wage which is barely enough if at all to support one’s self, let alone a whole family. I read a book called “Betrayal of Work” for summer reading in high school and it opened my eyes. It explained how the idea of hard work can lead to success is usually a lie for most Americans. People do not understand that making under 15,000 dollars a year is not livable or at least sustainable. It described families living in a single room in the basement of an apartment complex. I guess what I am trying to get at is the fact that most Americans are blind to the notion that there is a Bourgeoisie and a Proletariat here in America.

In America we are at least approaching this notion as our middle class continues to shrink. Marx explains how the Bourgeoisie are the wealthy elites who have most of the power. The top five percent of Americans continue to pay more and more of the taxes paid meaning they are making more money (I can argue why later that no matter how much taxes are raised there wont be a change in tax revenue). The top five percent pay 58.7% of the taxes in America while the bottom 50% only pay along the lines of 2.7% of taxes. The reason is that the bottom 50% do not usually make more than what is defined as poverty and if they do they earn not much more; making their contribution virtually nonexistent. As this continues to rise the rich want to increase profits by outsourcing because they want to keep margins as high as possible. Leading to an ever increasing spread between classes causing more of a divide. The rich see the Proletariat like Marx says as just money meaning what is their exchange value. They only care about the bottom line. In a weird sense it is kind of like the issue slavery because the Bourgeoisie like slavery needed to expand to survive and without the expansion they would both die. Oddly Marx explained that the Bourgeoisie would be destroyed via revolution just like the Civil War ended slavery.

As technology continues to grow the rich (also known as the bourgeoisie in this post) jump on every chance they can get. This makes the working class less important meaning they have less bargaining power to get higher wages. A CEO will always choose the very cheap machine which works always at max efficiency and never needs breaks over the human who needs breaks and is not exactly the most efficient thing. On a side note: The human body is only 8% efficient, so if that at all correlates to production it does not seem like a good sign for humans. Marx does believe the advancement of technology is necessary for the long run if there is to be a jump to socialism and then pure communism. The reason the previous attempts failed at communism, besides not being Marx’s communism, is that they did not have the production capabilities to sustain a whole country. Stalin had hundreds of thousand of Ukrainians starve to death just to feed Russians or to use the food in trade. To get on the topic of trade, I believe that with NAFTA and other agreements, free trade is becoming something of the future. In Marx’s eyes that is the one freedom the Bourgeoisie want. Thus it is hard to become an isolationist country. America was in fact an isolationist country until World War One when America joined the war effort and from there on trade became something necessary for the sustaining of the American economy. As I keep rambling on establishing some form of evidence to prove the existence of the Bourgeoisie and the Proletariat in America I want to ask the people of the world what their opinion is. Also to go along with that is America as a country following the path that Marx laid out or are we going to change that and keep the ideals we were built on or even go in an entirely different path?

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