Introduction of the society as well as politics. This

Introduction

            Karl Marx is among the most notable
personalities the world has ever had. He sacrificed enormous resources and time
in coming up with numerous theories that shaped diverse disciplines, including
business, economics, and governance among
other areas (Fuchs 693). His theories
have been used for decades and most of them remain relevant even in the
contemporary world where social media and digital labor is dominant. He is credited with
coming up with many theories. One of his renowned works was the communist
manifesto. This is a political pamphlet authored in 1848 by both Friedrich
Engels and Karl Marx (Fuchs 695). This
work is recognized as one of the most influential political documents globally.
This book presents an impeccable analytical approach to the issue of class
struggle as well as the issues of capitalism and the capitalist production mode, instead of a prediction of communism’s
future forms of communism. In this work, Marx and Engels summarize their works
on the nature of the society as well as politics. This is just one of the
plethora works credited to this great philosopher.  Some of the Marx’s notable theories that have
remained relevant even today include the theories of alienation, Capitalist
society, competition, and class. This
paper examines the Marx key theories in the age
of social media and digital labor.

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Theory of Alienation

            Marx’s theory of alienation is the
intellectual construct whereby he displays the devastating impact of capitalist
production on people, on their mental and physical states as well as on the
social processes of which they are part. This theory illustrates the
estrangement of people from facets of their Gattungswesen as the result of
living within a society of stratified social classes. According to Marx, the
alienation from self is the result of being a mechanistic part of the social class; this condition
estranges an individual from the humanity. This theory holds that employees are disenchanted with their work since it is controlled as well as
supervised by a hierarchy of supervisors and managers (Fuchs 12). Based on this
theory, the creativity, as well as freedom of an individual, has been silent in
the name of effectiveness and efficiency. 
Additionally, Marx notes that the abject poverty among workers means they are not in a position to live in
affluent conditions. Marx also notes that the capitalist system reaps huge
profits from employees but instead gives meager
wages to the workers (Lemert 32). He also
believed that alienation stemmed from
workers being suspicious of each other because of the competitive nature of
capitalism. The alienation also resulted from workers being forced to undertake
specific tasks or activities that are in contrary to the nature of humanity
(Peters, and Bulut 46). Nature assists
them in attaining creativity and designing robust challenges to new issues and
problems.

             According to Karl Marx, alienation was a
natural result of capitalism due to several reasons. This is mainly because
workers are manipulated by the capitalist
forces for purposes of increasing the output and productivity. The consequence
is that workers will eventually lose determination and hope (Lemert 39). This is mainly because the
capitalists strive towards ensuring that the worker’s
activities are oriented towards particular goals and objectives. The desire of
organization is ensuring that workers can be exploited towards the achievement of maximum surplus value. In
capitalism, the work is viewed as an instrument and this leads to people losing
their personal identity (Gill, and Pratt 59).
It can also result in frustration as well
as resentment because the production modes are privately owned.

            The theory of alienation fits
perfects very well in the current world that is dominated by social media and
digital labor. To begin with, workers have
been alienated from the act of production. 
Capitalism advocates for the use of digital labor, whereby instead of people being used in the entire
production processes, machines are used instead.  In this new arrangement, the workers perform
the least of jobs and therefore they can be said to have been alienated from
the key production processes. For instance, when robotics are used in the
production processes the workers are greatly alienated from the process of
production. In addition, the theory is relevant today because workers are also
alienated from producers.  With the
growth of capitalism and the continued use of digital labor for manufacturing purposes, the producers design how the
final product will look like while the workers are left to operate the machines
(Gill, and Pratt 63). In this new
arrangement, the producers are concerned with the final product and not with
the employees.  This has the implication
that social relations are ignored and the people working under this system try
their level best to achieve betterment and endurance.  This competitive nature of
capitalism ultimately leads to conflicts as well as disputes.  This structure can lead to high degree of
resentment and alienation among masses.

            The theory is also relevant as far
as the age of social media is concerned. 
The Marx’s theory of alienation also applies to the use of the social
media in the current society. Based on this theory, the various social media
platforms are the new capitalist industrial political economy during the
information age. In this arrangement, the mass of people who are actively
participating in the different social frameworks forms the proletariat class. 
The labor power in this
arrangement is the intellectual content as well as time offered by the masses
who log into the social media networks (Fuchs,
and Mosco 122). Additionally, the
capitalists are the owners, founders and the marketers of the various social
media networks that enormously benefit from the labor
of these masses. While applying the ideology of Marxism on social media, there
are many things to clarify since the comparison is not straightforward. In this model, the proletariat owns the production factors or modes because
they mainly own the computing devices that they use in channeling their intellectual labor
through.

            It is worth noting that most of the
social media networks in the current world allow their users to retain the
copyrights of their contents after posting it. Therefore, arguing that users
are alienated from consequences of intellectual labor
power is a debatable point. There is a reason why it is important to bother in
applying this theory to the model of the social media. The output resulting
from intellectual labor in the model of
social media is that the end product is almost interminably reproducible (Fuchs 26-41). This has the implication that
there is no single object that workers can own that constitutes
self-actualization in the terms of Karl Marx.

Capitalist Society

            Capitalism refers to the economic
system whereby production and distribution are privately owned. In this system,
development takes place through accumulation and reinvestment of profits that
have been gained in the free market. 
This approach to production is founded on wage-labor as well as private ownership of the production means. It
is also characterized by the extraction of surplus value by the owning class
with an aim of accumulation of capital (Fuchs
1-14). The idea of a capitalist society as presented by Marx can be
applied in the current age of social media and digital labor.

            To begin with, it is worth noting
that the issue cost of digital labor is
very high. This is true considering the price is most machines used in
production. These machines product provide the labor
required in most firms. However, considering the high cost of these, it can be
argued that they are the property of the
rich in the society. This means that the digital labor, which is one of the many factors of production, will remain
in the hands few individuals in the society. 
With the presence of the digital labor,
the amount of the traditional labor
required is small and it is only used for operating the machines- the digital labor (Fuchs
7-8). The result is a situation whereby the owners of the digital labor have more powers over the traditional labor and therefore the traditional labor has to toe the line of owners of the digital labor.

            Additionally, because a large
portion of the work within organizations is undertaken by the digital labor, the amount of traditional labor required within an organization is small
and this increases competition in the labor
market as labor supply exceeds the demand
of the labor. Such aspect leads to a
situation whereby the owners of the digital market exploit the traditional labor through poor wages and poor working
conditions (Beverungen, Böhm, and Land 473-489)
The continuous utilization of the digital labor
and consequent exploitation of the workers leads to poverty among workers. In
the same note, this contributes towards the development of two classes within
the society, the class of few rich people who own the factors of production and
the majority poor people, who form the workforce.  This is the reality that the world is
experiencing today-a society full of many poor workers and few rich people who
own the factors of production.

             The theory of capitalist society also provides
a view as far as social media is concerned.  Based on this theory, social media is acting
to also playing a role towards the creation of a capitalist society-a society
with few rich people and a large number of poor people. The founders of the different
social media platforms are becoming enormously while the masses are becoming
poor. In this case, the masses contribute the content that makes these social
networks gain significance and popularity (Beverungen,
Böhm, and Land 482). However, the
least benefit from the time and resources they spend on these platforms. On the other hand, the founders benefit from
the platforms by making huge profits from adverts. Therefore, it is clear that
the social media has contributed in a way in advancing capitalism society in
the world. 

Competition and Class

            In the current world, competition
has become fierce. Also, class differences are more pronounced than before.  For Karl Marx, the study of class structures,
class as well as changes in the structures is of great significance in the
comprehension of capitalism as well as other social systems of production. For
Karl Marx, classes within a society are structured and defined by the
correlations between labor and work, and possession or ownership of
property as well as the means of production (Fisher
1109). Even though the past societies comprised of diverse groupings and
strata that could be considered as classes, such as elites or strata not founded singly on economic factors. Some of
the popular strata or groupings in the past included military elite, knights as
well as the priesthood. However, the
current society is characterized by two classes, which are mainly the result of
economic factors, the proletariat, and the bourgeoisie.
The bourgeoisie, also known as the capitalist own the production factors and
they exploit labor power in order to expand
or accumulate capital (Peters, and Bulut 57).
On the other hand, the proletariat owns
the labor power. They have no other
resources apart from their ability to work with their minds, bodies as well as
hands. Because of their lack of resources, they have to depend on bourgeoisie
in order to find work.

            Marx’s theory can help to examine
the existence of competition and class in the current world where social media
and digital labor dominates. First, class
in the modern society is brought about by the high cost of digital labor. Because of the high initial cost of
digital labor, only a few people can
afford it.  This means only a few people who can afford the labor will be able to produce and the majority
of the people in the society have to work for few owners of the means of
production (Fisher 1115). The few people owning the means of production exploit the
majority through employment. Consequently, the majority of the society remain
poor as just a few of the population who can afford the digital labor become rich, hence creating a class of
the rich and the poor. The social media has made sharing of information highly
efficient than before. With social media,
it is possible to broadcast information to ensure it reaches a large number of
people within a short time. Most people are using the social media as a means
for comparing success and quality of life and this is leading to enormous
competition.

Conclusion

            It is clear that Marx is among the
notable personalities the world has ever had. 
He has contributed immensely in diverse fields, including business,
economics, and governments. Even though
his theories and concepts are more than a century old, most of them remain
relevant in today’s society, which is dominated by digital labor and the social media. These theories and
concepts include Alienation, Capitalist society, competition, and class. For example, the social media has
contributed to a capitalist society. Even though the masses contribute content
to the social network platforms, it is the founders of these platforms who
realize the benefits. 

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