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What compelled did Marx and Engels think that industrial capitalism was bound to collapse?

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salagadou | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted January 17, 2013 at 11:40 PM via web

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What compelled did Marx and Engels think that industrial capitalism was bound to collapse?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted January 18, 2013 at 11:20 AM (Answer #1)

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For Marx and Engels, their belief in the inevitable destruction of capitalism is their vision of it as a "runaway train."  Their critique of industrialized capitalism is rooted in the idea that there is an insatiable greed that is intrinsic to capitalism.  The emergence of "more" as a part of capitalism will also increase hardship, creating an undeniable presence of the proletariat.  For Marx and Engels, they see capitalism as a "runaway train," in which individuals no longer can control it for it controls them.  This condition is where there will be inevitable collapse.  The increase in hardship caused as well as the preoccupation with greed and its silencing of voices will bring capitalism to a point, a precarious balance, where individuals will no longer be able to hold on to the current system.  Change will happen here also because of the inevitably of dialectical materialism.  Marx and Engels believe that change prompted through the dialectics of materialism will dictate the condition of change.  This condition is what will cause capitalism to give way to a more public ownership of wealth or socialism.

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