Requirements. Procedures and Research Tips: For this paper, you need to read two pieces by Marx and Engels. These pieces are “”The Manifesto of the Communist Party” and “Wage Labour and Capital”. You will apply the relevant aspects of the theoretical formulations on “global capitalism” and the struggle between capital and labour for understanding and analyzing the “Rana Plaza” incident that led to the death of hundreds of garment factory workers in Bangladesh. You will have to research and collect information on the “Rana Plaza incident using a range of search engines. One basic procedure would be to go to the University of Toronto Library Catalogue and search under “Articles”. You could also search for discussions of “Rana Plaza” in Google Scholar as well as other relevant search engines. After reading up on the issue, you will deploy the relevant aspects of the two pieces by Marx and Engels mentioned above to develop an argument that demonstrates your understanding of the linkages between classical theory and aspects of contemporary global capitalism. Your paper must include a bibliography of 3 references that should consist of journal articles or substantive discussions of the “Rana Plaza incident” in major newspapers.
When writing the paper, focus on the following paper the following questions/issues:
1. What do Marx and Engels have to say about the “structural” propensity of capitalism to be global?
2. How does the conflict between capitalist and workers, capital and labour drive the globalization of capitalism?
3. What are some of the consequences of global capitalism for workers and capitalists in the “developed” and “developing” areas? Is there a high cost for the low prices of clothes and fashion?
4. How do the concepts of “structure” and “agency” enhance our understanding of the relationship between production, marketing and consumption of cheap clothes for global brands?
This research paper is being developed in order to understand the connection between the various attributes of the contemporary global capitalism and the classical theory. Further, the incident of Rana Plaza, Bangladesh has been taken to know the connection between these two aspects. Moreover, “Wage Labor and Capital” and “The Manifesto of the Communist Party” are used to apply on the important facet of the theoretical articulation on global capitalism and the throes of labor and capital. The research paper is being written with the help of the secondary data i.e. search engine, articles and journals in order to know the impact of Rana Plaza incident on the global capitalism and how it affected developing and developed areas. Further, the Rana Plaza incident is explained in brief and the various initiatives which were taken by the organizations at the national and international level for the victims of the Rana Plaza incident, Bangladesh. Then the Marx and Engels will help in understanding the relevant facets of the various articulations of the theory. Further, the causes of the Rana Plaza incident are given with respect to global capitalism and the theoretical perspective of Marx and Engels.
Overview of the Collapse of Rana Plaza
The owner of the building Rana Plaza was Sohel Rana. There were various garment factories I that building like Mango, Joe Fresh, Cato, Dress Barn, etc. Further, there were various shops and a bank. There were approximately 5,000 employees who were working in that building. The media of the Bangladesh disclosed that there were various cracks in the building of the Rana Plaza the day before the incident and asked to vacant the building and close it down in order to restructure it. But the workers were threatened to work, and if they do not do so, then they will not get their salary for a month. As a result, the building collapsed on April 24, 2013, and around 2,500 workers were injured and around 1,200 workers died. And around 500 workers went missing (Murphy 2016).
The table below shows the number of workers which were working in various shops and companies.
The building was constructed in 2006, and the material which was used in the construction of the building was not of great quality because there were various cracks in the building within the period of seven years. According to the information which was published in various articles and newspapers was that most of the workers were traumatized, various fractures and the compartmental syndrome. And as a result, they lost their hands and legs. The male workers were more badly injured than the female workers, and it was very difficult for them to get back to the normal lives. Therefore, most of the injured employees are now unemployed and are not physically fit, and this is impacting their minimum standard of living.
Initiatives Taken by Various Organizations for the Victims at National Level
There were various steps which were taken for the benefit of victims at the National level for the aspect of global capitalism, and the steps are as follows:
• The individuals and the various private organizations took an active part in the activities in relation to the rescue operation of the workers after the incident.
• There was the arrangement of compensation to the workers and the families of the deceased by BGMEA, but around 2,500 families got the compensation and around 1,200 families didn't get any benefit.
• BGMEA didn't even consider the families of the missing workers and those families got help from the Primark which was one of the buyers of garments.
• BGMEA had spent around 2crore on the treatment of the injured workers.
• There were various committees which were formed after the incidence in order to detect the defects in the buildings of the factory in order to safeguard the lives of the workers.
• The memorandum of understanding was signed in order to unfold the reason for poor construction.
• According to the federation of Bangladesh garment, around 80 employees were re-employed those who were injured.
• The owner of the building was arrested during the investigation.
• BLAST (Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust) took the initiative for the right of the factory workers so that they could get compensation after the collapse of the Rana Plaza and writ various petitions in the court for their benefit.
• The court favored the petitions for the benefit of the employees and further gave the directions for the implementation of the new rules.
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Initiatives Taken by Various Organizations for the Victims at International Level
There were various steps which were taken for the benefit of victims at the International level for the aspect of global capitalism, and the steps are as follows:
• EU launched the global agreement in order to improve the rights of the workers and labors, safety and working conditions of the Bangladesh.
• The young Canadians offered financial help to the victims of Rana Plaza for the global humanity.
• EU helped the workers who were permanently disabled within the social contract agreement.
• ILO came up with the supplementary account of the regular budget of USD 2 million in collaboration with the training and technical education project for the injured workers.
• ILO implemented the strategy in order to improve the working conditions for the benefit of workers and provided training to the survivors in order to develop more skills to face the challenges during the disaster.
• Primark, H&M, C&A, etc. distributed around 3 million to the families of the victim and the Primark is still helping those families without expecting anything in return.
• Around 15 Canadian and US retailers of the cloth came up with the five-year initiative for the worker safety of Bangladesh in order to use safer conditions to safeguard the workers in the garment plants of the Bangladesh.
• There was an issue for the initiative in order to manage the coordination among the accord of EU, alliance of North America and the action plan for the nation to make sure the effective development and implementation of such program.
The Marx and Engels theories are more useful in order to understand the issues of labor such as rights of the labor violation of the workers of factory, relation among owner and workers, wages, position, exploitation, compensation, etc. The theoretical perspective of this research paper has tried to relate the notions of the Marx and Engels theory in order to explain the worst conditions and problems of the workers because of the Rana Plaza incident. The capitalism has created the division of class and the relation of antagonist among the workers and the capital’s owner along with the exploitation of workers and violating the factory rights (Sweezy 2015). The workers of the Rana Plaza were also deprived of the standard of living, minimum wages, adequate working conditions, basic amenities and all these show the miserable condition of the workers. The class of bourgeoisie has developed the labor’s reserved army which makes sure about the surplus profit. Workers can take a stand with their colleagues in order to get at least minimum standard of living and this would have helped in order to stabilize the owner's position, and the industry's status of the economy would have been improved. The incident of Rana Plaza is related to the nexus of business and politics of bourgeoisie. The owner of the Rana Plaza didn't care about their workers because they were easily getting workers because of the labor's reserved army and because of this the state also became the part of the notions of the bourgeoisie. And as a result, the Rana Plaza incident has not ensured the concentration of workers yet. Further, the state has not completed the commitments to the great extent to the workers who are badly injured and the families of the deceased (C Bina, LM Clements, C Davis. 2016). The political economy of the incident of the Rana Plaza and the violation of the rights of the workers of the factory has been given by Marx and Engels over hundred years ago although capitalism is being adapted with the world in its own unique way.
Causes of the Rana Plaza Incident
There were various reasons which gave rise to the collapse of Rana Plaza and impacted the global capitalism. The reasons are as follows:
• The foundation was not balanced, and this was recognized during the investigation of the building. The engineer said that the one corner of the building was made of soft soil as compared to the other corner this further caused instability and as a result the building collapsed.
• The building was poorly constructed, and the building was used for an industrial purpose which was not legal rather the retail purpose and the two floors were added to the building without any legal permission.
• Heavy machines were used on the different floors of the building and gave rise to the cracks in the building. The generators which were stored on different floors were heavy than was intended to be. The raw materials were kept in bulk which mounted the pressure on the floors, and they became weak.
• The workers didn't complain collectively about the cracks during the inspection was done for their safety. If they did take any step, then many of them were saved today.
• The environment of the business is surrounded by the various political relations, and during the submission of complete details of the building, the owners made use of their power and escaped the investigation which gave rise to the collapse of Rana Plaza building.
It can be clearly understood that the capitalism is the system of economy which inherently prone to the crisis. It is being driven by various forces which give rise to the unstable and self-destructive situation. The case of Rana Plaza helped in understanding that how labor, worker and capital drive the global capitalism and how it impacts the capitalism. The consequences of global capitalism are lack of government intervention, the various means of the production which are being governed by the private firms, the distribution of goods and services by opposing the rules of the government, monopoly in the labor and product market, etc. further, there is high cost for the minimum prices of fashion and cloth because the purchasing power increases and the production increase accordingly. The structure and agency encourage our understanding about the relationship of marketing, production and consumption of cheaper clothes for the various global brands as the people are free to make choices in order to get the cheap clothes of great quality and they make this choice by depending on the production and marketing of the clothes of that particular brand.
C Bina, LM Clements, C Davis. 2016. "Beyond Survival: Wage Labor In The Late Twentieth Century". Choice Reviews Online 34(03):34-1633-34-1633.
Murphy, Erin. 2016. "Rana Plaza". WSQ: Women's Studies Quarterly 44(1-2):297-300.
Sweezy, Paul M. 2015. "The Communist Manifesto Today". Monthly Review 50(1):8.