PS 240 Marxism Fall 2008

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PS 240 Marxism Fall 2008

  1. 1. Marxism Dr. Christopher S. Rice
  2. 2. The Early Marx
  3. 3. Marx Becomes A Philosopher
  4. 4. 2 effects of his career in Journalism
  5. 5. He came to appreciate the central social and political importance of economics
  6. 6. He ceased to be a liberal and became a radical
  7. 7. The Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844
  8. 8. Hegel and his influence on Marxism
  9. 9. Hegel’s Philosophy of History
  10. 10. Geist
  11. 11. Alienation (entfremdung)
  12. 12. Dialectic the process whereby opposite views or forces come into conflict, which eventually leads to the overcoming or reconciliation of the opposition in a new and presumably higher form
  13. 13. The Master-Slave Dialectic • The master becomes master by physically conquering another, whom he then enslaves. • Seeing oneself through the eyes of the Other. • The master and slave are engaged in a symbiotic relationship. • The master and slave are engaged in a conflictual relationship. • The true relationship revealed through resistance. • A Happy Conclusion…
  14. 14. History as the Story of Human Labor and Struggle
  15. 15. “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.”
  16. 16. Materialist vs. Idealist
  17. 17. Material Forces of Production + Social Relations of Production = Material Production
  18. 18. Material Forces of Production
  19. 19. Social Relations of Production
  20. 20. The Dialectic of Class
  21. 21. Class determined by relation to the forces of production
  22. 22. Dominating Class has 2 important advantages: •Monopoly on the power, agents of coercion •Control of the Mental Means of Production
  23. 23. False Consciousness
  24. 24. Base & Superstructure
  25. 25. Marx’s Materialist Conception of Society (Ball and Dagger, “Socialism and Communism: More to Marx”) IDEOLOGICAL SUPERSTRUCTURE IDEAS, IDEALS, BELIEFS (Morality, Law, Religion, Etc.) SOCIAL RELATIONS OF PRODUCTION BASE MATERIAL FORCES OF PRODUCTION (“Productive Forces”)
  26. 26. “Religion is the opiate of the masses”
  27. 27. “Religious distress is at the same time the expression of real distress and the protest against real distress. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opiate of the people…
  28. 28. “The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusions about its condition is the demand to give up a condition that needs illusions…
  29. 29. The criticism of religion is therefore in embryo the criticism of the vale of woe, the halo of which is religion. Criticism has plucked the imaginary flowers from the chain, not so that man will wear the chain without any fantasy or consolation…
  30. 30. …but so that he will shake off the chain and cull the living flower. Karl Marx Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right.
  31. 31. Possessive Individualism
  32. 32. Marx’s Critique of Capitalism
  33. 33. “The bourgeoisie, historically, has played a most revolutionary part.”
  34. 34. Capitalism’s 3 important progressive functions
  35. 35. 1. Merchant capitalists hastened the demise of feudalism 2. Capitalism has made men masters over nature 3. Capitalism requires constant innovation and change
  36. 36. So why should Capitalism be replaced???
  37. 37. 3
  38. 38. Capitalism is Outmoded
  39. 39. Capitalism creates Alienation
  40. 40. 4 ways in which workers are alienated under capitalism: 1. They are alienated from the product of their labor because they are forced to sell their labor and do not own what they produce. 2. They are alienated from the activity of production itself because the capitalist system of mass production kills the creative spirit, leaving workers unable to find satisfaction in their labor. 3. Workers are alienated from their unique and distinctively human nature and potential, particularly the power to create and enjoy beauty, by the dulling effect of living in a capitalist society. 4. Capitalism alienates workers from each other because it forces them to compete of jobs and wages.
  41. 41. Capitalism is Self-subverting
  42. 42. Why capitalism is DOOOOOOOMED!
  43. 43. Capitalism contains within itself the seeds of its own destruction
  44. 44. Bourgeois-Proletariat Dialectic •The Worker is enslaved by the Capitalist, though at first, he or she does not know it •The Worker wakes from a “False Consciousness” •The Dialectic turns… •Establishing the classless society
  45. 45. Bourgeois-Proletariat Dialectic •The Worker is enslaved by the Capitalist, though at first, he or she does not know it •The Worker wakes from a “False Consciousness” •The Dialectic turns… •Establishing the classless society
  46. 46. Bourgeois-Proletariat Dialectic •The Worker is enslaved by the Capitalist, though at first, he or she does not know it •The Worker wakes from a “False Consciousness” •The Dialectic turns… •Establishing the classless society
  47. 47. Bourgeois-Proletariat Dialectic •The Worker is enslaved by the Capitalist, though at first, he or she does not know it •The Worker wakes from a “False Consciousness” •The Dialectic turns… •Establishing the classless society
  48. 48. The Revolutionary Sequence COMMUNISM WITHERING AWAY OF THE STATE DICTATORSHIP OF THE PROLETARIAT SEIZURE OF STATE POWER REVOLUTIONARY CLASS CONSCIOUSNESS IMMISERATION OF THE PROLETARIAT ECONOMIC CRISES
  49. 49. The Marxist View of Freedom (Ball and Dagger, “Socialism and Communism: More to Marx”) OBSTACLE: Class divisions, economic inequalities, unequal life chances, “False Consciousnessquot; AGENT: GOAL: Common/ Working Fulfillment of People; human potential The proletariat and needs
  50. 50. Lenin’s Contributions to Marxism
  51. 51. Vanguard Party
  52. 52. Marx vs. Lenin
  53. 53. The Party’s chief role is to agitate, organize, and educate the workers, teaching them where their “true” interests lie.
  54. 54. The Intellectuals MUST Lead!
  55. 55. No faith in the “working-class mentality”
  56. 56. Imperialism
  57. 57. Four Conclusions: 1. Confirmed his suspicions and hatred of the “revisionist” Marxists who proposed gradual change by working through parties within the current system. 2. Members of the working-class in the West have been infected with a “trade union mentality,” in effect becoming “bourgeoisie” themselves, and unreliable for bringing the Marxian revolution. 3. The (Vanguard) Party plays the indispensable role of raising the consciousness of the working class. 4. The revolution will come FIRST to those areas most immiserated and led by an active vanguard party.
  58. 58. Maoism: Marxism “through a glass, darkly”
  59. 59. Heavily influenced by Lenin’s Imperialism
  60. 60. Mao proposed to rely on the Chinese agrarian peasantry for 2 reasons: 1. Poor peasant farmers were an overwhelming majority of the Chinese population, and if organized and mobilized, would provide an almost irresistible force. 2. They were the poorest and most oppressed segment of the population. They had nothing to lose but everything to gain from revolution against their oppressors.
  61. 61. Urban Proletariat Peasantry
  62. 62. Mao vs. Marx •Subjective •Material or Conditions Objective •Consciousness Conditions •Political Will
  63. 63. The Class Struggle recast…
  64. 64. Importance of the Vanguard Party

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