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Karl Marx: His Essential Works

A report presentation for Social Sciences II at the University of the Philippines Manila - College of Arts and Sciences

Slye Joy Serrano

on 19 September 2012

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Transcript of Karl Marx: His Essential Works

Karl Marx and his essential works The great basic question of all philosophy , especially of modern philosophy , is that concerning the relation of thinking and being . . . that question, in relation to Church, was sharpened into this: “Did God create the world or has the world been in existence eternally?” The answers which philosophers give to this question split them into two great camps.
-Engels, Ludwig Feuerbach THE PHILOSOPHY OF MARX IDEALISM MATERIALISM THE SCHOOL OF IDEALISM Believes that mind or idea is essence, and that matter is derived from it
Defenders of status quo
Believes in supernatural and divine power THE SCHOOL OF MATERIALISM Believes that matter is the essential substance and the phenomenon of mind comes from and is a reflection of matter
Vanguards of revolutionary change Marx joined forces with the MATERIALISTS, but spent his entire life putting more consistency and scientific character to Materialism. MECHANISTIC MATERIALISM Man conceived the universe as an extremely elaborate machine; once set to motion, all future circumstances can be determine

CHANGE: Only in pace, increase/decrease in regularly determined cycles Marx's Criticism to Mechanistic Materialism leads to IDEALISM because it fails to explain the origin of the universe atheistically METAPHYSICAL (NON-DIALECTIC) placed beyond physics Nature is immutable, subject to the cause and affect of rotary motion like machines. “. . .nature augments only in quantity while always remaining the same.”
- Feuerbach AND MAN, can really do NOTHING
to CHANGE things?!? *asjhdgU^%$@%$876 DIALECTICS to argue; to contend A. This has been used in the ancient times; bringing the CONTRADICTION of every of your opponents arguments

B. Religion (Catholicism esp. ) opposed dialectics because it did not permit argument HEGEL'S DIALECTICS the law of dialectics governs the development of the spirit or (mind) struggles between contraries make humanity evolve THESIS + ANTI-THESIS = SYNTHESIS He denied the development of nature and society through the dialectics "the essence of reality isn't material but spiritual (or mental), and is therefore independent and thus free. . ."
- Hegel DIALECTICAL MATERIALISM Marx took Hegel's dialectics and transferred it into a MATERIALIST framework FIRST LAW (Relationship) Interpenetration of opposites EACH ENTITY IS COMPOSED OF TWO SUB-ENTITIES WHICH ARE FUNDAMENTALLY CONTRADICTORY TO ONE ANOTHER SECOND LAW (Process of development) Transformation of QUANTITY into QUALITY EVERY KIND OF CHANGE IN THE UNIVERSE- EVERY PROCESS OF DEVELOPMENT- IS FIRST OF ALL CHANGE IN QUANTITY THIRD LAW (Negation of Negation) EVERY ENTITY EXIST FIRST OF ALL AS AN AFFIRMATION, THEN IS NEGATED (PRODUCES ITS OWN NEGATION), AND THE NEGATION IS NEGATED AGAIN THE COMMUNIST MANIFESTO "A SPECTER IS HUNTING EUROPE - THE SPECTER OF COMMUNISM." THEORY OF CLASS STRUGGLE Bourgeoisie and Proletariat "The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.” DEFINITION: Bourgeoisie – people in the class of the modern capitalists; owners of means of social production and employers of wage labor

Proletariat – people in the class of modern wage laborers who, having no means of production on their own, are reduced to selling their labor power in order to live "In the earlier epochs of history, we find almost everywhere a complicated arrangement of society into various orders, a manifold gradation of social rank." slavery "the modern bourgeoisie society has sprouted from the ruins of feudal society... has only established new classes, new conditions of oppression, new forms of struggle in place of old ones...has simplified the class antagonism" BOURGEOISIE PROLETARIAT THE CAPITALIST SOCIETY . . . *drew all nations to civilizations (creates a world after its own image)

*subjected the country to the rule of towns

*centralized means of production and concentrated private property in the hands of the few

*uses the superstructure to maintain itself

*constantly revolutionized instruments of production, relations of production and thus the whole relations of society

*exploited the world; gave a cosmopolitan character to production and consumption in every country

*needs an expanding market

*has 'stripped of its halo every occupation hitherto honored and looked up to with reverent awe

*'reduced money relation to mere money relation

*substituted exploitation 'veiled by religious and political illusions' by 'naked, shameless, direct, brutal EXPLOITATION In a capitalist society . . .
a worker either becomes dehumanized alienated "workers sink down to a level of a COMMODITY" DEHUMANIZATION COMMODITY- The commodity is at first an exterior object which satisfies human wants of one sort or another.
The nature of such wants, whether they arise, for instance, from the stomach or from imagination, makes no difference.
Nor does it matter here how the object satisfies these human wants, whether directly object of consumption, or indirectly as means of production. "The devaluation of the human world increases in direct relation with the increase in value of the world of things. Labor does not only creates goods, it produces itself and the worker as a commodity. . . " ALIENATION A. From products of their labor
B. From their capacity to freely direct their own act
C. From their own interests and talents
D. From others and from human solidarity ECONOMIC PROBLEMS ECONOMIC PROBLEMS let's start with SALARY A worker exchanges his commodity(labor power) for an equivalent wage to purchase what he needs to survive: food, shelter, light clothes, education now with a fixed wage/salary, the boss earns the same sum MULTIPLIED by the number of employees he has! the worker, works and works JUST TO SURVIVE while the boss gets richer and richer... FORMULA OF CAPITALISM: Buy and Sell again to gain PROFIT, passing through transactions
>>> SURPLUS VALUE "...through alienated labor the worker creates a relation of another man, who does not work and is outside the process, to this labor." UTOPIAN SOCIALISTS "The combined means of production now in existence have been produced by labor of previous generations, who have thought , created and given their lives to attain something . . ." "private ownership is the maximum form of alienation" and so the "deepest essence of man, his creative act , has been transformed into a possession..." how is SURPLUS VALUE produced? * cannot be derived by mere EXCHANGE of goods ANSWER:
Find in the market some other "commodity" with the current value having the one peculiar quality which makes it the SOURCE OF VALUE. Labor Power commodity; a source not only of VALUE, but of more value than itself (capitalist pays the VALUE of a day's labor; a day's labor belongs now to the capitalist) COMMODITY *bought* to produce COMMODITY TRAP OF CAPITALISM increasing his productive output and his efficiency, also increases surplus value >>>a rise in productivity is nothing other than a way to augment the boss'capital - and the poverty of all workers (thus alienation and dehumanization) to resolve clamors . . . resolve INCREASE SALARY As Ernst Fischer said, " The best salary workers can get , under the most favorable conditions, only reveals in reality the strength and thickness of the golden bars which imprison them, and which only seem to permit them "greater" freedom of action . . . The misery of workers, above all, consists of the fact that by working for capitalism he reproduces capital, and by reproducing it, he also increases his own alienation and misery . . . " THERE'S ONLY ONE WAY OUT: REVOLUTION the proletariat must be politicized in order to proceed to the next stage of development attainable only through a revolution . . . Working men
of all countries, UNITE! COMMUNISM abolition of private property abolition of family abolition of eternal truths to do away with the status of woman as mere instruments of production HISTORICAL MATERIALISM Materialist conception of history and the modes of production ". . . history is made by man, not by 'destiny' or so-called 'hand of God.' " PRIMITIVE COMMUNISM SLAVE SOCIETY FEUDAL SOCIETY CAPITALIST SOCIETY MODES OF PRODUCTION the combination of "productive forces" (or units of production) and the relations of production * everyone owns everything
* no one owns private property
* lives by hunting and gathering * first CLASS SOCIETY COMMUNIST SOCIETY feudalism They, the “utopian socialists”, wrote “the revolutionary literature that accompanied' the 'first movements of the proletariat” Utopian socialists had seen the class antagonisms and the action of the decomposing elements in the prevailing form of society. They made a search for another approach on their analysis of the situation which “had a reactionary character.” They use the present misery of the working class as a reason to restore older methods of social organization. This is unwise and impossible. They want to “improve the condition of every member of society even that of the most favored”, “reject all political and especially all revolutionary action” and wish to attend their ends by peaceful means”, through the proclamation of social harmonies. LABOR PRODUCT
(Commodity) PROFIT CAPITAL SALARY SURPLUS VALUE (Profit) They are trying to prevent the historical development of the proletariat which Marx considers as something absurd because class antagonism/struggle shall always be present. “They think the society is
one big happy family?!?!” "The executive of the modern state is but the a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie (The Communist Manifesto). MAN versus NATURE SLAVE versus MASTER FROM PRODUCTS OF THEIR LABOR ". . .the more the worker expends himself in work the more powerful becomes the world of object he creates in face of himself, the poorer he becomes in his inner life, and less he belongs to himself (Marx, 1844)."

Alienated Labor in Economic and philosophical manuscripts FROM THIER CAPACITY TO FREELY DIRECT
THEIR OWN ACTIVITIES ". . . the process of production is organized hierarchically, so that the work performed reflects the planning and orders of others (capitalists of their hired managers) rather than interests, talents, or autonomy of the workers themselves (Marx, 1844)."

Alienated Labor in Economic and philosophical manuscripts FROM THIER OWN INTERESTS AND TALENTS ". . . although workers are under pressure to accept whatever jobs they can find, these jobs are constantly being simplified, speeded up, and adjusted to machinery, with the result that worker's talents and interests are by and large disregarded in the work process [workers must work to live; they do not live to work] (Marx, 1844)."

Alienated Labor in Economic and philosophical manuscripts FROM OTHERS AND FROM HUMAN SOLIDARITY "The egotism demanded by the struggle among capitalists (for scarce materials and markets), among workers (for jobs), and between workers and employers (over wages, hours, and working conditions) produce a world in which each person is indifferent or hostile toward everyone else and thus alienated from human solidarity, from the possibility of action for COMMON ENDS [emphasis added] (Marx, 1844)."

Alienated Labor in Economic and philosophical manuscripts >> " . . . through alienated labor the worker creates a relation of another man, who does not work and is outside work process, to this labor. The relation of the worker to work also produces the relation of the capitalist (or whatever one likes to call the lord of labor) to work. PRIVATE PROPERTY [emphasis added] is therefore the product, necessary result, of alienated labor, of the external relation of the worker to nature and to himself." UNIONS TRADE UNIONS CONFEDERATION OF UNIONS WORKERS' POLITICAL PARTY LANDLORD versus SERF LABOR versus CAPITAL (Bourgeoisie versus Proletariat) THE NEGATION OF THE NEGATION "The philosophers only interpreted the world;
the point is to CHANGE it." the withering away of the state “But thereby it abolishes itself as the proletariat, abolishes all class distinctions and class antagonisms, and abolishes also the state as state.” In seizing the state power, the proletariat thereby “abolishing the state as state.” •Proletariat abolishing the bourgeoisie state
•“Withering away” of what remains of the proletariat state
The state is a “special coercive force” “The state has taken possession of the means of production in the name of the whole society.” “Withering of the state” intensifies violent revolution between the two states. THE INEVITABLE DOOM OF CAPITALISM YOU ARE COMMUNISTS!!!!
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