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Copy of Marxism, Mexico and Amores Perros

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Melanie Cox

on 21 May 2014

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Transcript of Copy of Marxism, Mexico and Amores Perros

Karl Heinrich Marx was born on 5 May 1818 in Trier in western German, the son of a successful Jewish lawyer.

A hugely influential revolutionary thinker and philosopher, Marx did not live to see his ideas carried out in his own lifetime, but his writings formed the theoretical base for modern international communism.

Who is he?
What did he say?
Marx can be thought of as having offered two sets of ideas, the first of which we can accept if we wish to, without accepting the second.

1. Marx gave us a theory of society, i.e , an explanation of how society works, of how and why history has unfolded, and especially an account of the nature of capitalism. These are of great value for the task of describing what is going on in the world and for understanding the problems and directions of our society today.

2. But Marx also regarded capitalism as extremely unsatisfactory and he was very concerned with getting rid of it, via violent revolution and the establishment of a communist society. Marxism is therefore also about political goals and action.
This sounds familiar
The three stories in Amores Perros are more or less true. The character El Chivo (The Goat) was based on a story that Arriaga had heard about a teacher who disappeared to join a guerrilla cell and was never seen again (in the film, he becomes a hitman).

Hmmm, he looks a bit familiar
In 1843, after a short spell as editor of a liberal newspaper in Cologne, Marx and his wife Jenny moved to Paris, a hotbed of radical thought. There he became a revolutionary communist and befriended his life long collaborator, Friedrich Engels.
From France, Marx spent two years in Brussels, where his partnership with Engels intensified. They co-authored the pamphlet 'The Communist Manifesto' which was published in 1848 and asserted that all human history had been based on class struggles, but that these would ultimately disappear with the victory of the proletariat.
A Critical Approach
Marxism, Mexico and Amores Perros
Karl Marx

What did he do?
Marx said history is basically about the struggle between classes for dominance.

"The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles".

In capitalist society the capitalist class benefits most; i.e., those who own and control the means of production receive a disproportionate share of wealth, power, privileges and status. There are other classes but as time goes on these are squeezed into either the small capitalist class or the large working class.
Marxists stress that social analysis should focus on class structure and relations. In other words the most important questions to ask about a society are to do with what groups in society dominate or gain most benefit from the status quo, or whose interests does the situation or policy or proposal serve most?

The director has said that his aim was to show the enormous contradictions of the city, the largest in the Americas. If this is his only goal, he has perhaps achieved it in part. But a film dealing with the social cauldron that is Mexico City must shed some light on the conditions it depicts. On this ground, the film is a failure.

Do you agree?
But what is the reality for the real working class in Mexico City?
Note that there is an important distinction between big business, which includes the transnational corporations and banks, and small business. Many small firms and family farms and shops are usually struggling, only providing their owners will low incomes. These people are not investing capital in order to make profits from enterprises in which they have no other stake, so they are not really part of the capitalist class. They are more like peasants who own and work on their own farms
In summary,
how can you apply a Marxist critical approach?
To what extent is Amores Perros about class struggles?

The “Communist Manifesto” stated that all men were born free but that society had got to such a state that the majority were in chains
The philosopher-hit man, king of the underworld, disdains money and class, until he realizes he can only connect emotionally with his thoroughly bourgeois daughter through money to sustain her class pretense.
What is El Chivo's link to capitalism?




Write a sentence on each of the following:
The working class are not representations of Marxism as they are always in conflict. What do they portray?

This implies that Marxism cannot work because of Darwinism
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