The Rise of the West and Marxism
Slide 1 – Map of Europe
Most economics are in North West of Europe
Slide 2- origins of modern world economy
Twin “revolutions” 16th-19 centuries, agricultural and industrial
Agricultural revolution may be hyperbole to use the word revolution, changes in technology, those
changes more across the continent.
Case of Flemish and British farmers
Industrial revolution- originates in late 18 century England, people become richer
More appropriately designated as a revolution ex. raw cotton processed in British factories
Amount of iron process into English factories- a tenfold increase in steel, this produced changes in
Industrial Revolution: Consequences
Luxuries became seen as necessities
Distribution highly uneven, but now creation of middle class that had risen from manual labour, to
professional or entrepreneurial status
Social Results –allowed us to produce surplus
Complexity of division of labor, regulation became more important
New forms of social consciousness- contributing to society, educated, role of state, what does it mean to
Karl Marx was a good student of capitalism, German Jewish Family
How to analyze a society?
What does one look for first?
Queens and Kings?
What kind of food they eat, what alcohols they drink
Marx and Materialism
Materialism: why is it bad? Hegal is wrong, Hegal is based on God
- God does not exist
- Take what’s good inside us, God did not create man, man created god
But for Marx: this doesn’t go far enough
Why do we need religion? Injustice- you must go to the material causes
When you are poor, you die, that is it.
Critique of Hegal: Historical Materialism
Hegal: consciousness creates society
Marx disagrees: consciousness does not create being “being creates consciousness”
Materialist conception of history is 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
-Class of groups of people who share a means of production
Who gets the stuff
Culture ideas, art, law, mortality, religion
- All determined by mode of production, superstructure.
Each stage of history has its own ways of doi