Marxism and Leninism
The Rise of the Working Class
Industrial revolution: transformation from rural way of life to urban way of life
Divided labour, factory labour, lifestyle of workers that began to be clearly seen.
The vision of the working class: involves division of labour.
o Factory concentrates labour in order to produce products BUT it also
Thousands of people working together to produce product, divided
for individual jobs (i.e. each person does one thing to contribute to
production and is put together by everyone).
o Division of labour: improves speed, if you divide labour sufficiently
machines can overtake the work.
o People engage in repetitive, machine like tasks: women and children can
First time, horror of child labour in Europe
o Division of labour in society, people’s labour is divided in sense that you
have factory worker, mining worker, owners of capital employees
Divided by society, slotted into particular part in economy
Working class trapped in monotonous jobs
o Factory owners: increase workers and product
Work longer hours (16 hours of labour for six/seven days a week)
Life of worker delegated by bell, machines (were often dangerous)
o Working class lived in city, specific areas and as 19 C wore on, situation
grew grim, hastily built structures to house families who were looking for
Poor sewage, little space= disease was overwhelming
City could do: show the stark contrast between rich and poor that
rural life could not do
• Highlighted masses that were living in poverty stricken
o Marxism born out of plight of industrial working poor: any society that
tolerated issues like this was a corrupt society.
What did spirit mean for living, breathing humans?? (Marx)
o “You are what you eat” Ludwig Feuerbach
o Marx used Feuerbach against Hegel
o Ideas make not difference if concrete, physical world does not change.
o What mattered were material possessions between humans and physical
world and humans and nature.
o Still conflict and end time when everything will be reconciled but it will in
the physical/economic world
o Economic history is the only history; everything on top is superstructure
(only changing when economy changes).
o Marx: freedom, economic freedom FREEDOM OF TYRANNY OF
ECONOMIC NECESSITY What’s essential to human life: labour
o Only human beings able to construct something from nothing and it is
essential to their very nature/being
o What makes them human: man is what he does, what he makes
(relationship with nature)
o What makes them happy: creative labour
o If essence is labour defines you what about the poor working class
labourer? That person obviously is degraded, not human cannot fulfill his
o Very nature of work people: makes them alienated from labour as it means
nothing to you, there’s no relation or connection