Youtube: Smithian And Marxian Points Of View

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Youtube is one of the top five most visited websites on the internet and allows access into the lives of people across the world. Youtube has become a platform for many individuals with talents ranging from comedy, to music, to what has been deemed a beauty or lifestyle “guru.” Success on Youtube is measured by the number of people who are subscribed to a channel. As Youtube has grown to dominate video access across the internet, those who are well known or even considered famous on Youtube, receive many benefits from their subscriber count. The popularity of beauty and lifestyle gurus, and the ways in which these individuals choose to use their Youtube platform, can be examined from both Smithian and Marxian points of view. Although beauty…show more content…
The division of labor is not only taking place in regards to how each of these products is being produced and manufactured, but also in how they are being marketed. Instead of paying money for models and a film crew to create an elaborate television commercial, companies instead send a product to a guru who creates an a personalized advertisement, capable of reaching millions of people. The company reaps all of those profits, while also attracting new customers who may continue to buy their products. Gurus are able to perfect the advertising side of this process, which allows companies to focus on creating better and longer lasting products. In this way the marketing process is split into many different categories and “not only [is] the whole work a peculiar trade, but is divided into a number of branches, of which the greater part are likewise peculiar trades,” (Adam, 8). When examining this process from a Smithian point of view everyone benefits because “universal opulence” or material and personal well being are extended all the way from the top (the companies) to the middle (the beauty gurus), to the bottom (the viewers). As…show more content…
Marx would understand the guru community on youtube as a microcosm depicting everything wrong about the macrocosm of capitalism which he describes as “the distribution, and indeed the unequal distribution, both quantitative and qualitative, of labor and its products,” (Marx and Engels, 159). Marx would view the companies and gurus as wielding power over those who do not have as much disposable income, in an effort to further their own self-interests. Marx describes this imbalance of power stating, “the class which has the means of material production at its disposal, has control at the same time over the means of mental production... the ideas of those who lack the means of mental production are subject to it,” (Marx and Engles, 172). As the companies are producing the material goods, gurus produce an incredibly positive image of life because of these products, and viewers ultimately buy the products because they have been manipulated to believe they need them lead lives similar to that of the

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