Presentation on theme: "A BACKGROUND OF SOCIO- POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY TO ACCOMPANY GEORGE ORWELL’S ANIMAL FARM Basics of Marxism & Totalitarianism."— Presentation transcript:
A BACKGROUND OF SOCIO- POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY TO ACCOMPANY GEORGE ORWELL’S ANIMAL FARM Basics of Marxism & Totalitarianism
To under stand that Marxism is the antithesis of capitalism, which is based on private ownership and characterized by a free competitive market that is motivated by profit, we will look at the principles and criticisms. Marxism SYSTEM OF SOCIALISM IN WHICH THE DOMINANT FEATURE IS PUBLIC OWNERSHIP OF THE MEANS OF PRODUCTION, DISTRIBUTION AND EXCHANGE
Explanation Criticism Economic factors determine the course of history and those who control the means of production will control the government and the society Does not account for such things as the Crusades, religious wars, and the unification of Germany and Italy Economic Interpretation of History
Explanation Criticism Throughout history, there have been the “haves” and the “have- nots.” In a modern industrial society the struggle is between the proletariat (“workers”) and capitalists. Does not consider the cooperation between the proletariat and capitalists to increase production, or profit- sharing arrangements. Class struggle
Explanation Criticism “Price of Product minus the Cost of Labor equals Surplus Value.” Here, Marx says the surplus value goes to capitalists, but should go to the worker who produces the value. Does not provide a return for the capitalist who risks his capital ($) and provides management services. Surplus Value Theory
Explanation Criticism Over a long period of time, overproduction will result in bankruptcies, and depressions will occur. Conditions will get so bad that the proletariat will revolt and establish a dictatorship of the proletariat. This has not come true. Communism has not gained control in countries already industrialized. Inevitability of Socialism
SOCIETY IN WHICH THE INDIVIDUAL’S LIFE IS TOTALLY CONTROLLED BY THE STATE Totalitarianism To understand the differences between a free society and a totalitarian state, we need to ask some questions about the nature of the good in humans and society.
Totalitarian state’s reply: Free society’s reply? Most make irrational decisions and should, therefore, be conditioned to follow orders given by those trained to use reasoning powers wisely in order to preserve the best interests of society. Yes, humans are reasonable and can be taught to reason carefully and understand what their best long-term interests are. Humans can and do make decisions that sacrifice their own personal interest to serve the best interests of society. Are humans capable of making reasonable decisions?
Totalitarian State’s reply: Free Society’s reply: No, humans are neither good nor bad by nature, but are a product of his or her environment. Humans can only be taught to do what is considered right by society. Good humans are reasonable enough to behave acceptably without force or indoctrination. Furthermore, he or she should, does, and is able to question the notion of good as it applies in various situations. Are humans naturally good?
Totalitarian State’s reply: Free Society’s reply: No, the state holds ALL rights to life, liberty, happiness and property. Individuals have no rights, only duty to the state. Yes, all individuals have the right to life, liberty, happiness and property, which the state must not violate. However, society may call upon individuals to accept limits on these rights for the welfare of the group in which they live. It is about creating balance. Do humans have inalienable rights?
Totalitarian State’s reply: Free Society’s reply: Humans can be taught to be either, but it is better for them to be cooperative to maintain order. Competition between individuals leads to societal disorder. Humans can be taught to be either, but it is not an either/or option. Humans may compete, so long as the competition enriches, rather than tears down society. Competition leads to advancements and better ways of living when tempered with cooperation and a sense of community. Are humans naturally competitive, or naturally cooperative?
Totalitarian State’s reply: Free Society’s reply: All are equal before the power of the state. **This is meaningless because all rights are controlled by the state.** All are equal in dignity and worth, and deserve the respect and opportunity to make their life what they can. This does not mean that all are equal in ability, but in essential worth that justifies balancing individual rights with the rights of society. Are all humans equal?