Contrast between A and B: A Philosophical Examination of Marxism in 2008 (Part 3)

The final chapter in my essay on Marxism. Before you read this story I want to stress that I deliberately intended to create a perfect balance between two sides of the same world. You may see this story as the most unrealistic out of the three, but I tried to draw two distinct differences between the rich and poor so that they are believable in some sense. We are all a product of our life experiences, and we are all different, coming form different backgrounds and points of origin, so no two persons are alike. There will always be the advantaged and the disadvantaged, but perhaps we can change the way we look at this spectrum and begin to better understand the different variations within our social structures, so not to discriminate between the two.

A woman steps out of her car and carries a bag that contains some sundry items that she had just purchased. She pulls out her key from the door lock and presses the car alarm, and a very short burst of sound from the horn reverberates across the parking lot compound. She presses another button on her key chain and the sounds of an electric motor and metal clanging against each other resonates from just a head of her, it is the gate opening in to the atrium of the apartment building she lives in. She walks across a granite polished floor that leads up to a large thick glass door of which she enters her personal identification number on a wall mounted console and then swipes her card across it. A quick buzzing sound followed by a pronounced click is made just before the door opens.

She enters the hallway leading towards the elevator. Mounted in every corner of every wall are video cameras, hidden within black glass like domes, strategically placed so that no area is out of view. She steps into the elevator, and before she can press the button for her floor, she swipes her card across the number pad mounted on the control panel, and then the doors swiftly closes shut from each side. Smoothly the elevator rises up to her floor and then a soft tone sounds just before the doors open. As she reaches her apartment door, she holds the card between her teeth while she takes out a set of keys from her purse. The door also has a card-locking device that requires her to not only to swipe the face plate with, but she must also insert two separate keys before the door unlocks and opens. Finely she enters her apartment.

Kicking her shoes off in the cloakroom, she walks into the kitchen and pours herself a glass of red wine. She then relaxes on the couch in the living room. She grabs the remote control that is sitting on the glass coffee table and presses a few buttons that automatically draws the curtains open from along the patio window exposing a panoramic view of the city below. She sips her wine as she looks at the thousands of lights twinkling in the black.

Unbeknownst to the woman up in the apartment building, there is a vagrant who slips and falls in the back alley across the street. He falls on his chest with his hands pressed in front of him trying to cushion the fall. The sounds of laughter from two young men can be heard behind him as they taunt and spit, then one of them gives the vagrant one last kick before they run off with his wallet and wristwatch. The vagrant tries to get up from off the ground but the pain is too much so he rests, but he manages to roll over closer to the brick wall to hide in the dark.

As the vagrant looks on ward as two people enter the alley, a prostitute and her pimp. The young woman, barley able to walk in her high heal shoes, is yelling at the man who is holding one of her arms, pulling her further down into the dead end street. She tries to free herself, but the man pushes her into a large metal garbage bin and demands money from her. She continues to resist, claiming that she has no money. After two more attempts of demanding money by the man, he pushes her down onto the ground and her head hits the bottom step of a metal stairwell. He bends down towards her as she lays motionless and he puts his hand under her head and feels the warm wet blood from her hair through his fingers. For a split second he looks in shock, scared and petrified. Then he dashes upwards and runs off towards the lighted street.

The vagrant, to weak to move, saw the whole murder, but he can’t call for help. Hours go by before someone reaches down to see if he is alive. The sky is blue now and the birds can be heard up in the sky. A voice yells to go and get a blanket. Then, the sky turns to black as the blanket is laid over his head. The police officer notes how bad the crime rate is getting, and that it is getting out of control. The other voice agrees, and the vagrant’s body is lifted onto a stretcher and then the two men carry it into the van.

Obviously I wanted to draw the distinction between two places at the same moment. But, I also wanted to view the contrast between the protected and unprotected, and how the economic classes play at this sense of security. Like what Marx saw in his social theory, there is a distinct difference between these two realities, the rich living in a gated community that is totally isolated from the rest of the world, while the poor live in a less secured world, where they must endure a life style that is fraught with hardship and have access to less opportunities.

I wanted to go deeper and look at social attitudes. There is a predetermine image of how we view these two economic classes. I could have easily made the woman a evil murderer, but that would not have made the story believable. Nor if I made the vagrant a woman, the story would have taken on a very different slant, as I am sure the reader would take a more critical look at her instead of the character being a man. Through our culture we are preprogrammed, or wired, to think in these terms and breaking this thinking pattern is very hard to do. At a very early age we are taught that certain types of people do particular types of things, this concept we call stereotyping. How do you de-program ones self?

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