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Marxism In More Depth


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Marxism In More Depth

  1. 1. Marxism in more depth
  2. 2. Today we will cover <ul><li>False consciousness </li></ul><ul><li>Commodity fetishism </li></ul><ul><li>Ideological state apparatus </li></ul><ul><li>Base superstructures </li></ul>
  3. 3. What we know already… <ul><li>Dominant classes create dominant ideology </li></ul><ul><li>This is then seen by lower classes as natural </li></ul><ul><li>Lower classes cant better themselves </li></ul><ul><li>State & media spread this ideology </li></ul><ul><li>Marxism is an ideology </li></ul><ul><li>The means of production help keep this ideology in place </li></ul><ul><li>Class consciousness as ideological factor </li></ul>
  4. 4. False Consciousness <ul><li>Class consciousness should lead to revolution – why didn’t it? </li></ul><ul><li>Did the proletariat not get what was happening? </li></ul><ul><li>Do working class today not understand the world they live in? </li></ul><ul><li>Do we suffer a false consciousness? </li></ul>
  5. 5. Fredrich Engels & False Consciousness <ul><li>Remember dominant ideology – is it in place today? </li></ul><ul><li>Capitalism misleads people – we don’t understand how it works with regards to power, class and ideology </li></ul><ul><li>We accept the status quo </li></ul><ul><li>Ideology legitimises things in favour of ruling classes </li></ul><ul><li>We are unaware of exploitation – ideology as feature of consciousness </li></ul>
  6. 6. Commodity Fetishism as an example <ul><li>Commodities are inherently valuable NOT valued through associated labour </li></ul><ul><li>Human labour becomes a commodity which is swappable for others </li></ul><ul><li>Links to free market and supply and demand </li></ul><ul><li>Commodities then have equal or more power than people </li></ul>
  7. 7. Base-superstructure <ul><li>Basic needs of society determine its secondary needs </li></ul><ul><li>I.e. Capitalism needs industry, economy etc so ideology and political and education etc exist because of and for capitalism </li></ul><ul><li>Why would we favour the base-superstructure over secondary ones? </li></ul>
  8. 8. Ideological State Apparatus <ul><li>Louis Althusser had slightly different ideas which rejected rule via economics & saw ideology itself as shaping consciousness </li></ul><ul><li>Class rule is sustained by 2 types of power </li></ul><ul><li>Repressive state apparatus (army, police, law courts etc) </li></ul><ul><li>Ideological state apparatus (education, church, family, media) </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>ISA’s holds power at ideological level </li></ul><ul><li>How? </li></ul><ul><li>Produces imaginary relationships to power structures </li></ul><ul><li>Naturalises assumptions and ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Althuser says ideology ‘hails us’ – it creates us as subjects. We are the effect of ISA’s but makes us think we have power over them </li></ul>
  10. 10. But <ul><li>If living a false consciousness, would we ever really know? </li></ul><ul><li>If ideology is mix of shared set of beliefs and focus repression, how can we separate and create true consciousness? </li></ul><ul><li>Is labour value always equal to commodity value? Does everyone operate in that system nowadays? </li></ul>
  11. 11. Activity <ul><li>Pick a modern media institution (fox, Viacom, Time Warner etc) </li></ul><ul><li>Research the types of content they produce </li></ul><ul><li>Do they exist as an ISA, that is do they exist to perpetuate the ideological injustices? </li></ul><ul><li>How are oppositional voices represented? </li></ul><ul><li>Provide mini case study on your blogs </li></ul><ul><li>Try to think about everything we learnt today </li></ul><ul><li>We can continue for the first 30 mins of next class </li></ul>