Political Economy - Approaches to political economy - Marxist political economy

3 important questions on Political Economy - Approaches to political economy - Marxist political economy

How does marxists political economy portray capitalism?

As a system of class exploitation and treats social classes as the key economic actors.

How did Karl Marx define class?

In terms of economic power; specifically, where people stand in relation to the ownership of productive wealth, or the 'means of production'.

How did Marx explain the proletariat being necessarily and systematically exploited by the bourgeoisie (the ruling class)?

By reference to the idea of surplus value (term indicating the value that is extracted from the labour of the proletariat through the mechanism of capitalist exploitation).
Capitalism's quest for profit can only be satisfied through the extraction of surplus value from its workers, by paying them less than the value their labour generates. Economic exploitation is, therefore, an essential feature of the capitalist mode of production.

--> as capitalism experiences deepening crisis of overproduction, the proletariat will eventually be brought to class consciousness.

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