Neo-Marxian Theory Notes - Neo-Marxian Theory became...

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Neo-Marxian Theory - became prevalent in the 1960s but started early 20 th century Economic Determinism A) what is economic determinism (ED)? Is the assumption that the economic system shapes all other aspects of society o Political system o Ideological system Very early neo Marxists adopted economic determinism Neo Marxian Theory : attempts to re-interpret, revise or update Marx’s theoretical ideas … the attempt is to modify to better explain developments in contemporary capitalists society. Capitalism has changed since he died so we need to rethink his ideas to better explain contemporary capitalist society Early neo Marxists saw the breakdown of capitalism as inevitable, because it was built into the economic processes, which were ultimately going to destroy capitalism B) Marx and Economic Determinism The early neo Marxists saw marx as a economic determinist but this is not true The reason why he was not an ED because o He focused on dialectical materialism, marx borrowed from hegel the dialectic, and also borrowed feurerbach the materialism Marx argued that problems in society stem from real, material conditions (such as the existence of capitalism), he argued that solutions to these societal problems must be found in dialectical relationships (such as the conflict between capitalists and workers) o Marx said the proletariat will end capitalism and thus he was not an ED o In addition to the dialectic, marx also borrowed from Hegel the subjective aspects of social life (ideas and ideology) , not just the objective aspects of social life (economic material conditions) …if he was an ED he would’ve only focused on the objective aspects and not the subjective aspects and its not clearly case o The early neo Marxist was misinterpreting marx, they tried to make him an ED but he wasn’t one Hegelian Marxism
A) What is Hegelian Marxism? It is a theoretical approach that restores the dialectic to analysis of the subjective and objective aspects of the capitalist society It emerged as a reaction against ED Geoorg Lukacs and Antonio Gramsci B) Georg Lukacs Neo Marxist theorist Wrote a book called “history and class consciousness” o Drew our attention to 2 particular concepts Reification: is a view point that involves treating social structures as if they have a light of their own (he built this based on marx’s concept) Marx’s concept was the fetishism of commodities> he argued that ppl. In capitalist society produce various commodities, but he also argued that ppl. In capitalist society tend to lose sight of the fact that they themselves produced these commodities (commodities are treated as “things” that people need or desire and they take an independent

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