ideas of goods for exchange in the market

ideas that he put forth challenge those of Karl Marx. Through looking at Baudrillard and identifying
his diverse concepts in relation and disagreement to Marx’s, it is crucial to look at three key themes
that they both observe; social change, social orde r, and structure and agency. From looking at these
key concepts, it presents how two classical sociological theorists can share similar ideas to continue
into contemporary society and be applicable in the modern day.

In the 19th century, Karl Marx began exploring the relationship between the economy and the
workers within a system. He separated these into two distinct social classes, the proletariat which
were seen as labour workers and the bourgeoisie whom managed the workers, yet kept the profits.
For Marx, capitalism is a manipulative economic system based on the production of goods for
exchange in the market place in order to produce profits for a bourgeois or capitalist class. (Giddens
and Sutton, 2014 pg 71) Marx was not just a critic, he saw that capitalism was very productive. He
moved to Brussels, Belgium in 1845, where he established the German Workers’ Party and was
active in the Communist League. There Marx wrote his most famous work, The Manifesto of the
Communist Party. He was then displaced from Belgium to which he then settled in London where he
remained for the rest of his life. Here he wrote many books, some co written with his friend Freidrick

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Marx identified several problems with capitalism, the first being that the modern work is s aid to be
alienated. Marx said that we should enjoy going to work and enjoy what we do, but in order for that
to happen, they ‘need to see themselves in the objects that they have created’. However this is
increasingly difficult in the modern world as there are more specialised jobs therefore we cannot see
ourselvesinproductswhichnowsometimesneedateamofpeopletocreate.Marx saidthisis
alienation as the worker has a feeling of disconnection with the labour he is manufacturing,
therefore does not have any emotions to what he thinks he can contribute to existence. The second
is how modern work is insecure as capitalism has a force of production which can ruthlessly be let go
as the world of work is constantly evolving and workers can be replaced by technology. The last
being that workers get paid little whilst the capitalists get rich (Marx, 1989). Marx believed that
capitalists shrink the workers’ wages as much as possible and pay them as little as they can so that
they are able to benefit from a wide profit margin- in other words primitive accumulation (Angelis,

Baudrillard was said to be a prolific writer, high priest, powerful thinker yet Ludacris. His work is
extra ordinary and some of his ideas are slightly way out. He started as a neo -Marxist and expanded
on Marx’s key concepts. He critiqued the political economyand the relevance of culture in everyday
life. He was influenced by semiology (reading body language and signs to mean something for
example, a thumbs up) and Freud such as the unconscious and sub conscious. His Focus was the
Marxist political economy, the consumer society and semiotics. In his early work he looked at details
in social change such as the transitional shifts across social history. He agreed with Marx such as
production is a commodification of needs whic