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Wherever men have private property and money is the measure of everything, there it is hardly possible for the commonwealth to be governed justly or to.

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Presentation on theme: "Wherever men have private property and money is the measure of everything, there it is hardly possible for the commonwealth to be governed justly or to."— Presentation transcript:

1 Wherever men have private property and money is the measure of everything, there it is hardly possible for the commonwealth to be governed justly or to flourish in prosperity. Thomas More, Utopia 1 This multimedia product and its contents are protected under copyright law. The following are prohibited by law: any public performance or display, including transmission of any image over a network; preparation of any derivative work, including the extraction, in whole or in part, of any images; any rental, lease, or lending of the program. Political Ideologies and the Democratic Ideal Chapter 5 Socialism and Communism: More to Marx

2 Introduction Socialism began as a reaction to liberalism Objected to focus on self-interest and competition Socialists argue that the foundation of society is not competition, but cooperation Society as a whole, rather than private individuals should control property All goods are social products and should be shared by all those who help produce it Socialists object to capitalism and argue that all socially useful goods should be socially controlled for the benefit of all 2Copyright © 2014, 2011, 2007 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

3 Human Nature and Freedom Human nature: Humans are naturally communal and social creatures People only appear to be selfish and competitive because of social circumstances Freedom: Poor or working class is prevented from pursuing their true aims and aspirations because of inequalities of wealth Workers also suffer from “false consciousness” that prevents them from recognizing alternative political arrangements 3

4 The Socialist View of Freedom 4 Agent: common/ working people Obstacle: class divisions, economic inequalities, unequal life chances, false consciousness Goal: fulfillment of human needs, e.g., satisfying work, fair share of product

5 Precursors: Utopian Socialists 1.Sir Thomas Moore ( ) Novel Utopia (1516) depicts an ideal society in which money is abolished 2.Saint-Simon ( ) Tried to set socialism on a “scientific” basis Expert planning can more justly address social needs 3.Charles Fourier ( ) “Harmonism” = highest stage of humanity where all cooperate freely for the public good 4.Robert Owen ( ) Crime is not the result of original sin, but of a deformed social system in which greed and selfishness are rewarded Established a socialist community of New Harmony in southwest Indiana 5

6 Socialism’s Most Important Thinker As a journalist, Marx became convinced of the central importance of economics in political matters He also became increasingly radical, thinking that the economic and political system in Germany was beyond reform Marx fled Germany for fear of imprisonment and never returned 6

7 The Influence of Hegel G.W.F. Hegel ( ) saw history as the struggle of the human spirit to overcome obstacles in the search for freedom Alienation – estrangement or separation The spirit goes through a series of alienations as it evolves into higher and more exclusive forms Master-salve dialectic – example of a dialectical process that promotes human freedom Master becomes master by physically overpowering slave Master sees himself as superior; slave sees himself as inferior Both require recognition from the other, but soon realize that their social roles cut them off from their shared humanity 7

8 Marx’s Theory of History Marx saw history as the story of human labor and struggle Materialist conception of history – history is the story of class struggles over resources The primary necessity for humans is to procure the material means of subsistence Material forces of production – forces that transform raw materials into finished products Social relations of production – organization and arrangement of humans for economic production Ideological superstructure – set of ideas and beliefs that justify and legitimize the arrangements of society 8

9 Materialist Conception of History 9

10 Marx’s Critique of Capitalism Marx argued that capitalism was a progressive force at one time; still he argued that capitalism should be replaced Three main criticisms: 1.Capitalism is outmoded; it has outlived its usefulness 2.Capitalism creates alienation between workers and their work 3.Capitalism is prone to internal contradictions Logic of capitalism constrains the actions of everyone including the capitalists Capitalism produces its own “gravediggers”—working class with nothing to lose and everything to gain by overthrowing the capitalist system 10

11 The Dialectic of Change Capitalism produces two classes: Bourgeoisie (capitalists) and proletariat (workers) are similar to the master and slave in Hegel’s dialectic Capitalists exploit laborers by extracting “surplus value” from the products of labor As proletariat becomes increasingly poor, they come to realize that the capitalists depend upon the proletariat for profit The capitalists attempt to maintain this economic system; whereas, proletariat seeks to abolish all class distinctions 11

12 Marx’s Revolutionary Sequence 12

13 Marx’s Revolutionary Sequence 13 1.Economic crises – crises become more common in advanced capitalist economies 2.Immiseration of the proletariat – economic crises affect the proletariat most severely 3.Revolutionary class consciousness – workers begin to fault the economic system rather than themselves 4.Seizure of state power – the proletariat takes state power from the bourgeoisie 5.Dictatorship of the proletariat – proletariat must use the apparatuses of the state to prevent counterrevolution 6.Withering away of the state – need for coercive state authority will disappear once class distinctions are abolished 7.Communism – “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs” Free society in which alienation, exploitation, and ideological illusions will disappear

14 Conclusion Socialism began as a reaction to liberalism with its focus on self-interest and competition Early utopian socialists devised schemes for future cooperative societies Karl Marx articulated a comprehensive critique of capitalism as well as a dialectical process by which capitalism would be overthrown Marx never drew detailed plans for a future communist society, but his general theory became very influential for future socialists who called themselves “Marxists” 14

15 Readings: Part V: Socialism and Communism: More to Marx Thomas More—Utopia Robert Owen—Address to the Inhabitants of New Lanark Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels—The Communist Manifesto Karl Marx—On the Materialist Conception of History 15©2011 Pearson Longman


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