Oct 1 Lecture
THE RISE OF THE WEST AND MARXISM
- British got rich off at theft
- Northwest part of Europe featured enormous changes
- Twin “Revolutions” 16 -19 Centuries, agricultural and industrial
- Agricultural Revolution: may be hyperbole to use the “word revolution” here.
originates in the 18 century England
more approximately designated as a revolution
ex: raw cotton processed in British factories
1760: 2.5 million pounds
1787: 22 million pounds
1837: 366 million pounds… a 16 fold in increase in fifty years
amount of iron processed into steel in English factories
1788: 68,000 tons
1806: 250,000 tons
1830: 678,000 tons
A tenfold increase in a fifty year period- produced gigantic changes
Household utensils, matches, beer/wine (luxury items)
Luxuries came to be seen and mere “decencies” and decencies came be seen
Distribution highly uneven but now creation of middle class that had risen
from manual labor to professional r entrepreneurial status
Industrial Revolution: Social Results
(1)Capacity to produce surplus
(2)Increasing complexity of division of labor
(3)New forms of social consciousness
*How are we to understand this? What are its consequences?
Demise of Royal Absolutism
Victory of Parliament over Kings
Selection of leaders by election
Rise of political parties
Universal rights without reference to class
Need to accommodate new groups within politics Karl Marx
deeply educated, highly sarcastic
How to analyze a society?
What does one look for first?
Queens and Kings?
What kind of foot they eat, alcohol they drink?
Marx and Materialism
Feuerbach and Critique of German idealism (Hegel).
Materialism: What is God?
- taking everything that’s good inside of us and putting it outside of
ourselves; God did not create man, man created God (his view)
But Marx: this doesn’t go far enough (the point is to change the world)
Why do we need religion? Injustice. You must go to the material causes.
Critique of Hegel: Historical Materialism
Hegel: Consciousness creates society
Marx disagrees: consciousness does not create being, “being creates
consciousness” (how you live determines how you think)
Materialist conception of history
Materialist Conception of History
Humans make their own means of surviv