An Introduction to Karl Marx and Marxism


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A slideshow to accompany an introductory lesson on a History 12 unit on the Russian Revolutions and the introduction of Bolshevism.

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  • Labour May Day (1) The land for the people (2) Production for use not profit (3) The interest of all. Note the three rich men hold bags labeled RENT, PROFIT, and INTEREST
  • An Introduction to Karl Marx and Marxism

    1. 1. J. Marshall, 2011
    2. 2. BiographyBiography • Born 1818 in Trier • Jewish • Studied philosophy and economicsin Berlin • Married Jenny von Westphalen • Earned hisliving (badly) asa journalist • Died 1883 in London having only written threeof theplanned eight volumesof Das Kapital. Karl Marx i
    3. 3. Politics • Marx wasacommunist. • HewroteTheCommunist Manifestowith hisfriend, Friedrich Engelsin 1848. • Hehad threekindsof writing: – Journalism – Political polemic – Analysisof society and culture.
    4. 4. “Hisreal mission in lifewasto contribute, in one way or another, to theoverthrow of capitalist society and of thestateinstitutionswhich it had brought into being, to contributeto theliberation of themodern proletariat, which hewasthefirst to makeconscious of itsown position and itsneeds, consciousof the conditionsof itsemancipation. … Hisnamewill endurethrough theages, and so also will hiswork.”
    5. 5. MarxismMarxism
    6. 6. Marx’srolein history • When Marx died, hewasnot well known (except by revolutionaries). • After hisdeath, anumber of politicians led “Marxist” revolutions • Many weretotalitarian. • Hisphilosophy underliesthethinking of many political parties– (old Labour for example).
    7. 7. Conflict theory • Societiesaredivided into two groups • Our society iscapitalist. Owners (bourgeoisie) Workers (proletariat)
    8. 8. Ownersand workers • Ownersexploit workersand live off themoney which theworkers earn. • Workersput up with this inequality because: 1. They areoppressed wageslavesand cannot fight thesystem. 2. They areindoctrinated by ideology and religion into believing what they aretold by the powerful. A job for United Labour
    9. 9. “Theworker becomesall the poorer themore wealth he produces, the morehis production increasesin power and range.”
    10. 10. Marx and The Revolution • Marx predicted that wealth would belong to fewer and fewer people. • Theworkerswould eventually realise their position and overthrow the bourgeoisie • Therewould bean armed revolution which would begin in Britain. • It wascoming SOON. I don’t care about you!
    11. 11. • Therevolution NEVER OCCURED (in theform hesaid it would). • Peoplearenot poorer? • Wealth isnot concentrated in thehandsof afew rich people(but it’smoving there). • Britain hasn’t had a Communist revolution yet and isnot likely to in thenear future.
    12. 12. Marx in hisown words # 1 “Men maketheir own history, but they do not makeit just asthey please; they do not makeit under circumstanceschosen by themselves, but under circumstancesdirectly found, given and transmitted from thepast. Thetradition of all thedead generationsweighslikeanightmare on thebrain of theliving.”
    13. 13. “History repeats itself, first as TRAGEDY, second as FARCE.” # 2
    14. 14. Marx in hisown words # 3 “Thewriter may very well servea movement of history asitsmouthpiece, but hecannot of course createit.” MAY SPEAK FOR HISTORICAL MOVEMENTS CREATION OF HISTORICAL MOVEMENTS NOT PERMITTED
    15. 15. “In bourgeoissociety capital isindependent and hasindividuality, whiletheliving person isdependent and hasno individuality.” I wish I didn’t need THEIR money to survive. TheSweetLifeofPetertheProletarian
    16. 16. TheEnd