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Unformatted text preview: Marx, The German Marx, Ideology (1845) Some key terms encountered in Some key terms encountered in The German Ideology Real Actual Definite Empirical Development The basic premise: “real” The basic premise: “real” individuals, “actual” people
The premises from which we begin are not arbitrary ones, not dogmas, but real premises….They are the real individuals, their activity and the material conditions under which they live, both those which they find already existing and those produced by their activity. Premises
This method of approach…starts out from the real premises and does not abandon them for a moment. Its premises are men, not in any fantastic isolation and rigidity, but in their actual, empirically perceptible process of development under definite conditions. Human history: Premises
Human history: Premises
The first premise of all human history is, of course, the existence of living human individuals. Thus the first fact to be established is the physical organisation of these individuals and their consequent relation to the rest of nature. From premises to history
From premises to history
The first premise of all human existence and, therefore, of all history, [is] the premise…that men must be in a position to live in order to be able to “make history.” [L]ife involves before everything else eating and drinking, a habitation, clothing and many other things. Human history: first “historical Human history: first “historical moment”
The first historical act is thus the production of the means to satisfy these needs, the production of material life itself. And indeed this is an historical act, a fundamental condition of all history, which today, as thousands of years ago, must daily and hourly be fulfilled merely in order to sustain human life… Human history: second “historical Human history: second “historical moment”
The second point is that the satisfaction of the first need (the action of satisfying, and the instrument of satisfaction which has been acquired) leads to new needs… Human history: third “historical Human history: third “historical moment”
The third circumstance which, from the very outset, enters into historical development, is that men, who daily remake their own life, begin to make other men, to propagate their kind: the relation between man and woman, parents and children, the family. Human history: fourth “historical Human history: fourth “historical moment”
It follows from this that a certain mode of production, or industrial stage, is always combined with a certain mode of co
operation, or social stage. Summing up thus far: Human Summing up thus far: Human history and production Production is a social act.
2. We transform ourselves as we transform the world around us; we change the very nature of who we are as humans as we fulfill our needs. 3. The effects of human production are not limited to the things that we call “economic”; they reach to a whole variety of other aspects of our lives as well. 1. Mode of production
Mode of production
a definite form of activity of these individuals, a definite form of expressing their life, a definite mode of life on their part. As individuals express their life, so they are. What they are, therefore, coincides with their production, both with what they produce and with how they produce. The nature of individuals thus depends on the material conditions determining their production. Mode of production
Mode of production
The production of ideas, of conceptions, of consciousness, is at first directly interwoven with the material activity and the material intercourse of men, the language of real life…. The same applies to mental production as expressed in the language of politics, laws, morality, religion, metaphysics, etc., of a people… Mode of production
Mode of production … Men are the producers of their conceptions, ideas, etc. – real, active men, as they are conditioned by a definite development of their productive forces and of the intercourse corresponding to these, up to its furthest forms. Economics and ideas
Economics and ideas
[T]he ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas, i.e. the class which is the ruling material force of society, is at the same time its ruling intellectual force. The class which has the means of material production at its disposal, has control at the same time over the means of mental production. (German Ideology) Division of labor
Division of labor
How far the productive forces of a nation are developed is shown most manifestly by the degree to which the division of labour has been carried.
[T]he division of labour implies the contradiction between the interest of the separate individual or the individual family and the communal interest of all individuals who have intercourse with one another. Beyond the division of labor…
Beyond the division of labor… [A]s soon as the distribution of labour comes into being, each man has a particular, exclusive sphere of activity, which is forced upon him and from which he cannot escape. He is a hunter, a fisherman, a herdsman, or a critical critic, and must remain so if he does not want to lose his means of livelihood… …toward labor made whole
[I]n communist society, where nobody has one exclusive sphere of activity but each can become accomplished in any branch he wishes, society regulates the general production and thus makes it possible for me to do one thing today and another tomorrow, to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticise after dinner, just as I have a mind, without ever becoming hunter, fisherman, herdsman or critic. Communist society
In place of the old bourgeois society, with its classes and class antagonisms, we shall have an association, in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all. ...
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This note was uploaded on 09/27/2011 for the course POLITICAL 101 taught by Professor Kubik during the Fall '11 term at Rutgers.
- Fall '11