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PS 240 Marxism Fall 2014 (online)

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Marxism Lecture for PS 240, Fall 2014, University of Kentucky.

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PS 240 Marxism Fall 2014 (online)

  1. 1. Marxism Dr. Christopher S. Rice
  2. 2. The Early Marx
  3. 3. effects of his career in Journalism
  4. 4. He came to appreciate the central social and political importance of economics
  5. 5. He ceased to be a liberal and became a radical
  6. 6. The Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844
  7. 7. Hegel and his influence on Marxism
  8. 8. Hegel’s Philosophy of History
  9. 9. Geist
  10. 10. Alienation (entfremdung)
  11. 11. 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
  12. 12. THESIS + ANTITHESIS = SYNTHESIS
  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 BASE IDEAS, IDEALS, BELIEFS (Morality, Law, Religion, Etc.) SOCIAL RELATIONS OF PRODUCTION 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. Capitalism is Outmoded
  38. 38. According to Marx in “Estranged Labor,” how does political economy conceal the estrangement inherent in the nature of labor? 1. By not considering the direct relationship between the worker and production. 2. By not considering the direct relationship between the worker and government. 3. By not considering the rich and complex relationship between the worker and the capitalist. 4. By not considering the importance of unions and the workers’ relationship to each other.
  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 for jobs & 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. Engels & Feminism
  50. 50. Women’s oppression historical, not natural
  51. 51. Modes of Production & Matrilineal societies
  52. 52. Marriage is a Bad Deal
  53. 53. Architecture vs. Capitalism
  54. 54. “Capitalism, he discovered, produced only ugly, pretentious luxury goods for slave owners and ugly, shoddy goods for slaves.” - A.L. Morton
  55. 55. The Arts & Crafts Movement
  56. 56. “I have tried to produce goods which should be genuine as far as their mere substances are concerned, and should have on that account the primary beauty in them which belongs to naturally treated substances.” William Morris
  57. 57. Artistic Criticism Social Criticism
  58. 58. Morris Transforms
  59. 59. Morris’ Marxism
  60. 60. The problem of political action: “Making Marxists”
  61. 61. Morris’ Principles • It is right and necessary that all men should have work to do which shall be worth doing, and be of itself pleasant to do; and which should be done under such conditions as would make it neither over-wearisome nor over-anxious. • Nothing should be made by men’s labour which is not worth making; or which must be made by labour degrading to the makers.
  62. 62. Morris’ Principles • It is right and necessary that all men should have work to do which shall be worth doing, and be of itself pleasant to do; and which should be done under such conditions as would make it neither over-wearisome nor over-anxious. • Nothing should be made by men’s labour which is not worth making; or which must be made by labour degrading to the makers.
  63. 63. Morris’ Principles • No one who is willing to work should ever fear want of such employment as would earn for him all due necessities of mind and body. – Honourable and fitting work – Decency of Surroundings – Leisure • It is NECESSARY to human well-being that “In a well ordered state of Society every man willing to work should be ensured honourable and fitting work, a healthy and beautiful house, and full leisure for mind and body.”
  64. 64. Morris’ Principles • No one who is willing to work should ever fear want of such employment as would earn for him all due necessities of mind and body. – Honourable and fitting work – Decency of Surroundings – Leisure • It is NECESSARY to human well-being that “In a well ordered state of Society every man willing to work should be ensured honourable and fitting work, a healthy and beautiful house, and full leisure for mind and body.”
  65. 65. Lenin’s Contributions to Marxism
  66. 66. Vanguard Party
  67. 67. Marx vs. Lenin
  68. 68. The Party’s chief role is to agitate, organize, and educate the workers, teaching them where their “true” interests lie.
  69. 69. The Intellectuals MUST Lead!
  70. 70. No faith in the “working-class mentality”
  71. 71. • Monopoly arose out of the concentration of production at a very advanced stage of development. • Monopolies have accellerated the capture of the most important sources of raw materials. • Monopoly has sprung from the banks (creation of a financial oligarchy). • Monopoly has grown out of colonial policy.
  72. 72. Imperialism
  73. 73. 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.
  74. 74. Maoism: Marxism “through a glass, darkly”
  75. 75. Heavily influenced by Lenin’s Imperialism
  76. 76. 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.
  77. 77. Urban Proletariat Peasantry

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