Adam Smith Verses Karl Marx Perceptions
One of the Scottish philosophers Adam Smith was among the biggest philosophers who contributed to the foundation of capitalist system. Among him, Karl Marx a political thinker and a German philosopher, came with a different approach of the capitalist system. He critique about capitalism and agued that social workers should demand about revolution, (Riddell, 2010).
According to Smith, labor market was social system which decisions of the society were made. The labor market comprised the Lord and the Serf. There were set mutual obligations which governed the social system. On the Smith’s point of view, although the labor market was for mutual benefit, serfs were at any time exploited by the Lords. While Smith was focusing on the benefits of the labor market, Marx was dealing with the problems of the labor market such as the working conditions, industrial life, and urban slums among others, (Riddell, 2010).
Due to the advance in agricultural technology, it brought urban population. Laborers used most of their time in those developing machinery which on return brought an increase on agricultural sector. According to Smith, changes in technology played a big role in the capital accumulation. The social interdependence of lords and serfs brought capital accumulation into cash system and left the tradition way.
Since Marx was one of the social systems, he was not against it but rather he developed a social theory of change to encompass the understanding and evaluate how capitalism developed. Like Smith, Marx also believed that capitalist will still remain to invest on the new productive technology which in turn will reduce the value of the labor, (Riddell, 2010).
Specialization of labor
During the early centuries, Smith wrote about the “system of natural liberty”. Specialization of labor was the division of labor. With the specialization of labor, the laborers are depressed either physically or spiritually towards the introduction of the new technology. It brought market system not only to be practically inevitable, but also desirable.
According to Marx, the society is built on an economic base which caters for human beings. Production forces include resources such as machines, skills, technology, talent, human labor, among others. They are determined by how members of the society related and engage in the process of production. He condemned capitalism because of creation of different kinds of labor which can be bought and sold, (Riddell, 2010).
Production and consumption of nation’s capabilities are the wealth of the country. This was according to Smith who was the leader of the mercantilist policies. Classical liberalism wanted to change the control of national wealth from a system of aristocratic to a market which was believed to be self-regulatory, (Riddell, 2010).
One of the major contributions of Smith towards the formation of capitalism was “the invisible hand”. This concept brought about the issue of self interest for the benefit of the whole society. Self interest (which is unintentionally) played a major role in benefiting society. What Marx believed in was the business cycles which will bring an increase in the unemployed workers. These will lead to revolution which can bring about the destruction of capitalism, (Riddell, 2010).
Riddell T, et al. Economics: A Tool for Critically Understanding Society, Pearson Series in Economics, Prentice Hall, (2010).