Marxist theory holds that society is divided into two classes. The bourgeoisie, who own the means of production, and the proletariat, who sell their lab or power to the bourgeoisie.
The proletariat is inevitably exploited by the bourgeoisie, as they are paid a fraction of the value of their labour. This exploitation gives the bourgeoisie a monopoly on wealth and power and keeps the proletariat in poverty.
In order to overthrow this system, the proletariat must become conscious of their class – that is, they must recognize that they are being exploited and that they have a common interest in overthrowing the bourgeoisie. Once they have achieved class consciousness, the proletariat can organize themselves and begin to fight for their rights.
Class Consciousness leads to Class Struggle
According to Marx, class consciousness inevitably leads to class struggle, which is the conflict between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. This struggle can take many forms, including strikes, demonstrations, and revolutions.
The ultimate goal of class struggle is to create a classless society, in which all people are equal and no one has power over another.
Bourgeoisie: The class of people who own the means of production in a capitalist society.
Proletariat: The class of people who sell their labor power to the bourgeoisie in a capitalist society.
Means of production: The factories, machines, and other tools used to produce goods and services.
Labour power: The ability of a worker to produce goods or services.
Surplus value: The difference between the amount of money paid to a worker and the amount of money that the worker’s labour is actually worth.
Capitalism: An economic system in which the means of production are privately owned and production is geared towards making a profit.
Communism: A political ideology that advocates for a classless, stateless society in which the means of production are owned by the community as a whole.
Glossary Terms starting with C
- Capital – The Physical or Financial Resources required for Production
- Capitalism – An Economic System in which the Means of Production are Privately Owned
- Cargo Cult – Religious Movements claiming to obtain material goods (cargo) for indigenous people
- Cash Crops – Crops grown for Sale
- Caste – Social Groups Ranked Hierarchically by Birth, Marriage or Occupation
- Caudillismo – A Form of Dictatorship commonly associated with Latin America
- City, Anthropology of the – The Study of Urban Spaces and Culture
- Class Consciousness – When a Class recognises its Common Interests
- Cline – The Study of the Gradual Change in a Population over Time
- Cognatic Kinship – Tracing Descent through both the Maternal and Paternal line
- Cognitive Anthropology – The Study of How Culture impacts Human Cognition
- Colonialism – Acquiring and Maintaining Control over another Country or Territory
- Commensality – The Social Practice of Eating Together
- Concubinage – A Formalised Sexual Relationship between a Man and Women which is not equal to Marriage
- Consanguinity – The State of being related to someone by descent from a common ancestor
- Conscience Collective – The Shared Beliefs and Values of a Group or Society
- Conspicuous Consumption – Spending Money on Luxury Goods to Display Wealth and Status
- Contagious Magic – Items that have been in contact remain connected
- Creole Language – An Amalgam of the Colonial Language and Indigenous Language
- Cultural Baseline – The State of a Culture Before it Comes into Contact with Another Culture
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