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Political Science
Jeffrey Kopstein

Oct 1 Lecture THE RISE OF THE WEST AND MARXISM Modernity - 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. Industrial Revolution  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 as necessities  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? Political 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?  Dominant Ideas?  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
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