The German Ideology.doc

3 Pages
Unlock Document

University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Political Science
POL 1201
Elizabeth Beaumont

The German Ideology The German Ideology • The younger, more humanist and "philosophical" Marx • He offers early versions of key themes of his theory, previewing some arguments in the Communist Manifesto ◦ We will focus on his concepts of ▪ Materialism and Ideology ▪ Alienation (vs. Freedom) ▪ Dialectical and Materialist Theory of History • But, he and Engels couldn't find a publisher for this during his lifetime The "Young Marx" and his critique of philosophy • "The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways: the point, however, is to change it." - Marx, these on Feuerbach ◦ This is Marx's starting point of the German Ideology: Philosophy should become political, materialist revolutionary ◦ It should cease to be"philosophy" • "Political theory [involves] a kind of meeting ground . . . [where we find] philosophers who turned to politics out of despair about the unbearability of certain historical experiences. Such was the case of Plato . . . And we find finally the philosopher who out of despair of philosophy thorns to politics. This is the case of Marx . . . " - Arendt, Lectures 1955 The 19th Century German Idealism and its Ideology vs. Marx's New Materialism • Marx rejects dominant 19th century philosophy of "idealism," which treated human consciousness and ideas as creating and transforming reality. • He introduces a theory of materialism that argues the reverse: ◦ Material conditions -- economic circumstances, labor, class -- are what creat human consciousness and ideas • Marx wasn't the firs materialist, but ti's the foundation of this theory. ◦ For Marx, it's not enough that other philosophers (Feuerbach) are beginning to argue that people create their ideas, such as religion, based on actual conditions ◦ He says we must recognize the role of specific material conditions in shaping ideas, consciousness, belief systems, and ideologies: ▪ Mode of production ▪ Relations of production ▪ Division of labor Living in Marx's Materialist World? • "Mode of Production" -- economic system and its means/components: human labor, type of property ownership, technology, raw materials, etc -- also the economic system (capitalism, etc. ) • "Relations of Production" -- socioeconomic relations (such as modern workers and bosses) • "Division of Labor" -- progressive specialization: 1) town v. country, 2) production v. commerce/merchants, 3) rise of manufacture, 4) large scale industry (our understanding of division of labor) Marx's Superstructure and the Economic Base • Economic Base (shapes the superstructure): relations of production (bourgeoisie exploits the proletariat), means of production (the things you need to produce machines, factories, land, materials (owned by bourgeoisie)) • Superstructure (matins and legitimizes the base): education, family, religion, politics, mass media Marx's critique of bourgeois families: "The bourgeoisie has torn away from the family relationship its sentimental veil and has reduced it to a mere money relationship" Marx's critique of "modern" social ills: He blamed the bourgeoisie and capitalism for women's oppression, exploitation of children, prostitution, and exploitation of women and girls in factories Marx's Concept of Ideology: A "Camera Obscura" • Marx conceptualizes ideology as a "camera obscura" which turns the image of reality upside down: ideology reflects an inverted image of social reality, which is distorted and false • For Marx, all ideas are socially constructed and depend on society's material conditions. But "ideology" -- dominant sets of ideas or belief systems, such as democracy -- is its function of distorting and inverting our image of reality. Ideology as a
More Less

Related notes for POL 1201

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.