Thursday, July 9, 2009

Malcolm in the middle and Marx in the end

The television show Malcolm in the middle is one that explores the ideologies of Marxism and communism threw the guise of a lower middle class family and the struggles and strife of there daily life and how they get threw them. Examples of the unfairness of capitalism and its choke upon the family and there ability to survive and thrive is shown clearly threw the lives of the sons and main characters Reese and Malcolm. Reese and good hearted and fair thug who though not very bright always fights and stands up for his family and friends. Malcolm a boy genius who is cast out from his peers due to his intelligence and due to money concerns finds it hard to move forward in life
When Reese who is within the show is a veteran of the Afghanistan conflict returns home he finds himself looking for a job. He finds one as the school custodian but learns that he will only have a job for thirty-days. The reason that he will only have the job for that period of time is that the Union is corrupt and after thirty days he would have a permanent position with benefits and a 401k so they will fire him before that so they don’t have to pay even though he is very good at his job “You have a real knack for garbage”. This showing that the union in this case has become the upper class bourgeois dictating the intercourse of Reese and his labor. So even though he has the ability and drive to perform his labor he will be uses for the period of time until it is to expensive for the bourgeois to give him a fair wage for his production meaning the selling of is labor to them becomes to high the Union will create a situation that Marx would say “Appear first as conditions of self- activity (the creation of the union for this job) later as fetters upon it” Exposing the lack of care for the workers just simply the greatest way to exploit them for the union in this cases selfish needs.
“The contradiction of life forced upon him, becomes evident to him himself, for he is sacrificed from youth upwards and, within his own class, has no chance of arriving at the conditions which would place him in the other class”. (Karl Marx) This a case of the capitalisms class structure that holds one down as apposed to the fair distribution and ability for a person to reach there potential as with in communism. This is truly the case and point of the character of Malcolm. He is a boy genies about to go to college his test scores allow him to get into Harvard. Upon this between all the money the family has and grants from different places they are unable to afford his tuition. “Rich kids with half your brain are going to get a free ride” as stated by his father, along with the pulling of one of his grants to perform a study about kids who can’t afford college which they invite him to participate in. This exposing the class system of capitalism keeping people in there “place” and not letting someone who is in fact more gifted and capable even participate in a school which price and presage keep it out of reach of the working class and in fact keeps the working class from entering it so they can in fact move into the upper class. Malcolm in the middle is a show that is not straight forward in its Marxist views but reviles them threw its anti-capitalist views and exposing the people within this class as people who can be in fact gifted, intelligent, hard working, and loving. And that capitalism in fact hold these people down and by doing that in fact holds society itself down as a whole by not letting those more suited move foward.

1 comment:

  1. Great idea to work with the show--if you'd started the piece with the quotations from Marx about halfway down you would have begun in a stronger place. You'd have set up the theoretical framework for the piece, which would give the reader and understanding of why you're talking about this show and how you'll be talking about it. Also, keep working at being specific--most of the things you say here are sort of generally true of Malcom in the Middle, rather than necessarily drawn from one episode.