Capitalism and Equality-Sociology Solution Sample






Question 1:

Though socialism is one of the most important theories which was heavily supported by Karl Marx the legacy of Karl Marx comes from being the creator and implementer of a completely new methodology called communism. The main point of contention that Karl Marx had with the standards that were then prevalent in the world was that the main problem that the world was facing due to capitalism was that the prevalent policy of a 2 different classes of people one being the ruling class and the owner while the other group being the workers and a complete money and profit-minded approach is leading to a tussle between the two and exploitation of the ruled classes. He promotes the philosophy of communism which preaches complete ownership of everything in the state. There are no incentives given if you work more than what is required. Communism was made the dominant philosophy in Russia and though it was a failure of an experiment which led the common man to actually revolt it was the teaching of Karl Marx that was instrumental in making a country understand the possibility and opportunities tagged to the philosophy of communism. Karl Marx showed to the world what change of thought process as well as the outlook towards the world can be brought about by the thinking of a single person when he challenged them prevalent methodology that had already taken its roots in the majority of the countries and showed to the world that there is a possibility to look into or try for a completely new type of philosophy that would not only bring an equality to the masses but will also bring about a truly utopian society. Though he did promote socialism too, there was a fundamental difference between the terms of socialism and communism. While socialism in its most base sense did promote the equality it also made sure that the factories and the companies were owned by the state and not by the individual thus keeping the power centralized in some sense whereas communism promoted true equality which meant that every commodity and resource that is there in the country would be shared by everyone in the population this leading to a common sharing of all the factories and industries by the members of the society. Both of this principle though really good at heart never really promoted going out of your way to work more or give a better effort. Thus though Marx envisioned a much better form of society on implementing these principles, it ultimately led to a huge chaos situation in the Russia where it was first implemented showing that society is yet not ready for the vision that Carl Marx had thought. Nevertheless, Carl Marx still remains one of the visionaries that graced the earth and brought about a system that was in pen and paper truly utopian. It also showed the world that though not in its full entirety it is possible to have a solution that is much better than the one that is prevalent in the world

Question 2:

The work of Max Weber on connecting the Protestant Ethic to the rise of capitalism is one of the most talked about book in the century and one of the most misunderstood book. This is not because of the time or language, but the complexity involved in the text and the varied way of understanding it. I feel that the connection is very convincing as the reasoning given by Weber has an abundance of logic in it. Throughout the course of the text, Weber never argues that Protestantism actually caused the Capitalistic spirit, but according to him it is one of the most important contributing factors which is very true. In the early days, it was the Church (in case of the western world) who used to decide the way of life of the people and thus channelize the society towards a common goal or habit. Catholic beliefs were more inclined towards spirituality and how keeping a distance from worldly materialistic things, but it the protestant belief which said working was serving the GOD. Which I feel was a huge contributing factor for the people to focus on work and materialistic things. With the advent of Protestantism, values of the society were changing. Basic ethics and norms related to sexuality, beauty, marriage etc were changing fast and these were only due to the slowly walking away from the Catholic beliefs. The bindings were slowly getting off. The rise of freedom and also most importantly, the increase of individual values over the societal values were few of the factors heavily influencing capitalism. Thus we definitely see a link between the rise of Capitalism and the Protestant way of living. If we closely look at the industrial revolution, it sprang mostly in the UK and Germany and these were the two countries where the Protestant belief was most flourishing. And this was mainly contributed by the fact the people found their inner selves more aligned to the new belief of Protestantism and it also attributed towards the work ethics as it supported the claim we discussed before, working is serving the GOD.
Let us delve into the reason of rising of Protestantism. During the 16
th century, the Churches were gripped with corruption and greed. The priests were living a life od the princes and thus slowly rose the religion of Protest (as the name suggests). They believed that the Church has sunk too much into doctrines and rituals and have lost it connect to the common people for whom actually the church exists. Hence Protestants wanted to recapture the spirit of the church stressing on simplicity, devotion, and work. Multiple sects rose at multiple countries such as Calvinism in France or Puritans in the United Kingdom or Lutheranism in Germany. These people mostly migrated to North America where there was a blast of the industrial revolution and thus capitalism. Thus we can directly find a connection or an immense contribution of Protestantism in Capitalism.

In the book, Weber initially describes the problem. It mostly religious affiliation and how blindly trusting is affecting normal people in their daily lives. And then gradually he explains the connection of rising of capitalism with the change in the belief system of the people and how the above-discussed faiths of various countries attributed to it.
Now, if we come to the contemporary world, we can see that work precedes everything. Without work, and only devotion we would reach nowhere. If we look into the religious beliefs of other worlds, (India for example), in Hinduism, its clearly mentioned that either work alone or devotion alone would not take us anywhere in life. To attain GOD or success in life, there should be a perfect balance of spirituality and work life as these two are complementary to each other. To explain in simpler words, it is the interdependence and inter-relationship of “ideational” and “material” factors in history that lead the path for the modern way of thinking in the world. Today, people believe in work along with the Church. They play a twin role in the life the common people together complementing each other.

With all the above discussions and examples from various parts of the world at different timelines, we can certainly conclude that Max Weber was right in connecting the Protestant Ethic to the rise of Capitalism in the world.

Question 3:

The inherent quality if capitalism is the holding of all the industries and factories by a set of elites who also owns the majority of the wealth whereas the other set of people the workers who though generate most of the labor enjoy only a fraction of the wealth in the society. Now, in reality, capitalism does not promote inequality. It promotes freedom of trade along with the equality in laws which means that the same law will be applicable to all the members of the society. But the inherent quality of human to amass wealth not only creates a huge difference between the standards of the 2 classes of the society but also results in a tussle between the two classes. The ownership of all the factories by private companies and not the state results in heavy profit-making an approach without much importance given to the wealth as well the well-being of the workers leads to a huge tussle between the two factions of the population in most of the cases. Though capitalism is the most prevalent philosophy in most of the countries in the world primarily in the US but it is due to this prevalent philosophy, and the intense competition that stems from it which results in many an organization are not able to rise from their fledgling state just because of the inability to cope up to the competition. This type of concentration of wealth to a few people and company also makes the companies form cartel as well as understanding that results in the creation of prices that results in a higher than incurred costs and results in a reduction of the benefits that is possible to the customers or the end receivers of these offers. The worst part of this is that the capitalism in many a country nowadays is evolving into a much more dangerous principle which delves its concentration of the wealth as well as power among a few chosen companies making those companies in literally sense the gods of the country. This principle is called Plutarch which is right now picking its head up in the US. Thus capitalism in its most basic sense though promotes equality, but in actuality, it is quite hard to put that in practice due to the inherent nature of corruption among the human. Taking this all into account I would say that capitalism though does look like a principle that can actually bring out the best in a country by bringing out the most profit and output that is possible but it also in actuality results in a huge gap between the factions of the society. This very thing of capitalism was heavily criticized by Carl Marx who went on to find a new philosophy of communism stemming from the very fact of promoting true equality between all the members of the society. Though it finally failed to really make its mark in the world the, it was nevertheless a valiant effort to show the faults in capitalism and venture to find a culture or principle that will promote equality in its true sense




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Washington Post (2018) ‘5 myths about capitalism’.

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Uhlanner Jonathan (2018) ‘Re-reading Das capital’.

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