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  1. 1. Karl Marx & Marxist Theory Presented by: Christine P. Lee Hassan Khannenje
  2. 2. Topics <ul><li>Who was Karl Marx? </li></ul><ul><li>Key Concepts and Ideology </li></ul><ul><li>Criticism of Marxist ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Neo-Marxism </li></ul><ul><li>Influence of Karl Marx’s theory on the modern world system </li></ul><ul><li>Contribution of Marxist theory to the study of conflict </li></ul>
  3. 3. Who was Karl Marx? <ul><li>Marx was born into a German Bourgeois family on May 5, 1818. </li></ul><ul><li>He is widely referred to as a philosopher, political-economist and journalist </li></ul><ul><li>Karl Marx was married to Jenny von Westphalen, the educated daughter of a Prussian baron on June 19, 1843. They had seven children, three of whom survived to adulthood. </li></ul><ul><li>Karl Marx’s close friend and fellow scholar was Fredrich Engels, the eldest son of a German textile manufacturer. </li></ul><ul><li>Karl Marx died March 14, 1883. He was buried in Highgate Cemetery, London, on 17 March 1883. The message carved on Marx's tombstone is: &quot;WORKERS OF ALL LANDS, UNITE”. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Short Clip on Communist Ideology <ul><li>Communist Ideology </li></ul>
  5. 5. Key Concepts <ul><li>Historical Materialism: This is the idea that development is contingent on the emergence and maintenance of social classes (bourgeois- owned the means of production: capitalists and; proletariat- laborers/working class), ideologies and political structures. Materialism dictates our consciousness </li></ul><ul><li>Exploitation: Marx believed that Capitalism can only thrive on the exploitation of the working class. </li></ul><ul><li>Alienation: The workers are forced to sell their labor to the Capitalist in order to survive. </li></ul><ul><li>Superstructure: is the particular form through which human subjectivity engages with the material substance of society. </li></ul><ul><li>Substructure: the economic base. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Key Concepts <ul><li>Human Nature: Marx believed that there was a real contradiction between human nature and the way that we must work in capitalist society. </li></ul><ul><li>Dialecticism: The belief that everything has two sides. The basic idea is the centrality of contradiction and reality is a study of contradictions. </li></ul><ul><li>Dialectical analysis: social facts and social values are intertwined and the study of social phenomena is value-laden </li></ul><ul><li>Economic Determinism: belief that social developments are ultimately caused by economic factors. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Key Concepts <ul><li>Capitalism: Marx believed that capitalism is not only an economic system it is a political system </li></ul><ul><li>Fetishism of Commodities: social relationships are defined by the values that are placed on commodities (wares offered for exchange). </li></ul><ul><li>Surplus Value: the profit difference between what the good is sold for and what it actually cost to make. </li></ul><ul><li>Class Struggles: Marx believed that conflict produces class and inherently class produces conflict. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Ideology <ul><li>1. Ideas that naturally emerge out of everyday life with capitalism and reflect reality in an inverted manner. </li></ul><ul><li>2. Marx believed there was a system of ruling ideas that are in place to hide the contradictions in society. </li></ul><ul><li>Marx does not believe people are free under capitalism because they do not have control over their own labor and products of their labor, neither does equality exists. </li></ul><ul><li>Marx believed that religion was used to blind people to the injustices and oppression that they were suffering under capitalism, thus making it more bearable. </li></ul><ul><li>Political Ideology: COMMUNISM- the establishment of a classless, stateless social organization, based upon common ownership of the means of production- in which the state “withers away”. </li></ul><ul><li>EXCERPT FROM THE COMMUNIST MANIFESTO </li></ul><ul><li>3:46 </li></ul>
  9. 9. Summary <ul><li>Society is rooted around contradictions that create a dialectic- comprised of antithetical forces that generate social change </li></ul><ul><li>Labor is sold as a commodity which leads to alienation </li></ul><ul><li>Accumulation of capital rests on exploitation of the proletariat </li></ul><ul><li>Resulting contradictions leads to a class conflict between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat </li></ul><ul><li>Struggle and strife is the engine of progress and social conflict was the core of historical process </li></ul><ul><li>The struggle leads at a revolution in which the capitalists are overthrown-resulting in classless society </li></ul>
  10. 10. Neo-Marxism <ul><li>20 th century term that most loosely may be applied to a variety of scholars, whose work has been influenced by classical Marxist </li></ul><ul><li>They share a common point of departure and subject matter in Marx’s social theory and the social order of 20 th century Capitalism. </li></ul><ul><li>They are concerned more with culture and ideology rather than, economics. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Neo-Marxist Scholars and Theories <ul><li>Conflict theorists e.g.. Dahrendorf believed like Marx that the social structure is important in defining conflict- his focus on positions and authority rather than work </li></ul><ul><li>George Lukacs: ‘Western Marxism’ </li></ul><ul><li>Gramsci: ‘Cultural Hegemony’ </li></ul><ul><li>Social Functionalism: Society is a system that must fulfill certain functional roles </li></ul><ul><li>Social Structuralism: Individuals live according to the dictates of society, human behavior is determined/ influenced by society </li></ul>
  12. 12. Neo-Marxist Scholars and Theories <ul><li>Critical Theories: criticized different aspects of social and intellectual life to more accurately explain society. </li></ul><ul><li>Jurgen Habermas: ‘Communicative action’- communication is the foundation of all sociocultural life and human sciences. </li></ul><ul><li>Immanuel Wallerstein: ‘World systems’- 2 types: (1) World Empire and (2) the modern Capitalist world-economy </li></ul><ul><li>Andre Gunder Frank;Paul Baran-Neo-Marxist dependency theorists </li></ul><ul><li>Concepts : Periphery, semi periphery and Core . </li></ul>
  13. 13. Contributions of Marxism <ul><li>Elaboration of the conflict model of society, specifically his theory of social change based on antagonisms between classes </li></ul><ul><li>The idea that power originates primarily in economic production </li></ul><ul><li>Concern with the social origins of alienation </li></ul><ul><li>Understanding of modern capitalism </li></ul><ul><li>Welfare state </li></ul>
  14. 14. Discussion <ul><li>Criticism of Marxist Ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Critically discuss Marxist interpretation of society </li></ul><ul><li>Neo-Marxism </li></ul><ul><li>Differentiate between Classical Marxism and Neo Marxism </li></ul><ul><li>Influence of Karl Marx’s theory on the modern world system </li></ul><ul><li>What is the relevance of Marxist ideas on Modern society? </li></ul><ul><li>Contribution of Marxist theory to the study of conflict </li></ul><ul><li>What have we learnt from Marxist ideas in our study of the causes of conflict. </li></ul>
  15. 15. For Your Information <ul><li>You can view our presentation materials along with information and resources on Marx at: </li></ul><ul><li>www.chrilee.blogspot.com </li></ul><ul><li>Thank You!! </li></ul>

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