Economicpower is important in a capitalist society. This is becausecapitalism is geared towards gaining economic power, which influencesa person’s position and well being in society. The value ofeconomic empowerment is connected to social- political justice asthese two factors influences the economic activities of the society.The society ties every human activity and belief the economy and itsexpansion. The economy serves as the guiding principle of thesociety. A capitalist society places value on the goods and servicesproduced and this means that the production process is protectedthrough law and other social activities.
Accordingto More, the Utopian society was not capitalist. This created asociety that had social and political justice as there was nocompetition to accumulate wealth. The people were only concernedabout conserving their society and creating harmony (More62).The Utopian society produced goods and services that were enough fortheir consumption and this led to political and social justice.Similarly, Karl Marx argued that the society was likely to live inpeace if capitalism was not the driving force of society. Accordingto Marx, capitalism was the cause of different classes in society andthis essentially was the origin of social and political injustices.
Morebelieved that, capitalism was used to protect the status quo andmaintain a divided society. The status quo was maintained throughsocial and political means of creating and maintaining wealth. Forexample, More argued that some of the punishments for crime wereextreme, but this was a way of helping the upper class maintaincontrol over society and regulate how people moved from one class toanother (More118).Marx added that capitalism alienated man from what he produced. Therole of the worker was to produce goods and services for the ownersof capitalism and these goods did not make sense to the worker. Thestatus quo defined what activities were carried out in society andthe only means of survival was by offering labor to the owners ofcapitalism.
Accordingto Marx, the private ownership of property was the root of social-political injustices in society, as the owners of private propertymade rules that protected their property (Marx50).This was at the expense of the good of the majority. More alsobelieved that, the only way to achieve social- political justice wasthrough the abolishment of private ownership of property. He arguedthat the private property created social injustices in society asthose who owned the property decided how it was used. This createdunnecessary conflicts as people competed to attain private property.
Marxargued that the capitalist society tied a person’s identity to thework that a person performed. This means that a person’s value wasbased on the labor he provided to the capitalist society and thiscreated social and political injustices. People were only as usefulas their skills to the capitalist system and those who did not haveany skills were not considered important. Conversely, More arguedthat the capitalist system enhanced human skills as people strived toattain necessary skills that served the capitalist society (More98).This improved the quality of services to the society, and a person’sself- worth.
Moreargued that a communist society had no prosperity as there was nomotivation to work. A communist society placed the responsibility ofthe well being of society on everyone in society and this means thatthere is no assigned responsibility. People would benefit on theefforts of others and this meant that some people would be entirelydependent on others. In contrast, Marx argued that a communistsociety was best placed to cure most of the social ills in society(Marx102).All efforts would be geared towards improving the society for thecommon good. The society would cooperate so as to improve its wellbeing and everyone would benefit from the communal efforts to improvesociety.
Marxbelieved that capitalism was the creator of social ills as peoplestrived to accumulate wealth. The process of creating wealth meanthat people did not care about the means used to create wealth as thegeneral purpose was to have as much wealth as possible. On the otherhand, More believed that Communism was the cure to social ills. Hebelieved that communism created a society where greed was non-existent and people were only concerned about improving the societyas a whole.
More’sarguments on the society were guided by religious beliefs. Hebelieved in the religious teaching of collective good and doingthings that benefited the society (More58).More’s religious views influenced his understanding of society andthe difference between good and bad. Religion was the basis of hisarguments. On the other hand, Marx’s views were atheist. Marxbelieved that the religion was a creation of capitalism and was usedto perpetuate capitalist views (Marx88).The role of religion was to keep people satisfied in their lowpositions within society so that they could not challenge authority.
Marxbelieved that the biggest disadvantage of capitalism was that itcreated five forms of alienation (Marx36).The alienation was divided into alienation from the goods produced,alienation from the process of production, and alienation from otherpeople. Alienation created an unequal society and provided the basisfor action against capitalism. On the other hand, More believed thatthe biggest disadvantage of capitalism was the way it divided society(More127).Capitalism created classes of people and this led to social andpolitical injustices. More was of the opinion that the only way toend the injustices was through abolition of capitalism.
Theviews of both Marx and More are applicable to the modern world. Themodern society is highly capitalist and people are as good as theirskills. The value of people has been reduced to the skills possessedand this has led to individualism due to competition. Globalizationhas led to the value of entire societies being placed on what thesocieties can offer and this is the main cause of human conflicts inmodern society. Globalization has also created a division of laborand countries outsource those goods and services that they do notown. The markets for goods are also determined based on theusefulness of the goods and services produced.
Inconclusion, Marx and More agreed on some aspects of capitalism. Theyargued that capitalism had created divisions in society and that thiswas the basis of social ills. Capitalism also created social andpolitical injustices as the owners of capital sought to protectthemselves using social and political means. However, Marx arguedthat capitalism created alienation while More argued that capitalismcreated divisions in society. Additionally, Marx’s arguments wereatheist and he theorized based on economic forces while the views ofMore were heavily influenced by religion.
Marx,Karl, and Ben Fowkes. Capital:A Critique of Political Economy.New York: Vintage Books, 1977. Print.
More,Thomas, and James Adams. Utopia.Ashland, Or: Blackstone Audiobooks, 2008. Sound recording.