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Lecture

Political Science Lecture note MARX

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Department
Political Science
Course
POL101Y1
Professor
Jeffrey Kopstein
Semester
Fall

Description
st Political Science October 1 The rise of the West and Marxism - Innovations of the industrial revolution spread very slowly. Around 3 miles per year. Origins of modern world economy - Twin “revolutions” 16 -19 Centuries, agricultural and industrial - Agricultural revolution: may be hyperbole to use the “world revolution” here Industrial Revolution - Originates in late 18 century England - More appropriately designated as a revolution - Example : raw cotton processed in british factories - 1760: 2.5 million pounds - 1787: 22 million pounds - 1837: 366 million pounds….a16 fold in increase in fifty years - Amount of iron processed into steel in english factories - 1788: 68000 tons - 1806: 250000 tons - 1830: 678000 tons - Produced huge changes in domestic consumption (Household utensils, matches, beer, wine all of the sudden common commodities) - Luxuries came to be seen as mere “decencies” and decencies came to be seen as necessities - Distribution highly uneven but now creation of middle class that had risen from manual labor to professional or entrepreneurial status Industrial revolution: social results 1) Capacity to produce surplus 2) Increasing complexity of division of labour (lawyers for example many different specialization) we depend on others for the skills we do not have (Can’t fish, build a house etc) 3) New forms of social consciousness (no longer stuck in the position you’re born to, authority is not obeyed without question) 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 (Urban working class didn’t exist before) Marx - How to analyze a society? - Marx was very deeply educated. Interested in how you analyze society - What does one look for first? - Queens and Kings? - Dominant Ideas? - What kind of food they eat, alcohol they drink? Marx and Materialism - Feuerbach and Critique of German idealism (Hegel) - “The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it.” – Marx, Theses on Feuerbach - Question big ideals in society - Materialism: What is God? When we talk of god, we’re taking everything that’s good inside of us humans and taking it outside of us to take it to this alien thing known as god that rules over us. He is good, we are bad. God did not create man, man created god. - But Marx: this doesn’t go far enough. - Why do we need religion? Injustice. You must go to the material causes. Gives people who are in a bad position now, will have it all good in the end. Critique of Hegel: Historical Materialism - Hegel: Consciousness creates society - Marx disagrees: consciousness does not create being, “being creates consciousness” How you live determine how you think, not how you think determines how you live. - Starts Marx materialist conception of history. Can’t get around Marx’s ideas Materialist Conception of History - Humans make their own means of survival - Work is natural, humans are creative - History is history of class struggle and forms of domination: history is struggle, but material struggle. There are two different classes: Those who own and do not own the means of production. - Culture, ideas, art, law, morality, religion…all determined by mode of production: “Superstructure.” Everything revolves around capital in capitalism. Everything revolves around the mode of production. Critique of Hegel: Historical Materialism - Slave, Feudal, Capitalist,
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