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Lecture 20

Political Science 1020E Lecture Notes - Lecture 20: Michael Freeden, Market Failure, Materialism

Political Science
Course Code
Political Science 1020E
Glenville Jones

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Thursday, November 13, 2014
Socialism, Part Two
Karl Marx on Exploitation, the State, and Human Nature
Marx on Exploitation
Exploitation is the extraction of surplus labour
Distinction between labour and labour-power — the capacity of a human being to work at
market value
Capitalist profit is the surplus value created by workers — what is profit? how do we
maximize it?
Marx on Class Struggle
History is the History of Class Struggle
Conflicts of Interest are Linked to Our Relation to the Means of Production — politics is the
resolution of class conflict
The State exists to Deal with Conflicts of Interest Generated by Coercive Surplus Extraction
— the communist surplus is continuing to have the ideal
Marx’s Two Accounts of the State
1. The State as a Committee for Managing the Common Interests go the Bourgeoisie (based
on 19th Century British politics)
2. The State as an Independent Actor (based on 19th century French and German politics)
Marx on Revolution
Revolution is Likely in States that Fail to Integrate their Excluded Classes
Bismarck’s Strategy: Buy off the Working Class and Maintain a Loyal Army — political figure
who unites Germany in the 1800s
Universal Suffrage Could Lead to the Election of the Socialist Government — one way of
getting rid of capitalism is through violent revolution
Marx on Human Nature
Universality: Overcoming Divisions — everyone shares a common normality; could easily
overthrow the minority
Objection: Particularity is Permanent
Human Beings are Creative Producers
Objection: Labour is Not our Essence
Socialism After Marx
Friedrich Engels
Creator of Official Marxism after Marx’s Death in 1883 — turned Marx’s idea into Marxism;
into a religion, theory, and philosophical system
Exposed Poverty & Criticized Subordination of Women — Engels got Marx to look at the
lives of people
Materialism and ‘Scientific Socialism’
Engels’ Objections to Capitalism
The Destructive Trade Cycle — we move from crisis to crisis
Large Number of Unproductive People — human history is fundamentally production
The Capitalist Market Generates Unjust Inequalities — we can allow inequalities if they
make the worse-off better off
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