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Soc201 Lecture #3 09-26-2011.docx

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University of Toronto St. George

Soc201h1 Professor Veugelers September-26-11 Marx: The German Ideology (1845-46) 1. The premise of historical materialism 2. Consequences of the division of labour 3. Implications for studying society and history - “foundations of historical approach” - We study their real productivity relations - The essential principle: we can explain non-economic aspects of society (religion, law, politics) in terms of their function in reproducing the system of exploitation - Marx says- parliaments pass laws that perpetuate a system of class rule. It fools people about the interest Question: What are we to do with thinkers that contradict themselves? - Theories are simplified statements about how society works, thus we can take it at face value and imply it as it is given - To be fair to our intellectual perspectives, it can be a refreshing way of thinking as it gives a one sided more radical view on things Marx’s views on community 1. What community is not: - Village life  A look at India in the 1850’s (colonized by Britain): looks at the losses and the erosions of Indian social life  Marx talks about Intellectual Narrowness  Village life entailed the caste system: hierarchal division of society in different status groups  Slavery existence, so loss of it is not a bad thing  The passing is not something deplored, and passing of this system was a positive - Family  Only admirable institution before the advent of private property  After private property ownership: men want to ensure that property is transferred to legitimate heirs  Claims that proletariat family is more egalitarian than the Bourgeousie family – less property to deal with 2. What community is - Working-class solidarity (which means that proletarians if necessary are willing to set aside their partial interests for the sake of the common, long-term interests of the entire working class)  Not always, but sometimes under certain circumstances – contingent on class consciousness. He draws a distinction between a class in itself and a class for itself  Class in itself: objective dimension of class relations  Class for itself: subjective dimensions  Objectively a proletariat- the fact that they have no control over means of production, means they must sell their labour- this is an objective fact that makes them proletariat  Subjectively- the member meets the criteria above, but also understand that they share commonalities with one another Manifested through class solidarity  Sign that solidarity exists is when they’re willing to set aside their particular interests for the sake of the larger group - A form of society towards which the socialist movement is struggling (characterized by the absence of private property - thus any class divisions – and alienation)  How did this come about? An abolition of social classes and an abolition of division of labour  Marx hopes that after capitalist society, there rises a new classless society with no exploitation (communism) Suicide Before Durkheim 1. In catholic religion - Based on obedience, as God put us on Earth and it was a glorious thing. Our life is a gift, something lent to us by God. Just as it was for God’s will to put us on Earth, it’s His will to decide when we should leave this Earth. Therefore, it is a sin to decide for ourselves (mortal sin to suicide). And it will leave to grave consequences in the afterlife. (except Martyrs) die because of belief in God 2. In French law - Lives for state, born for our country, law habits us to account and we are not above the law, only the law can justify our death, only state can take life away, capital punishment is okay because states
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