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Marx Study Questions 1 “F OR A R UTHLESS CRITICISM OF E VERYTHING E XISTING ” p. 13: What is Marx’s criticism of “the philosophers”? What does it mean to “find the new world only through criticism of the old”? Up until now the philosophers had the solution of all riddles lying in their lectern, and the stupid uninitiated world had only to open its jaws to let the roast partridges of absolute science fly into its mouth. Now philosophy has become worldly, and the most incontrovertible evidence of this is that the philosophical consciousness has been drawn, not only externally but internally, into the stress of battle. What are the two senses of “ruthless criticism” that Marx identifies? A ruthless criticism of everything existing, the criticism must not be afraid of its own conclusions, nor conflict with the powers that be. What does “dogmatism” mean? Communism is a dogmatic abstraction. An actual communism in his mind that of Cabet, Dezamy, Weitling. This type of communism is only a special manifestation of the humanistic principle. p. 14: Why does Marx believe it is necessary to provide a critique of contemporary religion and politics? What does Marx mean by “religion” and “politics” here? We must not set up these two against some ready-made system such as the Voyage en Icarie. Religion is the catalogue of the theoretical struggles of mankind, the political state is the catalogue of its practical struggles. The political state expresses from the political point of view all social struggles, needs and truths. The difference between the corporative and representative system, an object of criticism. Corporative: (footnote) the system of representation by estates classes, as opposed to the system of representation by individuals. 1 This question expresses in a political way the difference between the rule of man and th rule of private property. There critic has almost a duty to go into these questions. To show the superiority of the representative system over the corporative system the critic affects the practical interests of a large party. The most important point is that by elevating the representative system from its political form to its general form thus bringing out tis true significance the critic is able to force the system beyond its own confines, it’s a loss but a victory at the same time. p. 15 What does Marx mean when he says that “the work of our time” is a “matter of confession”? Consciousness is something the world must acquire like it or not. The reform of consciousness consists of enabling the world to clarify its consciousness, waking it from a dream, explaining to it the meaning of its own actions. The whole task is to put religious and political questions into self- conscious human form. The motto: reform of consciousness not through dogmas, through analyzing mystical consciousness, whether religious or political. It will then transpire that the world has been dreaming of something that it can acquire if it is only conscious of it. That it isn’t about drawing a line between the past and future but carrying the thoughts of the past. That mankind begins no new work, consciously accomplishes its old work. We must declare our sins to what they really are to have them forgiven. 2 “O N THE J EWISH Q UESTION ” p. 26: What does Marx mean by “political emancipation” here? Emancipation is defined as the act of being free from any legal, social, political restrictions, it is liberation. The German Jews seek emancipation, they wish for civic, political emancipation. Bruno Bauer says: No one in Germany is emancipated. "We ourselves are not free". He says Jews are egoists if they ask for special emancipation as Jews. They are advised to work as Germans for the emancipation of Germany and as men for emancipation of mankind. p. 27: 2 Why does Bauer believe that a Christian state cannot emancipate Jews? The Christian state recognizes nothing but privileges, the Jew in this state has the privilege of being a Jew. As a Jew he has possesses rights the Christians do not have. Why does the Jew then want rights that he doesn’t have but the Christians enjoy. To demand emancipation from the Christian state amounts to asking the Christian state to abandon its religious prejudice. But would the Jew do that? Then does he have the right to ask someone to forswear his religion? It's said that the Christian state by its nature cannot emancipate the Jew. Bauer adds though that by its very nature the Jew cannot be emancipated, as long as the state remains Christian and the Jew a Jew they are equally incapable, one of conferring emancipation and the other of receiving it. The Christian state can only adopt the attitude of a Christian state to permit the Jew as a matter of privilege to isolate himself from its other subjects. The Jew can only adopt a Jewish attitude of a foreigner towards the state, he opposes his illusory law to actual law, his illusory nationalist to actual nationality. Considers it a right to separate himself from the rest of humanity, takes no part in the historical movement and looks to a future of mankind as a whole. Regards himself of the Jewish people and of the chosen people. On the grounds that the Jew demands emancipation on account of their religion which is the mortal enemy of the state, as citizens, no citizens in Germany, as men, not men anymore than those to whom you appeal. Bauer asks the nature of the Jew to be emancipated and the nature of the Christian state which has to emancipate him. He critiques the Jewish religion, analyzes the opposition between Judaism and Christianity and explains the essence of the Christian state. pp. 28-29: What is Bauer’s solution to the religious and political opposition between Christians and Jews? Why does he believe that “the political abolition of religion is the abolition of all religion.” We have to emancipate ourselves before we emancipate others. The most stubborn form of the opposition between Christians and Jews is religious opposition. Religious opposition is made impossible by abolishing religion. As soon as Christian and Jew come to see in their religions nothing more than 'stages in the development of the human mind' they will find that they are no longer in religious 3 opposition rather in s purely critical, scientific and human relationship. Science will unite them, scientific oppositions are resolved by science itself. Get back to this! pg 29 pp. 30-31 What is Marx’s criticism of Bauer? Bauer falls into contradictions, establishes conditions that are not based upon the nature of political emancipation, raises irrelevant questions, thus solves irrelevant problems. Bauer says of the opponents of the Jewish emancipation " their error was simply to assume that the Christian state was the only true one, and not to subject it to the same crticism as Judaism" Marx points out his error. He subjects only the Christian state, not the "state as such" to criticism, he doesn't examine the relation between political emancipation and human emancipation". Thus he poses conditions which are explicable by his lack of critical sense in confusing political emancipation and universal human emancipation. How are issues of religion and politics different in Germany, France, and North America? It poses itself different according to the state. In Germany there is no political state, no state as such the Jewish question is purely theological. The Jew finds himself in opposition to the state which proclaims Christianity as its foundation. Criticism here is of theology. In France, which is a constitutional state, the Jewish question is a question of constitutionalism, of the incompleteness of political emancipation. Since the semblance of a state religion is maintained in France, the relation of the Jews to the state also retains semblance of religious, theological opposition. It is only in the free states of North America or at least some of them that the Jewish question loses its theological significance and becomes a truly secular question. only where the state exists in its completely developed form can the relation of the Jew and of the religious man in general to the political state appear in a pure form with its own characteristics. The criticism of this relation ceases to be theological criticism when the state ceases to maintain a theological attitude of a state i.e. political attitude. What does it mean to “turn theological questions into secular questions”? We do not turn secular questions into theological questions. Rather turn theological question into secular ones. We explain the religious constraints upon the free citizens by the 4 secular constraints upon them. We do not claim that they must transcend in their religious narrowness in order to get rid of their secular limitations. Far too long history has been resolved into superstition, but now we resolve that. the question was of the relation between political emancipation and religion but has now become the relation between political emancipation and human emancipation. we criticize the relgiious failings of the political state by criticizing the political state in its secular form, disregarding its religious failings. p. 32: What is the difference between political emancipation and human anticipation? Why does Marx believe that the former does not guarantee the latter? The political emancipation of the Jew or Christian, of the religious man in general is the emancipation of the state from Judaism, Christianity, and religion in general. The state emancipates itself from religion in its own particular way, in a way that corresponds to its nature, by emancipating from the state religion by giving no recognition to any religion. To be politically emancipated from religion is not to be finally and completely emancipated from religion because political emancipation is not the final and absolute form of human emancipation. The limits of political emancipation: the state can liberate itself from a constraint without man himself really being liberated, a state may be free without the man being free. Bauer admits this and says political emancipation depends on: it would be necessary to abolish all religious privileges, if some people wish to continue their practices they may do so but as a private matter. A state may have emancipated itself from religion, though a majority of people may still be religious. And the majority of people may not necessarily be religious in private. Add more* p. 33: Why, for Marx, is the political abolition of private property limited? The state as a state abolishes private property when it abolishes the property qualification for electors and representatives. 5 Political suppression of private property doesn’t only abolish private property also presupposes its existence. The state abolishes after its fashion the distinctions established by birth, social rank, education etc, I DON’T GET THIS HELP! p. 34 What does Marx mean by the “double existence” people live between the “political” and “civil” spheres? Man lives in double existence, celestial and terrestrial. He lives in the political community where he regards himself as a communal being, and in civil society where he acts simply as a private individual. The political state in relation to the civil state is just as spiritual as heaven in relation to earth. Stands in same opposition to civil society and overcomes it the same way as religion overcomes the narrowness of the profane world, OMG IM TOO TIRED p. 38 Why does Marx believe that the notion of a Christian state is self-contradictory? In the German- Christian state religion is an 'economic matter' just as 'economic matters' are religion. In the German-Christian state the power of religion is the religion of power. To separate the 'spirit of the bible' from the 'letter of the bible' is an irreligious act. The state that expresses the bible in the letter of politics or any letter other than that of the Holy Ghost commits sacrilege. The state that acknowledges the Bible as its charter and Christianity as its rule must be assessed according to the words of the Bible whose language is sacred. Such a state that is based upon this human rubbish will find itself in a contradiction that is insoluble from a religious standpoint. Words of the Bible: "with which it does not conform and cannot conform unless it wishes to dissolve itself entirely." The Christian state is an 'ought' whose realization is impossible. There is total disorder of reality and illusion. This type of state can only escape its inner torment by becoming the myrmidon of the Catholic Church which will assert that secular power is entirely subordinate to its commands, state is powerless, powerless the secular power which claims to be the rule of the religious spirit. Alienation prevails in a Christian state, the only man that counts is the King, differentiated from the rest and still religious, associated with heaven and with God. Relations are still based on faith, religious spirit is still not secularized. 6 p. 39 What does it mean to say that the basis of the democratic state is “the human basis of Christianity”? The religious state can only be realized if the stage of development of the human spirit which it expresses in religious form, manifests and constitutes in secular form. This is what happens in a democratic state. The basis of this state isn't Christianity but the human basis of Christianity. Religion remains the ideal non secular consciousness of its members since it’s the ideal form of the stage of human development which has been attained. Political democracy is Christian in that every man is considered sovereign, but uneducated, man just as he is in his fortuitous existence. What is the “universal secular contradiction between the political state and civil society.” The political emancipation from religion leaves it still existent, though the religion is no longer privileged. In the perfect democracy, the religious and theological consciousness itself is in its own eyes the more religious and the more theological because it is apparently without political significance, without worldly aims, the concern of a disposition that shuns the world, the expression of intellectual narrow-mindedness, the product of arbitrariness and fantasy, and because it is a life that is really of the other world. Christianity attains, here, the practical expression of its universal-religious significance in that the most diverse world outlooks are grouped alongside one another in the form of Christianity and still more because it does not require other people to profess Christianity, but only religion in general, any kind of religion (cf. Beaumont’s work quoted above). The religious consciousness revels in the wealth of religious contradictions and religious diversity. We have, thus, shown that political emancipation from religion leaves religion in existence, although not a privileged religion. The contradiction in which the adherent of a particular religion finds himself involved in relation to his citizenship is only one aspect of the universal secular contradiction between the political state and civil society. p. 42: 7 What is the difference between the “rights of man” and the “rights of the citizen”? The rights of man are the rights of a member of a civil society, that is of an egoistic man, of man separated from other men and from the community. The most radical constitution from 1783 says: Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, these rights are: natural and imprescriptible: equality, liberty, security, property. pp. 42-43 What does Marx mean by “civil society,” and why does he think it “separates man from man.” He wants political society to squeeze out civil society. When people are truly free, he says, they will see themselves as citizens of the whole political community, not "decomposed" into different, non-universal roles as a trader, a laborer, a Jew, a Protestant. Each person will be "a communal being" united with all other citizens, and the state will no longer be seen as an instrument to protect rights so that individuals can pursue their selfish ends but as the entity through which everyone would achieve "the human essence [which] is the true collectivity of man." p. 44: Explain, in your own words, Marx’s depiction of the relation between feudal society and feudal politics. Why does Marx believe that, in feudalism, the state “necessarily appeared as the private affair of a ruler and his servants.” Political revolution is a revolution of civil society, the nature of the old society is feudalism. the old society had a directly political character: the elements of political life i.e. property, family and occupations that rose from the form of lordship, castle and guilds. this form of national life didn’t constitute property and labour as social elements they were separated from the body of the state making them distinct societies within society. In the feudal sense the vital functions of society remained political. p. 45 8 Why did the democratic revolutions “abolish the political character of civil society”? Why did the consummation of the state lead to “the materialism of civil society.” The political revolution which overthrew the power of the ruler, made state affairs affairs of the people, political state a matter of general concern, i.e. a real state, shattered everything (estates, corporations, guilds) which expressed the separation of the people from community life. The political revolution abolished the political character of civil society dissolving civil society into its basic elements, on one hand individuals and on the other the material and cultural elements that formed the life experience of these individuals. Consummation of the idealism of the state was at the same time the consummation of the materialism of civil society. the bonds that restrained the egoistic spirit of civil society was removed. political emancipation was also emancipation from civil society. feudal society was dissolved into a basic element, a man but an egoistic man as its foundation. The link below isn't bad info I didn’t use it in my answer but it helped a bit. p. 46 What does the last paragraph of this page mean? 3 “T HESES ON F EUERBACH ” Human emancipation is only achieved when man has absorbed into himself the abstract citizen, when as an individual in his everyday life, work etc he has become a species being, when he has recognized his (forces prospers) own powers as social powers and no longer separates this power from himself as a political power. Based partly on his vision of human nature, Marx asks how we should understand human beings. The "Theses on Feuerbach" provides the beginning of an answer. In essence what Marx says is that human beings are at once actors (subjects) and the objects of various natural and social forces. Neither materialism (which conceives of humans as objects) nor idealism (which treats subjectivity in the abstract) will do. Furthermore, human beings are social creatures: they exist not in the abstract but in sets of social relationships. The key to alleviating human suffering is not changing consciousness but changing society. 9 p. 143 What does Marx think is wrong with previous versions of materalism? Materialism is conceived only in the form of the object or of contemplation, but not as human sensuous activity, practice, not subjectively. Hence the active side, in contradistinction to materialism was developed from idealism. Abstractly only because idealism doesn’t know sensuous objects etc. How does Marx think one proves that an idea is true? The question of whether objective truth can be attributed to human thinking is not a question of theory but a practical question. man must prove the truth. I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO PUT HERE -.- Re. Thesis IV: what is Marx’s critique of Feuerbach here? Why does he think Feuerbach doesn’t go far enough? Feuerbach starts from religious self-alienation, of the duplication of the world into a religious imaginary world and a real one. he works to resolve the religious world into its secular basis, overlooks that the main thing is still left. that the secular basis detaches itself from itself and establishes as an independent realm can only be explained by contradictions within it. That the latter shouldve been understood by its contradictions, then by its removal and then revolutionalised in practise. How does thesis XI follow from the previous theses? Self explanatory check pg 145 4 “E CONOMIC AND P HILOSOPHICAL M ANUSCRIPTS ” p. 70 When Marx talks about “political economy,” he is basically talking about Adam Smith. Explain his critique of political economy in your own words. Is it a fair critique, given what you have read of Smith? 10 Marxist political economy, in contrast, starts from relations between people and classes, and tries to understand the economy not as a perfect clockwork mechanism but as a dynamic system full of contradictions and doomed to be replaced. Political economy is not about the relationship between commodities, prices, supply and demand: it is first and foremost about people and the social relationships between them – about the owners of wealth and how they use it to exploit others; about what is produced and how. In that sense economics is both political and social and historical. Marxists do not agree with these artificial divisions in the academic world which tend to obscure how things are really interconnected together. From text: in political economy the worker sinks to the level of a commodity becoming the most wretched of commodities. the wretchedness is in proportion to the power and magnitude of his production. the whole of society must fall into two classes the property owners and the propertyless workers. p. 71 Why does the worker become poorer the more he produces? the more wealth he produces the more poor he becomes, the more his production increases in power and range. the worker becomes a cheaper commodity the more he creates
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