Political Science 1020E Lecture Notes - Lecture 20: Friedrich Engels, Surplus Labour, Universal Suffrage

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Lecture 20: Socialism 2
Thursday, November 19, 2015
11:49 AM
Marx on Exploitation
Exploitation is the extraction of surplus labour
Distinction between labour and labour-power
Capitalist profit is the surplus value created by workers
oDescribes capitalism as a vampire- blood-sucking monster
Marx on Class Struggle
History is the history of class struggle
Production can be restrained by class relationships
Conflict of interest are linked to our relation to the means of production
The state exists to deal with conflicts of interest generated by coercive surplus extraction
Marx's Two Accounts of the State
1. The state as a committee for managing the common interests of the bourgeoisie (based on
the 19th-century British politics)
People who own the means of production- capitalists = bourgeoisie
Often would come into conflict
State's role is to promote general class interests of capitalists
Owners on one hand, workers on the other
State lets the dominant class dominate
Workers band together will overthrow government- incorporate working class into
society better
Regulate working conditions- no forced labour, unionization, etc. - moves towards the
welfare state in order to protect the interests of the bourgeoisie, not the workers
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.
If state prevents any kind of voice for the workers, then the workers will rise up violently and
overthrow the state
Its not just class interests today- its exclusion of people on other grounds- ethnicity, nationality,
Marx thinks they'll rise up in the name of their class, but this isn't what's happening
Bismark's strategy: buy off the working class and maintain a loyal army
Conservative strategy: protect interests of dominant class by giving the workers the vote
You want army to be LOYAL, bc they are dangerous
Universal suffrage could lead to the election of a socialist government
Marx on Human Nature
Universality: overcoming divisions
National divisions will disappear
"workers of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains"
For most of history there has been both exploitation and a surplus
Marx wants one class of human beings not exploiting another class.
Everyone only gets what they need
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