SMC219Y1 - Lecture Notes #11.docx

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Department
St. Michael's College Courses
Course
SMC219Y1
Professor
Steve Hoselton
Semester
Winter

Description
SMC219Y1 – LECTURE NOTES Karl Marx Chapter One November 6, 2013 Marxism: • Looked for the basis of society; analyzed labour • Labour was the foundation of human civilization • Noticed that we trade labour to obtain other things • Selling labour is basic to all human commerce and interaction • The industrial revolution changed this; things became mechanized and centralized • Goods become cheaper to produce and more available • Even the poor had an enormous amount of goods • As people were hired to work centrality, there became a decline in wages and cottage industry because the wages were controlled by the bourgeoisie and the capitalists • Soon became difficult to buy necessities Cottage Industry: • Cottage cheese became the cheese you could make at own; from curdled milk; easy to make • But because of the revolution, it was much easier to make it in mass quantities The Negatives of the Industrial Revolution: • Lower wages • If you're not involved in the production of goods, you are alienated, alienated from your own labour; lose your own identity, alienated from society • Dissociation from the hands-on production of the goods • Become more and more removed from the thing you are producing, because the machines are doing most of the labour • Workers become separated from their ideas, desires and identities when working in the factories; working in factories takes on a mental illness • Reduced to become the proletariat The Capitalists • Owned major factories • The bourgeoisie owned smaller ones • Eventually, the capitalists buy out the bourgeoisie, then the majority will become proletariats • The only way they can keep control is to keep control of their ideas • False consciousness o feeding the proletariats and the bourgeoisie false ideas o making them think they want or need to do something o To create this • Use religion • A tool to keep the workers quiet; hard work will lead you to heaven (called the opiate of the masses, a drug to keep them quiet) • Commodity fetishism • Something that you're attracted to with reasons beyond understanding • Irrational attachment to goods • The capitalists manufacture the goods • Therefore they make the workers want the goods, feel that they need them • Example: the car • Makes us consume more than we need to by: (this is applicable to all goods) • Planned Obsolescence • Makes us want something new • New versions of something • Number • Having more than one product within a household • Luxury • Perceived; the idea that some brands are worth more than others because of their status • People would get the more expensive good thinking that it's superior in its reputation • People want others to know that they own something prestigious • Value of a good can be based on flawed ideas; just because it's more expensive, doesn't
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