Karl Marx - Karl Marx Karl Marx Karl Marx Karl Marx Social...

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Unformatted text preview: Karl Marx Karl Marx Karl Marx Karl Marx Social context takes precedence over innate behavior (the concept of the individual is rational only in his/her relation to the community) Human communities “transform nature” This process of transformation is called "labor" and the capacity to transform nature "labor power" Labor is a social activity Karl Marx Karl Marx There is a distinction between the means of production and the relations of production The Means of Production: Land natural resources technology The Relations of Production: The social and technical relationships people enter into as they acquire and use the means of production This comprised not only relations among individuals, but between or among groups of people, or classes. Karl Marx Karl Marx Together these comprise the mode of production Within any society, the mode of production changes This was the result of a process known as “dialectical materialism” Each historical period’s mode of production (thesis) was challenged by a challenging set of social forces (anti­thesis) Karl Marx Karl Marx The basis of human society is how humans work on nature to produce the means of subsistence. There is a division of labor into social classes (relations of production) based on property ownership where some people live from the labor of others. The system of class division is dependent on the mode of production. Society moves from stage to stage when the dominant class is displaced by a new emerging class Karl Marx Karl Marx Quote from the Communist Manifesto: “the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles” Translated: History is the effect of material class struggle in society The universe is not a disconnected mix of things isolated from each other, but an integral whole, with the result that things are interdependent. Karl Marx Karl Marx Nature ­ the natural world or cosmos ­ is in a state of constant motion: "All nature, from the smallest thing to the biggest, from a grain of sand to the sun, from the protista to man, is in a constant state of coming into being and going out of being, in a constant flux, in a ceaseless state of movement and change." ­­Friedrich Engels Insignificant and imperceptible quantitative changes lead to fundamental, qualitative changes, occurring not gradually, but rapidly and abruptly, in the form of a leap from one state to another. A simple example from the physical world might be the heating of water: a one degree increase in temperature is a quantitive change, but at 100 degrees there is a qualitative change ­ water to steam. Karl Marx Karl Marx Hegel turned on his head: "My dialectic method," wrote Marx, "is not only different from the Hegelian, but is its direct opposite. To Hegel, the life­process of the human brain, i.e. the process of thinking, which, under the name of ‘the Idea,’ he even transforms into an independent subject, is the demiurgos of the real world, and the real world is only the external, phenomenal form of ‘the Idea.’ With me, on the contrary, the ideal is nothing else than the material world reflected by the human mind, and translated into forms of thought." Karl Marx Karl Marx “It is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but on the contrary, it is their social existence that determines their consciousness.” Karl marx Karl marx Marx believed that the basis of social order in every society is the mode of production of material goods What is produced, and how it is produced determine the differences in people’s wealth, power, and social status The mode of production also determines all expressions of “civilization”: Law, Philosophy, Art, Religion, etc. Karl Marx Karl Marx Superstructure (Law, Philosophy, Art, Religion Base (Mode of Production) Karl Marx Karl Marx The History of humanity has been punctuated by several “stages” characterized by different modes of production: Primitive hunting and gathering societies which had no extra wealth and therefore no private property, social classes, class struggles, or even the need for government (thesis) Struggle for scarce resources between competing groups (anti­thesis) The establishment of empires (synthesis) Slave societies with a rich ruling class opposed by an oppressed underclass of slaves (thesis) The tension between native slave holders and non­native slaves (anti­thesis) The collapse of empires (synthesis) Feudal society with a noble class of landowning lords opposed by an oppressed class of serfs (thesis) The forces of urbanization and specialization of labor, development of checking, banking systems, paper moneyed systems (anti­thesis) The emergence of the merchant class, or bourgeoisie (synthesis) Capitalist society with a rich class of factory owners, or the bourgeoisie (thesis) Challenge by an oppressed class of factory workers, or the proletariat (anti­thesis) Socialist society run by the workers with no private property, and thus no social classes, or class conflicts (anti­thesis, and final stage) Karl Marx Karl Marx Marx’s “labor theory of value”: The value of an object is solely a result of the labor expended to produce it. The more labor, or labor time, that goes into an object, the more it is worth An example of how the labor theory of value works: A worker in a factory is given $30 worth of material, and after working 3 hours producing a good, and using $10 worth of fuel to run a machine, he creates a product which is sold for $100. According the Marx, the labor and only the labor of the worker increased the value of the natural materials to $100. The worker is thus justly entitled to a $60 payment, or $20 per hour. Karl Marx Karl Marx Marx’s theory of “the alienation of labor” If the worker is employed by a factory owner who pays him only $15 per hour, according to Marx the $5 per hour the factory owner receives constitutes theft. The factory owner has done nothing to earn the money and the $5 per hour he receives is "surplus value" representing exploitation of the worker. Even the tools which the factory owner provided were produced by other workers. Karl Marx Karl Marx According to the labor theory of value, all profits are the rightful earnings of the workers, and when they are kept from the workers by capitalists, workers are being robbed. On the basis of this theory, Marx called for the elimination of profits, for workers to seize factories and for the overthrow of the "tyranny" of capitalism. The factory, then, becomes the collective property of the workers. Karl Marx Karl Marx The implications of Marx’s theory: The class consciousness of the proletariat will be elevated in such a way to understand and challenge capitalist exploitation. They will seize the means of production and govern as the dominant class (the dictatorship of the proletariat) The “state” as a development of superstructure from the Capitalist Era, will pass away Material goods will be produced by the working class who will collectively own the means of production (this means the end of private property) and democratically make all managerial decisions There will be an abundance of material goods produced by workers that will be equitably distributed to everyone according to their need, irregardless of what they have produced ...
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This note was uploaded on 01/12/2012 for the course POL 2 taught by Professor Robertbrown during the Fall '05 term at Riverside Community College.

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