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Political Science
Sascha Maicher

MARX  Historical materialism: Marx’s account that history is full of materialism o Forms of production are the most important determinant of the structure of our society o Gives use social/political institutions-relationships of power, relationships to each other o Different than animals: we can produce our means of subsistence o Assembly line: expanded division of labour  Pg 182 quote: production of life…  The way we live is made possible by the way we work o Previous modes of production are inefficient compared to modern modes of production o Our mode of production shapes our lives  Labour in the sense of productive activity is the essence of life o Locke: owning something is mixing our labour with it. This is how it becomes ours o What would Hegel say?  Marx: takes ideas of classical economists and breaks them down, analyzes them o Says: economists have ideas but do not bother breaking down what they mean  CAPITAL: subject is political economy (economics with a political aspect) o Starts with the fact of private property: does not explain it to us- conceives a material process in abstract formulas which have the value of laws  Entire story economics is telling us is a circular argument, opposed to an approach focused on individuals as the driver of markets and anything separating politics from the market o Marx: Hegel wasn’t looking at day to day reality of human beings  Anatomy of civil society should be found in economics, but for Hegel, it was found in morality o Real story of politics: what does it mean to work? What is work like?  Political economy hides reality of producton  Existing economic forms are taken for granted  Basic problem: assumes workers only have/should only have labour to barter with. o In this system, a worker becomes a commodity  The worker becomes stuck in the production system and the value of their labour becomes contingent on supply and demand  If supply surpasses demand, then wages fall  There always seems to be more workers than jobs  wages will fall- there always seems to be more workers than jobs  unregulated wages will fall to the lowest level where people can survive, no less or they will die, no more,
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