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Marx vs. Gandhi [Power, Social Class, and Money] Essay


xxsamaraxx7 2 / -  
Nov 26, 2007   #1
I really hate english and I need A TON of help. I wrote this essay and I though it was ok but I got a C- on it and I need all the help I can get to rewrite it.

The essay is about Marx's "Communist Manifesto" and Gandhi's "Economic and Moral Progress" speech. I was discussing the role that money, power, and social class play in society. But my teacher said that I got the main points wrong. PLEASE HELP ME!!

Here's the essay:

In Gandhi's "Economic and Moral Progress" and Marx's "The Communist Manifesto" essays, they discuss the topics of materialism and class distinction. Gandhi believes that through peace and nonviolent protests, changes to society can be made. He also focuses strongly on individual morality and how morality can be related to social classes. Marx, on the other hand, urged people to use violence, if necessary, to create social change within the class systems. Marx sought after the way that the societal structure could change and he focuses more on the growth of a nation-rather than the individual. Although Gandhi and Marx have completely opposite approaches, it is made clear through their essays that the economy and social class are both main issues in which society is based upon.

Gandhi made his "Economic and Moral Progress" speech on December 22, 1916 at the Muir Central College Economics Society in India. Gandhi makes clear his opinions about economic societies. In his speech, he says, "By economic progress, I take it, we mean material advancement without limit and by real progress we mean moral progress, which again is the same thing as progress of the permanent element in us." (Gandhi 339) Based on his experiences, he believes that the more progress a person undergoes economically, the less progress they will undergo morally. Continuing on, he states that it is more important to be moral than it is to be financially stable.

He further goes on to say that "In a well-ordered society, the securing of one's livelihood should be and is found to be the easiest thing in the world. Indeed, the rest of orderliness in a country is not the number of millionaires it owns, but the absence of starvation among its masses." (Gandhi 339) This quote describes that individual progress is measured not monetarily but rather by how giving people are of themselves. If people are greedy, selfish, and not willing to help others, then it will be much easier for those people to have more money because they only spend it on themselves. However, if the people that have money are willing to spend their money on those that aren't as fortunate, then the utopian society that Gandhi hopes for is created. Although Gandhi hopes for this type of "well-ordered society" he notes that throughout history, countries have suffered morally when achieving "high material affluence" (Gandhi 339). They become crazed with money and the more materialistic the countries become, the less moral they become as well. Because of this and his various observations, Gandhi considers the poor to be morally superior to the rich.

Karl Marx's "The Communist Manifesto" develops ideas that also revolve around economics. Marx believes that the economy is dominated by a selected few who are very materialistic and who create distinctions within the social class. These selected few, the "bourgeoisie," have power over the towns, major cities, property, and the means of production. Marx says that the bourgeoisie have "pitilessly torn asunder the motley feudal ties that bound man to his 'natural superiors', and has left no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest, than callous 'cash payment'...it has resolved personal worth into exchange value." (Marx 319) This ruling class has become so revolved around money that the most "heavenly ecstasies of religious fervor, of chivalrous enthusiasm, of philistine sentimentalism" (Marx 319) have disappeared and been replaced with the importance of materialistic objects. Because of this obsession with money and materialism, Marx thinks that the bourgeoisie corrupt society.

In the second part of Marx's essay, "Proletarians and Communists," the idea of communism and equality is brought up. Marx believes that the segregation between the different social classes should not exist. He discusses private property and the fact that the bourgeoisie have control over the vast majority of it: "private property is already done away with for nine-tenths of the population; its existence for the few is solely due to its non-existence in the hands of those nine-tenths. You reproach us, therefore, with intending to do away with a form of property, the necessary condition for whose existence is the non existence of any property for the immense majority of society." (Marx 329) The bourgeoisie deprive the majority of the nation of what is their personal property. It is unjust that the rich can have such an overruling power over the rest of the nation. In Marx's eyes, the only efficient way to run society is by communism. He says that communism provides equality to all and is the only method that is beneficial to the nation as a whole-rather than to select individuals.

Lastly, while Gandhi prefers to use peace and nonviolent protests to convey his thoughts and opinions, Marx uses a different method. Marx hints at using violence to change the social structure. While talking about the bourgeoisie, he says, "this person must, indeed, be swept out of the way." (Marx 330) He fully disagrees with the bourgeoisie and everything that they believe in. He thinks that the proletariats must rise above the bourgeoisie and "be the leading class of the nation." (Marx 332) The only way for this to occur is through action; by oppressing the bourgeoisie and "by means of a revolution." (Marx 334)

Gandhi and Marx were both highly influential leaders who felt very strongly about the way that society is run. They both think that the rich are inferior to the poor and that change within society and the social classes are needed in order to create a successful and well balanced society. In order to achieve this ideal society, they both take action to convey their ideals: Gandhi through peace, and Marx through violence and action. Even though they both have completely different approaches, they both make clear the fact that the economy and social class are main issues in society.

THANK YOU!!

EF_Team2 1 / 1,708  
Nov 27, 2007   #2
Greetings!

While I can't give you an in-depth analysis of these works, I can see what might be some flaws in your logic, stemming from the quotations given. For example:

"By economic progress, I take it, we mean material advancement without limit and by real progress we mean moral progress, which again is the same thing as progress of the permanent element in us." You said, "the more progress a person undergoes economically, the less progress they will undergo morally." I don't see, from what Gandhi said, that he is balancing them against each other like that.

"In a well-ordered society, the securing of one's livelihood should be and is found to be the easiest thing in the world. Indeed, the rest of orderliness in a country is not the number of millionaires it owns, but the absence of starvation among its masses." (Gandhi 339) This quote describes that individual progress is measured not monetarily but rather by how giving people are of themselves. - I think Gandhi is saying that a society which is functioning properly takes care of its people; it cannot be a well-ordered society (and, thus, a moral one) if it has people starving in the streets.

I would not say that the two writers think that the rich are "inferior" to the poor; more that, in a properly constructed society, there will not be poor people who suffer so that the rich can be rich.

I hope this helps!

Thanks,

Sarah, EssayForum.com
kvl - / 1  
Oct 13, 2009   #3
"you can replace money but you can't replace lifes" essay

Hello all...i'm new on this forum...
I must write an essay with this title : "you can replace money but you can't replace lifes"...
Can somebody help me ?
Thank you very much.
Keng 39 / 134  
Oct 13, 2009   #4
try to post your draft so that i can check it.

You can compare you can replace money with you cannot replace life in each situation.

You may explain three situations that refer to "you can replace money but you can't replace life. Show the examples of it in three topic sentences.

Here are just suggestions.
lukeish 1 / 2  
Oct 13, 2009   #5
Post the subject/issue you are discussing and it will be easier to help.
EF_Stephen - / 264  
Oct 13, 2009   #6
At the very least, list some ideas you might have. Then we will have something to work with.


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