What is Karl Marx's alternative to capitalism?

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Marx posited that the industrial revolution fundamentally changed the relationship between worker and output, or the end result of their work, thus alienating them from their work, their community, and ultimately, themselves. He saw feudalism as a precursor to industrialized capitalism.

In addition, the forces of industrialism created huge gaps in wealth distribution, with a few winners (the factory owners) and a lot of losers (the workers, also called the Proletariat). Marx acknowledged that a middle class did exist but believed it was declining as the chasm between rich and poor widened. He saw the middle class as essentially unsustainable.

Marx saw capitalism as exploitative and limited. It couldn't last, because of the decay of the middle class as they moved either into the "bourgeoisie" (leisured, upper class) or the Proletariat (poor, working class).

He assumed that, under these conditions of collapsing capitalism and emerging communism, the state (centralized government) would fade or wither away. Without a centralized state, a series of small communities would need to share work and wealth—hence the rise of communism, or a network of communities sharing resources.

Communism is based on the principle of cooperative work, and as an experiment was implemented in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and Cuba in the 1920s through 1980s.

Instead of the state withering away, in the USSR, its power was reinforced in trying to implement a communist system of collective farms. The shared workload demotivated individuals from achievement (because they were separated from the product of their own work, ironically) and led to other problems: notably, a distrust of the state and a general lack of engagement with both the political process and the economic system itself.

The experiment in the USSR failed because of how overbearing the state became. Instead of withering away, government power became even more centralized. Cooperatives didn't work on a large scale.

Marx's alternative to capitalism was communism, which he argued was a natural process as a result of the inevitable collapse of capitalism. Since, in the USSR, capitalism didn't "naturally" decline, it's hard to say if he was entirely wrong. On a small scale, communist principles do work, such as in kibbutz farms. Socialism, such as practiced in some European countries, has worked well in terms of stabilizing society and narrowing the gaps between rich and poor.

Marx's belief in the inevitable failure of capitalism may be correct, although environmental forces and the emergence of new technology could play roles we do not yet understand.

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Karl Marx proposed communism as the alternative to capitalism. He perceived many evils in the early capitalism he witnessed, in which workers were badly exploited because they had so few legal protections: there were no minimum wages laws, no limits on working hours, no unemployment insurance, no worker safety measures, and no child labor laws. Marx saw, or read reports of, women and children working very long hours in terrible conditions for starvation wages while the owners of the big industries became incredibly wealthy. He saw a situation in which the people who were helping produce the wealth were not getting a fair share (or any share) of the profits. He also perceived that by being able to own land, buildings, and banks, a class of people had emerged who grew wealthy just by collecting rents or interests on what they owned while producing nothing. He called these people parasites. He thought this was a drag on the overall economy.

Therefore, he proposed a system in which the government, run by the working class people, would own all the means of production, such as the factories, most of the land, and all of the banks. The profits from these entities would be distributed among all the people instead of being held concentrated in a very few hands. This, in Marx's opinion, would lead to better lives for most people and make the economy more productive. For example, rather than working as servants, which Marx thought was a waste, more people could actually engage in productive work that would add to a country's GDP.

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Karl Marx's alternative to capitalism is communism.  This is the system that he thinks should (and eventually will) arise to replace capitalism.

Marx believes that capitalism is a system that inherently exploits the proletariat.  Therefore, he argues that a capitalist system will always be marked by conflict between that class and the bourgeoisie.  He believes that this conflict will inevitably end with the triumph of the workers.

When this is fully accomplished, there will be a system in which there are no classes and no private property.  People will all work because they want to, not because they hope to make profit.  Everyone will receive the material goods that they need so there will be no poverty.  There will be no bourgeoisie who will take the money that is made by the workers.  This will be a utopia in which everyone has what they need and there is no longer any class conflict.

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