Dialectic according to hegel knowledge and progress

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from the worker. Dialectic: According to Hegel, knowledge and progress occur through a process of integrating opposing ideas or forces. An existing idea, or thesis, is at some point confronted with an opposing idea, antithesis, and there is a struggle of sorts. The outcome of the struggle is a synthesis, which in turn becomes the new thesis and the process starts again. Marx adapted Hegel’s dialectic to explain the stages of economic development. The method of logic based on the principle that an idea or event (thesis) generates its opposite (antithesis) leading to a reconciliation of opposites (synthesis). Marx on Economic Development: (1) Primitive Commission: Common ownership of property, and people cooperate to earn a meager living from nature. People generally have to work all day simply to produce the bare necessities for survival. There are no surplus value, no exploitation since both require workers to produce more than they need to consume for survival. 4
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(2) Slavery: At some point, the productive capabilities of people rise to such an intent that they are able to produce more than they need to consume for survival. Now slavery becomes a possibility: some people exploit others and garner the surplus value. Once this occurs, class conflict arises. (3) Feudalism: The economic actors in feudalism were lords and serfs. The serfs were permitted to work a few days per week on the land allotted to him, but on other days he was required to till the lord’s land. (4) Capitalism: Marx both disliked capitalism and marveled at its ability to greatly increase productivity and output. According to Marx, the means of production became more concentrated under capitalism. The capitalist appeared to pay the worker for all the hours that he or she worked, but in reality only paid for a few hours and appropriate the value produced in the remaining hours to himself. Marx predicted intense class struggles under capitalism between the capitalist, or bourgeoisie, and the workers, or proletariat. He believed that capitalist would increasingly exploit the workers in the search for higher profits. (5) Dictatorship of the Proletariat, or Socialism: According to Marx, the intense class struggles under capitalism will eventually result in the state being used as an instrument of oppression by the capitalist against the workers. The workers will rise in revolt and overthrow the bourgeois state and establish in its place the dictatorship of the proletariat, in which the capital and land are owned by the proletarian government. Exploitation of the workers will cease. (6) Pure Communism: The dictatorship of the proletariat eventually “withers away” only pure communism remains. In this stage of economic development, individuals produce according to their abilities and receive according to their needs. In pure communism, the highest stage of economic development, selfishness and greed are largely a thing of the past, and there is no need for a formal government apparatus. The Critics of Marx: 1. The labor theory of value is faulty. 2. There is no large reserve army of the unemployed. 3. Most workers earn an above-subsistence wage. 4. Marxist revolutions have not appeared in the places Marx expected. 5
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