How did Karl Marx predict that the Industrial Revolution would affect and change the nature of European society?
Karl Marx remains one of the most influential figures globally and often remembered for his views on society and economics. He is particularly known for presenting novel and controversial views such as the idea that the Industrial Revolution would later have a profound impact on the fabric of European society. Marx predicted that the widespread adoption of industrial capitalism in Europe would result in a class struggle between those who owned the means of production (the capitalists) and the working class (proletariat) (Whyte, 2018).
Based on this proposition, Marx believed that the capitalists would exploit the proletariat for financial gain which would ultimately result in the widening of the wealth gap between the rich and the poor in European society. Among one of the most controversial ideas presented by Marx was that Industrial Revolution would cause social discord since it would be driven primarily by new capitalist ideals resulting in the subsequent erosion of traditional values in European society. He also viewed the new emerging capitalist society as a new dangerous reality where an individual’s worth would be directly tied to their relationship to capitalists rather than social status or traditional European values (Leopold, 2018).
Were Karl Marx Predictions correct?
While some of the predictions presented by Marx, such as the poor rising against the wealthy capitalists, did not come to pass, some were accurate and came to pass. The Industrial Revolution strengthened the power and influence of the wealthy capitalists, which in turn facilitated exploitation of the poor. Marx was also accurate about the impact of the Industrial Revolution on traditional values in Europe given that it later resulted in their erosion and replaced by the subsequent adoption of capitalist culture.