POL101 – Lec 3 11-09-26 7:33 PM
The Rise of the West and Marxism
• Economic development first starts in Northwest Europe
• Twin "Revolutions” 16-19th, Centuries, agricultural and industrial.
• Agricultural Revolution: may be hyperbole to use the "word revolution"
• Case of Flemish and British farmers.
• No surplus no wealth
• Those changes in Agriculture, agricultural technologies…they move across
the continent from northwest to south east at about 3-5 miles a year.
• By the time they reach Russia its 150 years later…between northwest and
• As you go from Northwest to Southeast, you see a pattern of how cities
and towns get poorer.
• This pattern exists today, 150 years later. Even though everyone is
richer…but the poor pattern still stays with you in the modern day.
• Originates in the late 18th century England
• Agricultural revolution was not really a revolution because it was slow,
there was no rapid change, no profound change.
• originates in late 18th century England.
• A ten fold increase in cotton in 15 years
• Amount of Iron processed into steel in English factories increases really
• A ten fold of increase in the production of iron.
• Produced huge changes in domestic consumption
• all peasants became workers
• everybody moving into cities
• Luxuries came to be seen and mere “decencies” and decencies came be
seen as necessities.
• Distribution highly uneven but now creation of middle class that had risen
from manual labor to professional or entrepreneurial status.
1) Capacity to produce surplus.
2) increasing complexity of division of labor (society became more complex,
jobs in specializations…doctor, lawyer, farmers)
Consequences: luxuries came to be seen and mere decencies and decencies came be seen as necessities, distribution highly uneven but now creation of middle class that had risen from manual labor to professional or entrepreneurial status. Law, morality, religion all determined by mode of production: superstructure : slave, feudal, capitalist, socialist/communist modes of production. How does history unfold: exploitation (the higher class exploits the class under it. No they give it to the stock holders. A mast behind which power hides capitalism: but they, too, exploit labor and eventually their power is brought into question by those who they exploit. Formal freedoms versus substantive reality (how you exercise your freedoms if you are poor?) People will realize that everyone depends on each other: capitalism, your living in the matrix. Marx is keanu reeves: capitalism produces this want for more, this greed.