Presentation on theme: "L11 - L12: Revolutionary Changes in Economic Life: Marxism Agenda Objective: 1.To understand the theory, principles, and ideas of Marxism as laid out by."— Presentation transcript:
L11 - L12: Revolutionary Changes in Economic Life: Marxism Agenda Objective: 1.To understand the theory, principles, and ideas of Marxism as laid out by Marx and Engels. 2.To understand the relationship between Marxism, capitalism, and the IR. Schedule: 1.Opening activity 2.Marxism Lecture & Discussion Homework: 1.Consult unit schedule (Reminder: Keep reading Marx and second process check due Friday!)
The Industrial Revolution Faces Critics What were some of the problems associated with the IR? Capitalism? Marx and Engels are particularly appalled at the development of industrialization and capitalism and the social, economic, and political changes it produced. It is in their engagement with and thinking about this new capitalist and industrial world that drives the development of Marxist ideology.
Karl Marx 1818-1883 German Attended the University of Berlin and earned a doctorate in Philosophy. While in university he joined a radical leftist group called the Young Hegelians. After graduation he earned a reputation as a radical and was exiled to London. Spent most of his career living in poverty while writing his famous works.
Friederich Engels 1820 – 1895 German Self-educated in philosophy Worked in England for his father’s textile firm where he personally observed the working conditions of industrial English workers Financially supported Marx throughout his career
Marxism Together, Marx and Engels are the founder of Marxism –Set of political, economic, historical, and sociological ideas put forth by Karl Marx and Friederich Engels. Key Texts: –Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844 (1844) –The German Ideology (1845) –The Communist Manifesto (1848) –Das Capital (1867)
Core Ideas of Marxism We Must Know 1.View of History: Dialectical Materialism 2.Class and Class Conflict 3.Economic Determinism & Theory of Knowledge 4.Bourgeoisie and Proletariat 5.Alienation 6.Class Consciousness, False Consciousness, and the Communist Revolution
View of History: Dialectical Materialism & View of Class and Class Conflict
Marxism: Intellectual Influences In addition to understanding the historical context in which Marx and Engels are writing we must also consider their intellectual influence. German philosopher Georg Hegel is their primary influence. –Marx’s reaction to Hegel permeates Marx and Engels’ work.
Georg Hegel 1770-1831 German Philosopher One of the creators of the philosophy: German Idealism. –One of his main contributions being the idea of the Hegelian Dialectic. Marx would go on to stand Hegel’s dialectic on its head.
Hegelian Dialectic Hegel saw history as a dialectic driven by ideas (idealism). For Hegel history was always moving forward toward some “end point” by the clashing of old ideas (thesis) with new ideas (antithesis) and eventually settling at a new equilibrium (the synthesis) until the whole process starts over again.
Hegelian Dialectic: Example Belief in the absolute rule of kings The belief in the ideas of liberty, equality, and fraternity generated by the French Revolution The creation of constitutional monarchies
Marx’s Dialectic Materialism Says, “Yes Hegel, History is a dialectic process, but changes in the material conditions of society, not changes in ideas, drive history.”
Dialectic and Class Conflict Marx conceives of the historical dialectic in terms of class conflict. He argues that it is not clashes between ideas that propel history forward, as Hegel argued, but clashes between two opposing classes when the means of production changed.
Class Conflict What are classes? – Economic groups defined in terms of their relationship to the means of production In any given society, there have always been two groups: Oppressing Class Those that own the means of production Oppressed Class Those that do not own the means of production But use the means of production for the benefit of the oppressing class
Stages of History and Class Conflict at Each Stage
Class Conflict Drives History In any given society when those two opposing classes come into conflict it propels history forward into a new stage of history and new classes emerge. Ultimately these new classes will also come into conflict until history reaches its end point: the classless society Marx and Engels call communism. Communist Revolution
Communism is Inevitable Marx believes this evolution of history is inevitable. Communism is inevitable –Because capitalism contains within it the seeds of its own destruction.
“History of All Previously Existing Society is the History of Class Struggle”
Stop! Take Our Pulse… What is Marx’s view of history? What do we mean when we say dialectical materialism? How does Marx define class? What are the two major economic classes of the industrial era? What is the function of class conflict?
Economic Determinism Marx thus believes in Economic Determinism: economics determines the course of all human history. Clashes between classes over changes in the means of production drive history forward. Everything else in society comes from economics: – Ex, ideas of society, are determined by its economic structure: “The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas…” The material conditions of our society shape society’s ideology; those in the oppressing class determine the ideology of society.
Two Important Pieces of Information Implied From Marx’s Theory of Knowledge Knowledge is socially constructed Power (both economic, intellectual, and political) stems from the ownership of the means of production
Two Social Classes in the Industrial Age: Bourgeoisie vs. Proletariat Marx argued that the emergence of capitalism had ushered in a new stage of history in which there were two new opposing social classes. – Bourgeoisie (Oppressing Class): Own the means of production Factory owners, bankers –Proletariat (Oppressed Class): Sell their labor and do not own the means of production Factory workers
Exploitation In a capitalist system, bourgeoisie exploit the proletariat by using their labor to make goods that are sold for more than the proletariat is paid. This taking of “surplus value” is the source of exploitation in capitalist society.
Proletariat not only suffer because of exploitation, but also because the capitalist system causes them to experience three types of alienation: 1. Alienation from Species-Being 2. Alienation from their Product 3. Alienation from Fellow Worker
Class Consciousness, False Consciousness, and the Communist Revolution
The Revolution Will Be Violent and Inevitable! However, Marx argues that it is inevitable that these two classes will come into conflict. This conflict will be one in which the proletariat overthrow the bourgeoisie in a violent revolution.
Class Consciousness However, the revolution can only occur once the proletariat develop class consciousness. Class consciousness: –Collective realization that they are being exploited and that this must stop.
False Consciousness In the absence of class consciousness, workers suffer from false consciousness in which they cannot recognize their own oppression. Religion actually facilitates false consciousness. “Religion is the opiate of the people.” What does this mean?
Class Conflict in the Modern Age (Or the Coming of the Communist Revolution) 1. Individual members of the proletariat become angry and may clash with individual members of the bourgeoisie or may destroy the means of production 2. Proletariat develop class consciousness and come together as a class to realize their shared interest in overthrowing capitalism 3. Proletariat overthrow the bourgeoisie in a violent and inevitable revolution leading the creation of a communist society.
Attainment of Communism After the workers rise up and revolt violently (and overthrow the capitalists), they establish a temporary Dictatorship of the Proletariat. At first, the Dictatorship of the Proletariat would need absolute powers to make sure Reactionaries didn’t bring back capitalism.
Attainment of Communism But before long, the workers would learn to share everything equally – “from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs” - and live in government-less society. Karl Marx called this Communism, or the Ultimate Classless Society.
Stop! Take Our Pulse What is economic determinism? What is Marx’s theory of knowledge? Who are the Bourgeoisie? The Proletariat? What are the three types of alienation? What is the relationship between class consciousness, false consciousness, and the communist revolution? What does a communist economic system look like?