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Revolutionary Change


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Karl Marx
An atheist who believed the Church helped the bourgeoisie oppress the proletariat. He also was an internationalist, believing that the state served only the ruling classes.
Marx - 19th century German
Began as a student of philosophy. Worked as journalist in France and died in England.
Marx - Three influences
German idealist philosophy, British political economy, French socialism.
German idealist philosophy
Change in ideas occurs through confrontation of thesis with antithesis, resulting in synthesis.
British political economy
Collaborated with Friedrich Engels. (Family owned a factory in Britain)
French socialism
Focus on revolutionary transformation of society (like Comte and Saint-Simon).
Proletariat
Another name for the industrial middle class supposedly continually oppressed by the bourgeoisie.
Bourgeoisie
Against the emerging capitalist class.
Historical materialist approach
Class conflict as expression of material dialectic (thesis, antithesis, synthesis). Over history - various modes of production - specific examples of class conflict.
Modes of production
A characteristic pattern of economic and social relationships.
Modes of production - Built around question:
How is labor mobilized within a society to extract resources from nature?
Two elements to a mode of production:
Means (forces) of production and Relations of production
Tribal groups
Primitive (communist mode)
Ancient/slave mode
Greece and Rome
Asiatic mode
Egypt, China, India
Feudal mode
Early Europe, Japan
Capitallist mode
England (Europe)
Communist mode
The future
Dialectical
One dominant class gives way to another. (e.g. feudalism - lords and peasants)...Lords slowly (or rapidly) give way to borgeoisie with the emergence of capitalism (Lord over peasant to owner over worker).
Capitalism
Greater concentraion of exploitation on workers (proletariat) - porperty-less wage laborers.
Classes: Workers and owners (bourgeoisie)
Owners of factories...Hold greater political and social power.
Capitalism - Workers
First requires separation of worker from means of producion. ("Free" labor (not tied to a lord or to the land)
Capitalism - Owners
Buys raw materials, technology.
Capitalsim - Owners
Purchases labor power for a price (wage)
Takes profit.
Capitalism - Owners
Surplus value
Difference between value worker contributes to product and the wage they are paid.
Capitalism - Owners - Profit
Workers always paid less than they contribute in productivity - source of owner's (Blank).
Dynamics of capitalism
Capitalist dynamic is a series of booms and busts.
Dynamics of capialism
Communist mode of production - proletariat seizes control of the state
Unfulfilled prophecies
Karl Marx - Contradictions
Karl Marx - Contradictions
No general crisis has led to collapse of capitalism...but some crises have led to greater state intervention in the market...e.g. great depression and new deal...Most economic systems are mixed (capitalist and socialist)
Means (force) of production
Raw materials, technology, human labor.
Relations of production
Social organizaton of production into unequal classes (exploitation of producers by non-producers).
Level 19