SA 250 Study Guide - The German Ideology, Social Relation, Making Money

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The German Ideology Study Passages
Passage 1
Men can be distinguished from animals by consciousness, by religion or
anything else you like. They themselves begin to distinguish themselves from
animals as soon as they begin to produce their means of subsistence, a step
which is conditioned by their physical organisation. By producing their
means of subsistence men are indirectly producing their actual material life.
The way in which men produce their means of subsistence depends first of
all on the nature of the actual means of subsistence they find in existence and
have to reproduce. This mode of production must not be considered simply as
being the production of the physical existence of the individuals. Rather it is
a definite form of activity of these individuals, a definite form of expressing
their life, a definite mode of life on their part. As individuals express their
life, so they are. What they are, therefore, coincides with their production,
both with what they produce and with how they produce. The nature of
individuals thus depends on the material conditions determining their
believes human evolve => adapt like animals
oGod didnt create humans
what distinguishes us from animals is production
owe produce to meet needs of subsistence to meet survival needs
onor primarily consciousness, religion, etc. => all influenced by production
ideas are not fundamental factor to who we are => body, flesh is
who we are is what we produce and how we produce
oout needs define us => what we do to get it and how we get it
develop tools, interact with others and nature
owe make what we are => highly creative => we control own identity, not God
transform nature to survive => labour to get needs
not given by God, we make it
ohow man transform nature and in relation to others and nature
out environment affects who we are => influences production => we adapt
who we are is how we survive => the essentials
omodernity focused on ideas, survival is second thought
essence of men is labour => men are makers of life and therefore, unique
we produce needs and in turn, produce survival
labour not equal to work, is much more than making money
I labour, therefore I am => not said by Marx, but counters I think, therefore I am
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Passage 2
Since we are dealing with the Germans, who are devoid of premises,
we must begin by stating the first premise of all human existence and,
therefore, of all history, the premise, namely, that men must be in a
position to live in order to be able to make history. But life involves
before everything else eating and drinking, a habitation, clothing and
many other things. The first historical act is thus the production of the
means to satisfy these needs, the production of material life itself. And
indeed this is an historical act, a fundamental condition of all history,
which today, as thousands of years ago, must daily and hourly be fulfilled
merely in order to sustain human life. Even when the sensuous world is
reduced to a minimum, to a stick as with Saint Bruno, it presupposes the
action of producing the stick. Therefore in any interpretation of history
one has first of all to observe this fundamental fact in all its significance
and all its implications and to accord it its due importance.
history is product of survival => the first historical act
consciousness is in a body and body needs to survive => protect body
survival isnt conscious, its our nature
we produce to meet needs of body
oimportance of material conditions of life
oneed of survival results in how we transform nature to meet future needs
dominate nature to survive
meet one need and discover other needs => never satisfied
produce own means of subsistence => not just find things
Passage 3
The second point is that the satisfaction of the first need (the action of
satisfying, and the instrument of satisfaction which has been acquired) leads
to new needs; and this production of new needs is the first historical act.
fulfill survival needs, then create own needs => we create needs
not stuck with basic, survival needs => we go beyond it
as we labour to meet first needs, we develop other needs
Passage 4
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The third circumstance which, from the very outset, enters into historical
development, is that men, who daily remake their own life, begin to make
other men, to propagate their kind: the relation between man and woman,
parents and children, the family. The family, which to begin with is the only
social relationship, becomes later, when increased needs create new social
relations and the increased population new needs, a subordinate one (except
in Germany), and must then be treated and analysed according to the
existing empirical data, not according to the concept of the family, as is the
custom in Germany. [1] These three aspects of social activity are not of course
to be taken as three different stages, but just as three aspects or, to make it
clear to the Germans, three moments, which have existed simultaneously
since the dawn of history and the first men, and which still assert themselves
in history today.
family becomes subordinate to other needs => need to produce for others (ex. feudalism)
family is social unit => relations to other humans
owe are fundamentally social => not isolated, autonomous individuals
express life through reproduction => essential to nature and is a need
saw husband, wife, children, as natural => grounded in reproduction
need other humans to survive
family is basic social unit
three aspects (subsistence need, new needs, reproduction) all occur at the same time
families connect with other families to increase social relation => single family unit
takes backseat
oif more populated, reproduction not always a priority
people meet to innovate instead of reproducing
population increases needs and social relations => can destroy family unit
osocial relations create new needs
oas develop new needs, create new social relations
how have needs been produced? => insight on people, needs define us
ocreated by an idea that we need something
oalso, how is need produced? => see if labourers are exploited
most dont know how things are produced
all of us are connected in social relations => globalization
osome needs emerge from social relations of production
affect other labourers who need to meet your needs => exploitation
Passage 5
The production of life, both of ones own in labour and of fresh life in
procreation, now appears as a double relationship: on the one hand as a
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