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Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels Sociology 100

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1 Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels Sociology 100
As individuals express their life, so they are.

2 Historical Materialism
“Reality” is the product of activity, the relationships and practices of people and things Rejection of idealism (the position that ideas precede things) Truth determined historically, not philosophically Materialism new and old Old (Feuerbach): things are meaningful as objects of our contemplation New (Marx): the nature of things is shaped by our practical interaction with them

3 Classes Aristocracy Land Bourgeoisie Capital Proletariat Labor

4 Method “The premises from which we begin are not arbitrary ones, not dogmas, but real premises from which abstraction can only be made in the imagination. They are the real individuals, their activity and the material conditions under which they live, both those which the find already existing and those produced by their activity. These premises can thus be verified in a purely empirical way.” (149)

5 Method The first premise of all human history is, of course, the existence of living human individuals. Thus, the first act to be established is the physical organisation of these individuals and their consequent relation to the rest of nature.” (149)

6 Forms of Life Humans “begin to distinguish themselves from animals as soon as they begin to produce their means of subsistence, a step which is conditioned by their physical organization. By producing their means of subsistence, men are indirectly producing their actual material life.” (150)

7 Forms of Life This is “a definite form of activity of these individuals, a definite form of expressing their life, a definite mode of life on their part. As individuals express their life, so they are.” (150) “Life is not determined by consciousness, but consciousness by life.” (155) “When reality is depicted, philosophy as an independent branch of knowledge loses its existence.” (155) “How far the productive forces of a nation are developed is shown most manifestly by the degree to which the has been carried.” (150) Economic development always marked by further division of labor

8 Forms of Life The first historical act is the production of the goods needed for biological life. This in turn creates new needs. “The production of life, both of one’s own in labor and of fresh life in procreation, now appears as a double relationship: Natural: satisfying basic biological needs Social: requires cooperation, in a form determined by the means of production ( )

9 Material Base of Consciousness
“Language, life consciousness, only arises from the need, the necessity, of intercourse with other men. Where there exists a relationship, it exists for me: the animal does not enter into “relations” with anything, it does not enter into any relation at all. For the animal, its relation to others does not exist as a relation. Consciousness is, therefore, from the very beginning a social product, and remains so as long as men exist at all.” (158)

10 Division of Labor & Alienation
As long as a division of labor exists, the individual's labor, & thus the individual’s consciousness, is alienated from him/her. Activities determine consciousness Activities determined by economic relations Need to continue activities for livelihood Own labor becomes an alien power The individual becomes his or her job and class (199) Without division of labor, it would be “possible for me to do one thing today and another tomorrow, to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evenings, criticise after dinner, without ever becoming hunter, fisherman, shepherd or critic.” (160)

11 History “The form of intercourse determined by the existing productive forces at all previous historical stages, and in its turn determining these, is civil society. [...]Already here we see how this civil society is the true source and theatre of all history, and how absurd is the conception of history held hitherto, which neglects the real relationships and confines itself to high-sounding dramas of princes and states.” (163)

12 World History History has become world history
An machine is invented in England, workers of India and China deprived of work, the governments of India and China overthrown This is not due to any abstract realization of spirit, or philosophy, or some realization of human nature, but to “a quite material, empirically verifiable act”. (172) The spread of the global market

13 Ideology “The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas: i.e., the class which is the ruling material force of society, is at the same time its ruling intellectual force. The class which has the means of material production at its disposal, has control at the same time over the means of mental production, so that thereby, generally speaking, the ideas of those who lack the means of production are subject to it. The ruling ideas are nothing more than the ideal expression of the dominant material relationships...” (172) “Base” and “superstructure” Philosophy, religion, politics, economic studies

14 Ideology “For each new class which puts itself in the place of the one ruling before it, is compelled, merely in order to carry through its aim, to represent its interest as the common interest of all the members of society, that is, expressed in an ideal form: it has to give its ideas the form of universality, and represent them as the only rational, universally valid ones.” (174)

15 The State “Through the emancipation of private property from the community, the State has become a separate entity, beside and outside civil society; but it is nothing more than the form of organisation which the bourgeois necessarily adopt both for internal and external purposes, for the mutual guarantee of their property and interests.” “The modern French, English and American writers all express the opinion that the State exists only for the sake of private property, so that this fact has penetrated into the consciousness of the common man.” (187)

16 The Dialectic of History
Each stage of history, with its dominant means of production, carries within it the seeds of its own destruction and the birth of the next ruling class Example: Kings, lords, towns, merchants, banks ( ) England first to industrialize, embrace free trade (184) Competition means other nations must also do so to compete

17 The Dialectic of History
Universal competition “forced all individuals to strain their energy to the utmost. It destroyed as far as possible ideology, religion, morality, etc. and where it could not do this, made them into a palpable lie. It produced world history for the first time, insofar as it made all civilised nations and every individual member of them dependent for their wants on the whole world, thus destroying the former natural exclusiveness of separate nations.” (185)

18 The Dialectic of History
“Since [political and cultural] conditions correspond at every stage to the simultaneous development of the productive forces, their history is at the same time the history of the evolving productive forces taken over by each new generation, and is, therefore, the history of the development of the forces of the individuals themselves.” (195)

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