Marxism

Overview

  • Karl Marx was a seminal philosopher of the modern age; born in 1818 in Trier in the Rhineland.
  • Marxism is a body of doctrine developed by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.
    • It originally consisted of philosophical anthropology, theory of history, and an economic and political program (communism).

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      Left to Right: Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels


View of Human Nature


  • Marxism denies the existence of essential human nature, apart from biological factors such as the need for food.
  • Human nature is defined by something that is true to every individual at all times everywhere.
  • Marxism also accounts for the fact that humans are social beings, and that to speak of human nature is really to speak about the totality of social relations.
    • Everything is a social act.

Social Influence

  • Social influence is apparent in production. Producing what we need to survive is a social activity; interaction and cooperation with others is necessary.
  • Marxism states that we are the kind of individuals and the things we do are determined by the society in which we live in.
  • The consciousness if the individual that defines their being, but their social being defines their consciousness.

Work and Alienation

  • Humans are active, productive begins who distinguish themselves from other animals on the sole fact we can produce our own means of survival.
    • It is a natural right for humans to work for their livings.
    • Capitalism encourages the exploitation of the (proletariat) at the hands of a few who own the means of production (bourgeoisie).
    • The result of the bourgeois exploitation is alienation.

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