How is Marx's view of what leads to change different in comparison to Adam Smith point of view ?

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

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The essence of the difference in the belief of change in Marx and Smith rests in the idea of where external intervention is viewed.  For Smith, external intervention is not necessarily needed.  Smith would subscribe to the idea of "not doing harm."  For Smith, the notion of intervention is one in which harm is inevitable.  Smith viewed the free market and its principles as essential to the fabric of human identity.  If there were conditions that needed to be changed, the self- regulating nature of the marketplace could fix these elements itself.  External intervention was not needed.  It is here where Marx views his understanding of dialectical materialism in a different light.  Marx believes that the self- destructive nature of capitalism in the free market setting will bring about a fundamental change in the ownership in the means of production.  This is an inevitable notion of change in the Marxist understanding and conception of reality.  For Marx, change is something that will prove to be inevitable in dialectical materialism.  Individuals will demand change to the ownership of the means of production and in this, one will find intervention as inevitable.  It is here where the fundamental difference in terms of change can be seen in Marx and Smith's theories.  

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