What is meant by the quote "is like the sorcerer who is no longer able to control the power of the nether world he has called by his spells"?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

At this stage in the Marx/ Engels work, the assertion being made is that capitalism is similar to a "runaway train."  Marx and Engels argue that at a certain point, capitalism's emphasis on money and the acquisition of material wealth creates a setting where individuals are no longer in control of their own sense of autonomy.  Rather, they are motivated by greed and wanton desire for wealth.  Money and the appropriation of wealth are limitless.  The industrialist can own ten factories.  Yet, they can always own twenty, and thirty, and so on.  There is no demarcation for an end point because profit and material acquisition will never cease.  At this point, capitalism is beyond human control.  Rather, it controls human beings, and similar to a situation where "the hunter becomes the hunted, a scenario results where the sorcerer is no longer albeit control the power cast by his spells."  Marx and Engels argues that any economic system that compels individuals to utilize their freedom in a manner that actually results in a decrease of autonomy and control is one that must be feared, or rejected outright.

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The Communist Manifesto

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