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Karl Marx and His Political Philosophy
Karl Marx and His Political Philosophy
Karl Marx and His Political Philosophy
Karl Marx and His Political Philosophy
Karl Marx and His Political Philosophy
Karl Marx and His Political Philosophy
Karl Marx and His Political Philosophy
Karl Marx and His Political Philosophy
Karl Marx and His Political Philosophy
Karl Marx and His Political Philosophy
Karl Marx and His Political Philosophy
Karl Marx and His Political Philosophy
Karl Marx and His Political Philosophy
Karl Marx and His Political Philosophy
Karl Marx and His Political Philosophy
Karl Marx and His Political Philosophy
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Karl Marx and His Political Philosophy

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Karl Marx and His Political Philosophy

Karl Marx and His Political Philosophy

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  • 1. Born on May 5, 1818, in Tier, a part of the German Rhineland ceded to Prussia by the Congress of Vienna in 1815. His parents, whose ancestors included numerous Jewish scholars and rabbis, were converts to the Lutheran faith. The conversion represented an attempt by the family to overcome the obstacles to its socioeconomic ambitions posed by German anti-Semitism. Married Jenny von Westphalen, daughter of a relatively prominent Prussian government official from his hometown of Trier. The Westphalen family did not approve of the match. Established a friendship with Friedrich Engels, son of a wealth textile manufacturer and the like-minded exponent of radical political causes. For the rest of his life, Marx found in these two people the emotional, financial and the intellectual support he needed to pursue his scholarship.
  • 2. Became immersed in urban life and the philosophical system, Hegelianism, from which his own thought evolved. To escape Prussian repression, Marx next traveled to Paris, where he began to work on a series of essays that became known as The Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844. Part of a group of theorists, known as young Hegelians, that antagonized powerful supporters of the status quo by claiming the time had come to challenge the Prussian absolutism of King Frederick William III After earning a doctorate in 1841, he became the editor of the Rheinische Zeitung, a journal dedicated to revealing how Prussian authorities systematically oppressed Rhineland peasants. Marx first majored in law but soon changed to philosophy.
  • 3. While in Paris, Marx continued to work as a journalist and editor of the Deutch Franzoesche Johr Buecher. The radical quality of his work get him into trouble with the authorities once again and eventually led to his expulsion from France. Settled next in Brussels, he joined a group of German emigres , calling themselves the Communist League who were attempting to organize a clandestine working-class revolutionary movement. Wrote the Communist Manifesto of 1848 to explain the differences between the league’s brand of socialism and rival approaches by such theorist as Henri Comte de Saint Simon, Charles Fourier, Robert Owen, Michael Balourin and Pierre Joseph Proudhon.
  • 4. Ends with the famous words: “Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communist revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Working men of all countries, unite!” Represents Marx insistence on the unity of theory and what he calls praxis or practice. Marx’s goal is to stimulate action by communicating his ideas to the widest audience possible of intellectuals and workers alike. As he wrote in his 1845 Theses on Feurbach. “The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point however, is to change it.”
  • 5. From Hegel, Marx learned that history follows a meaningful pattern of progress and not simply a process of only tangentially related events. KARL MARX Marx searches for it in the most concrete material aspects of human existence: production of the basic means to support life itself. Marx argues, before human beings can engage in imaginative thought, they must first discover ways to feed clothe, and house themselves. According to Marx, therefore, the manner in which people work to secure the means for survival provides the underlying connecting thread of history. GEORG HEGEL Hegel considers this pattern to be abstract and metaphysical.
  • 6. ADVANCED COMMUNISM END OF DIALECTICAL CHANGE CAPITALISM = NEW THESIS NEGATION OF CAPITALISM BY THE PROLETARIAT THROUGH VIOLENT UPHEAVAL. FEUDALISM = NEW THESIS NEGATION OF FEUDALISM BY CAPITALISTS THROUGH VIOLENT UPHEAVAL SLAVERY = NEW THESIS PRIMITIVE COMMUNISM NEGATION OF SLAVERY BY FEUDAL LORDS THROUGH VIOLENT UPHEAVAL NEGATION OF PRIMITIVE COMMUNISM BY SLAVEHOLDERS THROUGH VIOLENT UPHEAVAL
  • 7. Marx offers historical materialism to explain not only the entire scope of human history but the qualities of particular epochs as well. He thus argues that legal, intellectual, political, social, religious, and cultural institutions—in other words, everything going on in a culture other than economics—are defined by the economic conditions that exist in that culture at any particular time. Forces of production Refers to the technology that people utilize to create the physical necessities of life. Relations of production Refers to the division of people into economic classes based on the function they perform in the production process. For Marx, the connection between economic classes is by definition manipulative. It always involves the subjugation of one class by another. As long as economic classes exist, he stipulates, the majority will always work and be exploited and the dominant class will always reap the profits.
  • 8. Superstructure (everything other than economics going on in a particular society at a particular time: political, social, religious, legal, educational, cultural institutions of every kind, etc.) Substructure (economic conditions = forces and relations of productions) Antithesis that in turn will Forces of production change existing political, Forces of production Which together make up substructure cultural social, and Relations of contradictions Resulting in an Relations of institutions— production production Complement each other and bring about a superstructure thesis.
  • 9. Marxian scholarship also owes a debt to the research of Lewis Morgan, known as the Father of American Anthropology. Concluded that the first human beings lived in societies where there was no private property and everyone worked cooperatively on every task to meet the demands of the common good. To Marx, the societies Morgan identified are examples of primitive communism.
  • 10. bourgeoisie who works for the bourgeoisie who owns the industries proletariat Marx describes the relationship between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat as a form of wage slavery. He predicts that as the bourgeoisie continue to enrich themselves, the proletariat will continue to get poorer and poorer. Unemployment and economic crises will multiply.
  • 11. A final equilibrium between the forces and relations of productions will be achieved, resulting in the cessation of dialectical change. This period bears a marked resemblance to that of primitive communism. Period of advance communism During advance communism, according to Marx, equality will again prevail because machines will all do the work and everyone will own all the machines. Will be characterized by the appearance of “really human morality which stands above class antagonism.”
  • 12. Once a society’s economic substructure is transformed into an authentically level playing field, he concludes morality will become authentically respectful, tolerant, gentle, and kind in return. With this authentic equality, also will come the demise of government, religion, and the traditional family because they are part of an ideological false consciousness. GOVERNMENT The government of persons is replaced by the administration of things. Religion will no longer be necessary because to Marx, its purpose is to drug or stupefy the subordinate class into passively accepting injustice on earth in favor of a perfect life in heaven—an opium of the masses. RELIGION Traditional monogamous family will disappear because its hierarchal structure relegates children and especially women, to an inferior status. TRADITIONAL FAMILY
  • 13. Another aspect of Hegelianism that Marx adapts to suit his own materialistic orientation is Hegel’s theory of alienation. Universe… GEORG HEGEL Hegel maintains that the most effective method for appropriating the universe is to conquer it through mental concepts. By thinking about the universe, we can make it our mental property and achieve the peace of mind we so desperately desire. The correct means by which human beings can gain control of their lives and the universe is by working creatively to produce the necessary ingredients for survival. KARL MARX
  • 14. labor theory value stipulates that a commodity’s value or price depends on the number of human labor hours spent producing it. Marx observes that superior capitalist technology enables workers to produce enough value and make enough money in, say, four hours to feed, clothe, and house themselves for a day. Yet their bosses insists on, say, eight-hours work day. Value produced by workers in excess of socially necessary labor—surplus value— source of exploitation in capitalist societies. Hours exerted by workers, that produce value essential for their survival—socially necessary labor
  • 15. Power of human labor Machinery, buildings, and raw materials

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