Marxism - 11/9/2010 Marxism Marxism What do you connect...

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11/9/2010 1 Marxism Marxism What do you connect with the word Marxism? Like Fascism, Socialism and Communism, Marxism has become a “Buzzword” without a clear Meaning. There are, in fact, two forms. Two kinds of Marxism Scientific Marxism: Using the scientific methodology of Marxism: Dialectic of history Materialistic approach (economic factors have preeminence) Wage Labor as a defining factor Not only ideologues use this method (e.g. Eric Hobsbawm, Juergen Habermas, Howard Zinn, Immanuel Wallerstein,…)
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11/9/2010 2 Two kinds of Marxism Political Marxism: Marx’s writings as the basis for a political program Needed different reinterpretations: Mao, Trotsky, Lenin,… Still popular (especially in Latin America) in the form of the dependence theory (Argentian economist Raul Prebisch) Gave birth to Fascism Karl Marx (1818-83) Born in Trier into a Jewish family (although Marx later would publish an essay titled On the Jewish Question – a work that can be interpreted as anti-Semitic) Joined forces with Friedrich Engels, an industrialist who published The Condition of the Working Class in England (1844) Tenets of Marxist Philosophy Strongly influenced by G.W.F. Hegel (Dialectic of History) and the French Enlightenment The human essence is labor => not reason, not moral capacity, but the human capacity for labor What kind of labor does Marx mean?
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11/9/2010 3 The Marxian Idea of Labor Labor is understood as human interaction with nature. The use of a combination of mental and physical effort to shape nature according to our needs. Proper physical labor (not wage labor!) like craftsmanship or farming involves intelligence and creativity. Man creates his own world to live in – a kind of second nature in which primary nature is humanised. The Marxian Idea of Labor In this process human beings are creative: they fashion objects, make things grow, bend nature’s processes to their needs. Their products are an extension of their being => the world becomes a common creation. This, however, is not the case in the “modern world.” The Capitalist society Those who do most of the work in a given society have the product of their labour taken away from them by those with wealth and power. Wealth and Power is defined as owning the means of production (slave-owners or land-owners or factory-owners. The workers only receive a pittance: just enough to survive and reproduce.
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11/9/2010 4 The Capitalist society The workers created a world that is hostile to them: it stunts their lives and keeps them in misery => they are alienated. Alienation means that the cannot enjoy the fruits of their own labor and thereby create their own world. Labor is reduced to a mere commodity – wage
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This note was uploaded on 01/13/2011 for the course PS ps 240 taught by Professor Ralphschoellhammer during the Spring '10 term at Kentucky.

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Marxism - 11/9/2010 Marxism Marxism What do you connect...

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