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Industrial Revolution

Political Science
Course Code
Jeffrey Kopstein

of 2
September 27 – Industrial Revolution
Luxuries came to be seen as necessities and necessities came to be seen as decencies
Rise of the middle classes*
Social Results
1. Began as a society of scarcity to a society of surplus
2. Increasing complexity of division of labour
i.e. spiritual/religious healers are no longer the norm as they were before
3. new forms of social consciousness
we live in a society of achievement, not based on status
Karl Marx
Marx was a great admirer/critic of Hegel
Material basis of all reality is the basic unit of analysis
Why do we need religion?
Injustice; you must go to the material causes
What makes us human is that we create the substance we depend on; we ensure our survival by constantly
changing the environment around us
Hegel: consciousness creates society
Marx disagrees: conscious does not create being, being creates consciousness
Materialist conception of history; agrees with Hegel that history is a beginning, middle and an end
Disagrees with rise of ideas as the driving factor, material interest is the key factor
Materialist conception of history
Humans make their own means of survival
Work is natural, humans are creative
History is the history of class struggle and the forms of domination: history is struggle but it
is a material struggle
Culture, ideas, art, law, morality, religion... all determined by mode of production:
Slave, feudal, capitalist, socialist/Communist Modes of Production
History moves from one stage to the next: like Hegel it has meaning, movement and an END!
Our laws, constitution etc are all created to ensure that capitalism can function properly and thrive
All societies are societies of exploitation
Those who control the means of production take the surplus value that is produced by the
peasants and take it for themselves as profit
New classes grab power for their particular interest but claim it is in the universal interest
- It is in their material interest that we believe this idea that it is for our sake as well
Ideology is created as a legitimacy to exercise state power
-The state is the committee that is empowered by the ruling class (i.e. the police are the power that
is represented by the ruling class)
The new class (bourgeoisie) too, exploit labour and eventually their power is brought into question
-The history is the history of class struggles; it will end when there are either no classes or there
exists a universal class
Technology would cause the working class to grow consciousness that would transform them from a class
in themselves to a class for themselves
The rich get richer at a quicker pace; everyone is getting richer throughout time but the top percentile
receives a much greater portion of the wealth
Contradictions of Capitalism
Production is a public/social activity but is held in private hands