Karl Marx Notes

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Sociology and Anthropology
SA 250
Dany Lacombe

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 production.” − believes human evolve => adapt like animals o God didn’t create humans − what distinguishes us from animals is production o we produce to meet needs of subsistence to meet survival needs o nor 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 o out needs define us => what we do to get it and how we get it develop tools, interact with others and nature o we 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 o how 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 o modernity focused on ideas, survival is second thought − essenceof 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” www.notesolution.com 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 isn’t conscious, it’s our nature − we produce to meet needs of body o importance of material conditions of life o need 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 www.notesolution.com “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 [1] custom in Germany. 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 o we 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 o if more populated, reproduction not always a priority people meet to innovate instead of reproducing − population increases needs and social relations => can destroy family unit o social relations create new needs o as develop new needs, create new social relations − how have needs been produced?=> insight on people, needs define us o created by an idea that we need something o also, how is need produced?=> seeif labourers are exploited most don’t know how things are produced − all of us are connected in social relations => globalization o some 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 one’s own in labour and of fresh life in procreation, now appears as a double relationship: on the one hand as a www.notesolution.com natural, on the other as a social relationship. By social we understand the co- operation of several individuals, no matter under what conditions, in what manner and to what end. It follows from this that a certain mode of production, or industrial stage, is always combined with a certain m
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