Marx #2

Marx #2 - Karl Marx 11-28-06 I. Social Man A. The economic...

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Karl Marx 11-28-06 I. Social Man A. The economic and political manuscripts are a critique of capitalism, describing how capitalism has corrupted man. B. What does it mean to be a species-being? 1. Marx thinks that capitalists have a view of man that is mistaken; they begin in the state of nature, but Marx does not think that man is completely an individual animal . Man is social. a. We are not in a war of all against all, but rather a war of greed. WE compete to be the greediest, not to simply survive. b. And so, in capitalist society, we see people as a means to our end; we do not treasure people for their qualities but only for what they can do for us. c. But Marx believes that man is a social being. He is a product of society and at the same time, he constructs society (p. 85). 2. Society and man are intertwined; you cannot take one out of the other. Think of Hobbes and Locke and Rousseau—they try and take him out of society and think of man in his “natural state”. a. Marx says that this is out of the question because man does not exist without society. We are born social creatures, so to think of us as individualistic/antagonistic is folly. b. We are interdependent and intertwined as social beings. We never existed outside of a state of society. 3. People may have particular attributes or characteristics, but society enables man to have these attributes (p. 86). a. Man gets or is assigned his individuality through society; there are no self-made men according to Marx. i. Example- We cannot say that “on person” invented a language. Rather, these are social creations that come about organically. They come without design and without authors. ii. And of course, language changes over time without anyone being in charge of its changes. Language is a societal creation, created by humans, but not by identifiable humans. b. Language is a good example of people creating society in an interdependent way. And we are all dependent on one another; we don't live in isolation. i. Marx does not want to ignore the individual (p. 86), he merely tries to show that our actions affect everyone. 4.
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This note was uploaded on 01/20/2012 for the course POLI 271 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '08 term at UNC.

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Marx #2 - Karl Marx 11-28-06 I. Social Man A. The economic...

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