– Question 2
Karl developed theories that showed how a person’s socialclass impacted his experiences and opportunities in life. He focusedhis attention on the misery that resulted from the poor conditions ofthe working class groups (Holt, 2015). Individuals in the lower classencountered poverty and hardship while those in the upper classenjoyed abundance and leisure. The level of control over factors ofproduction determined where one would rank in the social classhierarchy (Holt, 2015). Since the wealthy persons owned the factoriesand other fixed assets, they would employ the lower class.Subsequently, the upper class would control the livelihoods of peoplein lower classes. Although the amount of wealth kept rising, thenumber of poor people also increased. Consequently, the ever-wideninggap between the wealthy, powerful people and the poor, helplessindividuals would lead to a class conflict. While business ownersaimed for profit, the employees worked for hourly wages (Holt, 2015). held that the system of capitalism would alienate workers fromtheir employment and render them powerless (Holt, 2015).Nevertheless, capitalism has been accepted as a dominant ideologywhile the anticipated revolution remains elusive.
Online auctions sites such as eBay and eBid provide a platform wherebuyers and sellers interact. would be astounded at the reach andscope of business transactions. The proliferation of the Internet haseradicated the physical barriers that hindered past auctions. Forexample, people from different geographic locations can discussproducts in real-time. Language and currency differences are also anon-factor since everyone subscribes to a common currency (Matthews,2004). The market available for the purchase of a particular productis usually larger and more competitive than physical auctions. would also be amazed at the online system of payments through whichmoney transfer would be made across different countries.
theorized how commodities gained value through capitalism. Histheory applies to online auctions sites in particular ways. Forexample, the products advertised on eBay are usually offered atspecified prices. However, heightened demand for a particularcommodity would create a bidding situation (Matthews, 2004).Counterbids would lead to a gradual increase in the value of aproduct. Eventually, the owner of a good would receive an amount thatis significantly higher than the initial price. In this regard, theseller acquires a profit which can be used to purchase and sell moreof the same commodities. Owners of rare or highly-demanded productsuse eBay to kick-start bidding wars that lead to high prices andprofits. Some buyers have also acquired goods for relatively lowprices while looking for buyers at slightly higher prices (Matthews,2004). In this regard, bulk buyers have capitalized on the platformof eBay so as to offer goods at low prices.
Capitalism also applies to online auction sites in that thewealthiest individuals have the opportunity to outbid buyers fromlower classes. The prices of commodities on sites such as eBay areusually lower than the retail prices set for similar products(Matthews, 2004). Therefore, many lower class workers prefer toconduct their purchases on such sites. Nevertheless, some wealthyindividuals could frustrate those in lower categories of the socialhierarchy by bidding at unreasonably high prices. Consequently,low-income workers would fail to acquire the necessary goods fromonline sites.
On the other hand, capitalism fails to apply to online auction sitesin certain instances. For example, in the case of weak demand, theprice of a commodity would lower as the seller endeavors to disposeof the commodity. Lower prices reduce the value of a product andthereby undermine the progression of capitalism. Furthermore, sellerson eBay are primarily motivated by disposing of items that havebecome surplus to requirements (Matthews, 2004). Some sellers decideto sell items that have little utility for them while others havesince acquired more functional items. Some retailers choose to sellextra merchandise on eBay rather than having them on shelves.Therefore, profit maximization is never the primary purpose oftransactions conducted over online auction sites.
As mentioned, the majority of prices set on eBay are customarilylower than those in retail stores. This fact is significant becausemany items that are sold on auction sites are usually new. Therefore,such sites serve to reduce the widening gap between the rich and thepoor. Retail giants such as Wal-Mart are deprived of hefty profitsfrom selling the goods that are placed on eBay. Sellers on auctionsites are often required to provide ample pictures of their products.They are also obligated to allay any concerns of prospective bidders(Matthews, 2004). The presence of many sellers of a particularcommodity undermines their power to demand high prices. Consequently,profit maximization and capitalism are reduced and weakenedrespectively.
The theory of capitalism works on the assumption that lower classworkers have little choice. In this regard, wealthy individuals whoown means of production have the power to attract and choose amongprospective employees (Holt, 2015). However, eBay provides amechanism where buyers and sellers can rate each other based on quickpayment, prompt shipment, and quality of goods (Matthews, 2004).Therefore, the feedback system allows prospective sellers and buyersto rate each other before proceeding to engage in a transaction.Moreover, auction sites have a legal system that investigates casesof fraud. The existence of legal and feedback systems weakens theeffect of capitalism.
Nevertheless, `s theory can be saved by implementing appropriatechanges to the framework of online auction sites. For example, thefeedback system can be eradicated so as to engender free marketconditions. Buyers should have the right to conduct business with anyseller. The legal authority should also be understated so as toreduce external interference. Furthermore, the number of vendors fora particular commodity also needs to be limited so as to avoid havinga glut. Reducing the supply of commodities on eBay would invariablyincrease the demand (Matthews, 2004). Consequently, the number ofbids will increase as commodity prices skyrocket. Moreover, theinfluence of upper-class buyers would increase beyond that oflow-income customers. Implementing such changes would reinforce thepower of capitalism on online auction sites.
Indeed, capitalism has been accepted as a dominant ideology while theexpected revolution remains farfetched. Sites such as eBay havemodified the manner in which social prosperity is achieved andpromoted among different populations. Subsequently, this alters theway in which public goods are perceived (Lemert, 2013). hadchampioned the course of revolution against the tide of capitalism.The gap between the wealthy and the poor continues to widen and henceplunge more people into debt. Although he sought to cause widespreadchanges in the system, capitalism has remained dominant. The presenceof a free market economy has contributed to the widespread acceptanceof capitalism. Many societies have moved further from socialism. Infact, the most industrialized nations such as the U.S. havecapitalist systems whereby the majority of people are lower classworkers (Lemert, 2013). Therefore, socialism will remain confined toEastern countries such as China and Russia.
Holt, J. P. (2015). The social thought of Karl . ThousandOaks, Calif: SAGE Publications.
Lemert, C. C. (2013). Social theory: The multicultural, global,and classic readings. Philadelphia, PA: Westview Press.
Matthews, M. S. (2004). eBay. Berkeley, Calif.: McGraw-Hill.