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Philosophy according to Karl Marx

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Dorothy T

on 27 January 2015

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Transcript of Philosophy according to Karl Marx

Karl Marx (1818-1883)
born in the city of Trier, Germany
studied law at the University of Bonn
then, studied Hegelianism in the University of Berlin
Mode, Means, and Relations of Production
Drawing on Hegel, Marx argues that labor is central to a human being’s self-conception and sense of well-being
Capital (Das Kapital)
Human Emancipation
Philosophy according to Karl Marx
Kantian philosophy was the basis on which the structure of Marxism was built
Extension of the method of reasoning by “antinomies” that Kant used
Commodity Fetishism
Historical Materialism
Influenced the view of historical materialism
Hegel claimed that reality (and history) should be viewed dialectically
refer to the specific organization of economic production in a given society
Mode of production includes the means of production used by a given society, such as factories and other facilities, machines, and raw materials. It also includes labor and the organization of the labor force.
Hegel’s signature concept was that of the dialectic, a word that originally referred to the process of logical argumentation and refutation.
Hegel also influenced Marx in his characterization of the modern age
Feuerbach argued that God is really a creation of man and that the qualities people attribute to God are really qualities of humanity
Marx distinguished between appearances and reality, but he didn't believe that the material world hides from us the "real" world of the ideal
Grounds of property is labour
Marx's theory of business cycles; of economic growth and development,
Idea of egalitarian democracy
Marx wrote a collection of notebooks from his reading of Lewis Morgan
Marx was influenced to make the historical materialism viewpoint
Fourier wanted to replace modern cities with utopian communities
Saint-Simon advocated directing the economy by manipulating credit
Helped expand the political and social imagination of their contemporaries, such as Marx
Proudhon's book "What is Property" convinced the young Karl Marx that private property should be abolished.
Emancipation differs significantly from individual to individual and from culture to culture
According to Marx, emancipation is one thing and one thing only: the complete eradication of the inherent contradictions between social structures and man's true nature, species being
"It is not a radical revolution, universal human emancipation which is a Utopian dream for Germany, but rather a partial, merely political revolution which leaves the pillars of the building standing"
In order to fully achieve "true emancipation", one must abolish religion
"Rights of Man" are not human rights but paradoxically barriers to real human emancipation
Evolves toward a realization of its fullest productive capacity, but this evolution creates antagonisms between the classes of people defined by the relations of production—owners and workers.
Capitalism is a mode of production based on private ownership of the means of production
Capitalists produce commodities for the exchange market and to stay competitive must extract as much labor from the workers as possible at the lowest possible cost
When the proletariat will replace the capitalist mode of production with a mode of production based on the collective ownership of the means of production
The Labor Theory of Value
The social relations of production are inherently antagonistic, giving rise to a class struggle that Marx believes will lead to the overthrow of capitalism by the proletariat
Labor is as much an act of personal creation and a projection of one’s identity as it is a means of survival
However, capitalism, the system of private ownership of the means of production, deprives human beings of this essential source of self-worth and identity
In capitalism, the worker, who is alienated or estranged from the products he creates, is also estranged from the process of production, which he regards only as a means of survival.
The worker is thus alienated from his or her “species being”—from what it is to be human
Hegel is an idealist
Marx is a materialist
Believed that the fundamental truth about a particular society or period in history is how that society is organized to satisfy material needs.
Marx saw history as a succession of economic systems or modes of production, each one organized to satisfy human material needs but giving rise to antagonisms between different classes of people, leading to the creation of new societies in an evolving pattern.
When people try to understand the world in which they live, they fixate on money—who has it, how is it acquired, how is it spent—or they fixate on commodities, trying to understand economics as a matter of what it costs to make or to buy a product, what the demand for a product is, and so on.
Believed that commodities and money are fetishes that prevent people from seeing the truth about economics and society: that one class of people is exploiting another
The concept of commodity fetishism applies both to the perceptions of normal people in everyday life and to the formal study of economics
In everyday life, we think only of the market value of a commodity—in other words, its price
Marx argues that this commodity fetishism allows capitalists to carry on with day-to-day affairs of a capitalist mode of production without having to confront the real implications of the system of exploitation on which they depend.
States that the value of a commodity is determined by the amount of labor that went into producing it (and not, for instance, by the fluctuating relationship of supply and demand)
Marx defines a commodity as an external object that satisfies wants or needs and distinguishes between two different kinds of value that can be attributed to it. Commodities have a use-value that consists of their capacity to satisfy such wants and needs.
The only thing that all commodities have in common is that they are a product of labor. Therefore, the value of a commodity in a market represents the amount of labor that went into its production.
The labor theory is important in Marx’s work not because it gives special insight into the nature of prices
Used as a notion of exploitation; Marx pointed to the abject poverty of industrial workers in places like Manchester for proof of the destructive effects of this exploitative relationship.
Argued that all changes in the shape of society, in political institutions, in history itself, are driven by a process of collective struggle on the part of groups of people with similar economic situations in order to realize their material or economic interests
The bourgeoisie have risen to the status of dominant class in the modern industrial world (due to the discovery of raw materials), shaping political institutions and society according to its own interests.
The bourgeois view, which sees the world as one big market for exchange has destroyed the traditional ways of life and rural civilization
Modern industrial workers are exploited by the bourgeoisie and forced to compete with one another for ever-shrinking wages as the means of production grow more sophisticated.
The workers will form collectivities and gradually take their demands to the political sphere as a force to be reckoned with.
A person’s actions, attitudes, and outlook on society and his politics, loyalties, and sense of collective belonging all derive from his location in the relations of production.
The bourgeoisie, through its established mode of production, produces the seeds of its own destruction: the working class.

Labor Theory of Value
Surplus Value
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