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Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto and The Family Business

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In The Communist Manifesto, the most prominent way that bourgeois capitalism and effects his society is the way that the bourgeois has lost its familial connection quality. Marx states, “The bourgeoisie has torn away from the family its sentimental veil, and has reduced the family relation to the mere money relation.” (Marx 222) A little bit earlier he had also talked about how the physicians, lawyers, and priests were now all just “wage-laborers.” This shows that the classic idea of holding a family business and passing it down family member to family member is becoming extinct. People either want to branch out the business to make it far more successful and overprice their services to place a certain value on their work. This is perhaps even more applicable in this day and age, as well as an idea of “universal inter-dependence of nations.” (Marx 223)

In the past, branching out a family business, probably while not uncommon, was still in the works of production. The Industrial Revolution was happening, as well as the Free Trade market, which was starting to bring it about. However, while prominent old money families were being developed, and monopolies on products were being formed, it was all very new, and still probably under some control of the government. Presidents like Teddy Roosevelt, during the Industrial Revolution, had made a habit of breaking down big businesses and trusts, so there was generally more equality, all though not much. However, in this day in age, big business can run our entire lives, with multiple prominent families holding a great deal of wealth, or branching out their businesses to an extreme amount. On an even simpler level, it is no longer possible for one family restaurant to be successful. It requires an even greater expansion than before, as well as meeting consumer needs that hadn’t been as present previously. A family restaurant can no longer just sell the food it wants to, because there are so many restaurants in the world, but it has to meet the needs (whether it’s vegan options, gluten-free) of all people who may buy their products.

The idea of increasing monetary value is even more present today, because it is now looked down upon to be simply a “wage laborer”, because the amount of money you make is what determines your worth in this society. No longer is “the common man” as acceptable, or someone who just wants to make enough for him and his family, but he (or she) has to make enough to live a greedy lifestyle. Doctors may have always charged a fee, but it was not turned into the huge money making corporation that it is today. Lawyers may have always been expensive, but now the more you want to win your case, the more money you have to put into your Ivy-educated, obscene per-hour fees, and lawyer. These days, everything is a big business, and everyone wants to get as much money as possible, and spend the very least. There are not just the beginnings of this anymore, but this seems to be generally all the world is. What Marx describes is just an inkling of what was to come.

Marx describes the inter-dependence of nations, and how no businesses seem to just be focused in one country, or in one city anymore, but have to expand globally. Through modern technology, this has become even more prominent. The expansion of businesses, and deals with countries on the opposite sides of the globe have become simply a phone call or an email. There are almost no limits on communication between countries now, and things like time or space, that might have been applicable in Marx’s time, no longer are. This easy access to communication has expanded capitalism and made it seem like almost a natural way of the world. A company in the United States may now be completely dependent on production in China, and there are very easy ways to check on production, fly over company representatives and manage the workspace. This simplicity however has made the United States, as well as many other countries, even less self-reliant than they have been, and created a world where a lack of communication and social consciousness would cause far more than just uproar.

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