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Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels Sociology 100 From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs!

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Presentation on theme: "Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels Sociology 100 From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs!"— Presentation transcript:

1 Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels Sociology 100 From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs!

2 The Birth of the State At a certain historical point, so that classes with conflicting economic interests, might not consume themselves and society in sterile struggle, a power seemingly standing above society became necessary for the purpose of moderating the conflict, of keeping it within the bounds of order; and this power, arisen out of society, but placing itself above it, and increasingly alienating itself from it, is the state. (752) 2

3 The Birth of the State The state grows stronger [...] in proportion as class antagonisms within the state grow more acute, and as adjacent states become larger and more populated. We have only to look at our present-day Europe, where class struggle and rivalry in conquest have screwed up the public power to such a pitch that it threatens to devour the whole of society and even the state. (753) – The state appears to stand above and apart from society, but in fact is a product of societys character Nonetheless, the bureaucrat it experienced as being a more alien power than, say, the chieftain – A strong state is the sign not of stability, but of domestic & foreign conflict 3

4 The Birth of the State As the state emerged from the need to hold class antagonisms in check, but as it arose, at the same time, in the midst of the conflict of of those classes, it is, as a rule, the state of the most powerful, economically dominant class which, through the medium of the state, becomes also the politically dominant class, and thus acquires new means of holding down and exploiting the oppressed class. (753) – There are exceptional times when an equal balance of power between classes allows the state a certain degree of independence of both (753) Louis XIV Bonaparte I & III Bismarck 4

5 Tool of the Ruling Class By legally removing property from politics (no property restrictions for the vote), the bourgeoisie is able to use its capital to rule all the more effectively – Direct corruption – Alliance between govt and business, stock exchange – Ideology The possessing class rules directly through the medium of universal suffrage. As long as the oppressed class, in our case, therefore, the proletariat, is not yet ripe to emancipate itself, it will in its majority regard the existing order of society as the only one possible and, politically, will form the tail of the capitalist class, its extreme Left wing. (754) 5

6 Reason, Property & History Morgan: property has become, on the part of the people an unmanageable power. The human mind stands bewildered in the presence of its own creation. The time will come, nevertheless, when human intelligence will rise to the mastery over property, and defined the relations of the state to the property it protects, as well as the obligations and the limits of the rights of its owners. The interests of society are paramount to the individual interest, and the two must be brought into just and harmonious relation. (758-59) 6

7 Critique of the Gotha Program What we have to deal with here is a communist society, not as it has developed on its own foundations, but, on the contrary, just as it emerges from capitalist society; which is thus, in every respect, economically, morally and intellectually, still stamped with the birth marks of the old society from whose womb it emerges. (529) 7

8 Revolutionary Struggle To be able to fight at all, the working class must organise itself at home as a class, and that its own country is the immediate arena of its struggle. (533) – National struggle in form, international struggle in substance 8

9 Revolutionary Struggle The different states of the different civilised countries, in spite of their manifold diversity of form, all have this in common, that they are based on modern bourgeois society, only one more or less capitalistically developed. (537) – The state cannot be free because it is the outcome of class conflict and the tool of the ruling class Example: public education as bourgeois indoctrination in politics and thought – Struggle against the state thus cannot be conducted everywhere by legal means (538) 9

10 Revolutionary Struggle Between capitalist and communist society lies the period of the revolutionary transformation of the one into the other. There corresponds to this also a political transition period in which the state can be nothing but the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat. (538) 10

11 Revolutionary Struggle Engels: – A revolution is certainly the most authoritarian thing there is; it is the act whereby one part of the population imposes its will against the other part by means of rifles, bayonets, and cannon authoritarian means, if such there be at all; and if the victorious party does not want to have fought in vain, it must retain this rule by mean of the terror which its arms inspire in the reactionaries. (733) Responsibility for terror? 11

12 Post-capitalism The first phase of post-capitalist society – The same amount of labour which he has given to society in one form he receives back in another. (530) Cashless: Under the altered circumstances no one can give anything except his labour, and because [...] nothing can pass to individuals except individual means of consumption (530) Equal right, but bourgeois right: The right of producers proportional to the amount of labor supplied 12

13 Post-capitalism But one man is superior to another physically or mentally and so supplies more labour in the same time, or can labour for longer time; and labour, to serve as a measure, must be defined by its duration or intensity, otherwise it ceases to be a standard of measurement. This equal right is an unequal right for unequal labour. (530 – No class inequalities, but individual inequalities of wealth and consumption remain –It is, therefore, a right of inequality, in its content, like every right. – But these defects are inevitable in the first phase of communist society as it is when it has just emerged after prolonged birth pangs from capitalist society. (531) Social change cannot outpace economic transformations 13

14 Communism In a higher phase of communist society, after the the enslaving subordination of the individual to the division of labour, and therewith also the antithesis between mental and physical labour, has vanished; after labour has become not only the means of life but lifes prime want; after the productive forces have also increased with the all-around development of the individual, and all the springs of co-operative wealth flow more abundantlyonly then can the narrow horizon of bourgeois right be crossed in its entirety and society inscribe on its banner: From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs! (531) 14

15 Society After the Revolution Unclear exactly how society would be organized Engels: – Authority a necessary part of industrial production Coordination necessary Wanting to abolish authority in large-scale industry is tantamount to wanting to abolish industry itself, to destroy the power loom and return to the spinning wheel. (731) – Would Marx agree? – The social organization of the future will restrict authority solely to the limits within which the conditions of production render it inevitable (732) 15

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