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Dylan B.
Second-Year student at Vanderbilt University
Tutor Satisfaction Guarantee
French
TutorMe
Question:

Ask, "Can I go to the bathroom, please?", in French.

Dylan B.
Answer:

Est-ce que je peux aller aux toilettes, s'il vous plaît?

Pre-Calculus
TutorMe
Question:

Find cscθ given that tanθ= 4/3 and θ is in Quadrant II.

Dylan B.
Answer:

Since tanθ= 4/3, cotθ= (1/tanθ)= 3/4, and (csc^2)θ= (cot^2)θ+1= (3/4)^2 + 1 = 9/16 + 1= 25/16 and therefore cscθ= 5/4 since cscθ>0 for θ in Quadrant II.

Sociology
TutorMe
Question:

Compare and contrast Adam Smith and Karl Marx's analyses of capitalism. What effect do they think capitalism has on the worker? What leads to their ideological disconnects?

Dylan B.
Answer:

Two of the most influential intellectuals of the past few hundred years were Karl Marx and Adam Smith. They both helped create incredibly formative economic theories and analyses. Yet these two are on opposite ends of a spectrum. Many countries such as the United States heralded Smith’s analysis of capitalism. Similarly, Marx’s words were used as a base for political movements, and became classified as socialist and communist ideology. To this day, well over a hundred years later, their analyses of capitalism and the market system are still much debated. While they agree on some general effects of industrialization, their views of its greater effects on individuals and society, especially in regards to freedom, vary greatly. One fact that both Marx and Smith would agree upon is that with the advent of the industrial system the world entered into an age of incredible production capabilities. Before the industrial revolution the ability to produce wide scale mass surpluses was impossible. Individuals with specialized skills produced food and other goods. People had to create entire products one by one, which was time consuming and limited the amounts that could be produced. Both Marx and Smith agree that after the practice of the division of labor and the industrial revolution became wide spread, the system became incredibly efficient and as a result production capabilities exploded. They would also agree that the capitalist system created jobs for many. However, the resulting affects of all these changes on the workers themselves are where Marx and Smith clash. In The Wealth Of Nations Smith says, “It is the great multiplication of the productions of all the different arts, in consequence of the division of labor, which occasions in a well-governed society, that universal opulence which extends itself to the lowest ranks of the people,” (Smith, “The Wealth of Nations”, p.115). What Smith means is that these newfound production levels, resulting in incredible surpluses, benefit everyone from the very rich to the very poor. People now have a greater ability to survive and thrive; the standard of living for everyone increases. People are free in that they do not have to worry nearly as much about every day survival. They can show their preferences in the free market through investing. They have individual freedom. Smith also finds that there is now room for intellectual labor, jobs that could not really exist before. People can use their other talents, their intellectual acumen, to make a living. They can become professors, philosophers, lawyers, etc. They can use their unique abilities to do what they want in life. Smith would admit that the capital system is selfish. People are working to maximize self-interest, as he believes is their nature. However, he would say everyone acting in their own self-interests actually works together to produce this universal opulence for all, a greater collective good. In contrast to Smith, Marx finds that this incredible level of production traps the workers and pushes them into de facto slavery. Marx says, “On the basis of political economy itself, in its own words, we have shown that the worker sinks to the level of a commodity, and becomes indeed the most wretched of commodities; that the wretchedness of the worker is in inverse proportion to the power and magnitude of his production,” (Marx, “Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844”, p. 70). Marx believes that under the new market system the worker has been stripped of his humanity and of his individuality. Workers are seen as nothing more than a means to an end, a production tool, basically bought and sold. They themselves are items in a market, the labor market. Furthermore, they are alienated from their products. They are stuck producing goods that they often cannot afford. With the ever-increasing specialization of jobs, the work itself becomes easier. Each worker does a tiny part of the manufacture of an entire product causing them to be easily replaceable, their jobs consisting of repetitious acts that can be picked up very quickly. If they lose their job they are left with almost nothing. Marx says, “Thus in this double respect the worker becomes a slave of his object, first, in that he receives an object of labour, i.e., in that he receives work; and secondly, in that he receives means of subsistence,” (Marx, “Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844”, p. 73). The worker’s life purpose becomes to help produce a product. He depends on this work to live. Marx believes that yes, the capitalist market produces some opulence, but for the bourgeois, not for the workers. Marx would argue that Smith has fallen into the same trap that so many have before him. He has come to believe the ideas of the ruling class, and project them as fact. Marx believes that this capitalist market has resulted in deeper divisions between the rich (the bourgeois) and the poor workers (the proletariat). “Society as a whole is more and more splitting up into two great hostile camps, into two great classes directly facing each other- bourgeoisie and proletariat,” (Marx, “The Communist Manifesto”, p.63). The wealth is now held in the hands of a select few. Marx may recognize that what Smith says might work in theory, but he would argue that Smith’s ideas don’t come to fruition in reality. Freedom has not been secured, but rather taken away. However, Marx finds that the stage has now been set for universal freedom. A new revolution will arise when the proletariat realizes the bourgeois is taking advantage of them. They will set aside their smaller differences and come together as one group to create a new age of equity. One where there is a overall higher standard of living for the masses, even if that means a small group, the wealthy, have to give some things up. One of the key disconnects that led Marx and Smith to disagree on the capitalist system is the difference in their views on human nature. Smith writes that the division of labor, “is the necessary, though very slow and gradual consequence of a certain propensity in human nature which has in view no such extensive utility; the propensity to truck, barter, and exchange one thing for another,” (Smith, “The Wealth of Nations”, p.117). Smith feels that it is in our DNA. He thinks the reason it took so long for humans to fully understand this instinct was because of the dogma and tradition that bound us for thousands of years. But now, being active in the market is natural to us. We weren’t meant to survive on a coincidence of wants, but rather be part of something greater, where we used currency to purchase the goods we needed. Marx feels like this is a fatal assumption. He feels that it doesn’t have to be this way, and that Smith is falling into the same trap that the German ideologists did. “Political Economy proceeds from the fact of private property, but it does not explain it to us,” (Marx, “Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844”, p.70). Marx argues that Smith is assuming fact due to the time he lives in and his surroundings. Smith’s view is a social construct of the period, a product of particular social relationships. Marx feels that the idea of private property is the expression of a historical mode of social domination, not something that has risen from our basic nature. He feels that when the revolution is over we won’t need the division amongst capital that we now see, but rather we will all be on a more equal footing. Marx feels that our real private property is that of ourselves and of our own work, and that this is lost under capitalism. The workers don’t belong to themselves anymore, but to their employers, to the bourgeoisie. Marx’s view is that a human’s nature is in his own species-being, his ability to have conscious life activity, separating us from animals. We as a species can shape our on nature to some extant. However, estranged labor and the market system, contrary to what Smith says, go against this, our species-being. Estranged labor alienates us from it, making us feel ourselves only in animal functions, rather than our human functions. “In tearing away from man the object of his production, therefore, estranged labour tears from him his species life, his real species objectivity, and transforms his advantage over animals into the disadvantage that his inorganic body, nature, is taken from him,” (Marx, “Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844”, p. 76-77). The capitalist system opposes our human nature, and our very essence as a species. It strips the workers of their humanity, making them into commodities. Both Marx and Smith might agree that an age of incredible production and technological progress resulted from the industrial revolution and the capitalist system, but they do not agree about its effects on the worker. While Smith sees the process as a realization of our human nature and the creation of an age of opulence for all, Marx finds the opposite. Marx views the new system as ripping away the humanity of the proletariat, who make up the majority of the people. He sees Smith’s views on human nature as being constructed out of the particular social relations of the time and out of the ideas projected by the ruling class. Marx sees the world set up for a new revolution, one in which the proletariat will rise up against the status quo and establish a world where there is a more equal distribution of wealth, and where people work for the good of all instead of the subjugation of the masses and the success of a select few.

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