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reading notes

4 pages95 viewsWinter 2011

Course Code
Irving Zeitlin

of 4
Marx & Weber Part 1
3 components/elements to Marx's theory
1.Student of Hegel / Hegelian thinking
oMember of the Young Hegelians
oWas Hegel's best student b/c he has internalized dialectical thinking
2.French Socialism (Sainte-Simon)
3.English Classical economics (English political economcy) -> esp IMP!
oAdam Smith
oDavid Ricardo
oJames Mill
oCapital is about trying to explain the system emerged and works
oAlienation/dehumanizing/degrading system
oMarx a political refugee, acquired refuge in Britain
Was a philosophical idealist
oTheory of forms
oAn idealist (he) believes Reason, Spirit, Immanent
Partially influenced by BOTH the Enlightenment and Romantic-Conservatism
Marx: Cannot step into the river twice (or ONCE) -> a metaphor for the universe ->
everything is in a state of flux
oIn addition, WAR is the father of all things
War in the generic sense: conflict among human, human are divided
against each other
"History is a slaughter bench"
Development means overcoming internal contradiction (in order to reach a higher
oAnalyzing different epochs
The Utilitarian "lassiex-faire" (leave it alone)
Sainte-Simon recognized defects in the system
oCannot say capitalism yet cause Marx coined it
oClass conflict was evident
Saint-Simon + other thinkers decided that the only way to overcome/avoid the
defects of this system is to have rational planning of the economy
oInfluenced by Newton and scientists
oThe planners should be the scientist and to be an authoritarian and elitist
20th Century, is it possible to have a democratic form of socialism?
oA labor movement emerged during this period => dark period
oSocial democracy
Marx was an authoritarian, but was he a democrat too?
Used this term instead of "economics", b/c it is in fact a political discipline
According to Prof, economics is the study of scarcity AND how to distribute the
scarce resources in a scarce society
oThe more and more powerful holds this power of distribution
Thus, a political discipline
He recognized that as result of the Industrial Revolution, that you no longer have
the kind of capitalist competition where people are small entrepreneurs
oCapital is not just property but it also it is the kind of wealth one has to
employee others
Marx was among the first to recognize that there was a concentration of capital in
fewer and fewer hands
oBut he was not able to see the full development of oligarchy due to his death
As the result of this growth of the Industrial Revolution, a new class emerged that
was different from all other classes in history: proletarian
oProletarian: owns nth but his/her hands to survive
Prior, there was no such thing as unskilled labor
A huge class of unskilled people of mind-numbing, dehumanizing
tasks, becoming an appendage of machine
Hegelian concept of alienation
oAlienation refers to the failures to recognize self in others (whether it is in
other human beings or objects), to recognize that you projected your own
imagination onto sth
Marx questions how does one recognize self in these mind-numbing, unskilled
oEsp when one can't afford to buy it
oThe whole-process is alienation
Marx and others (Feuerbach) were materialists (different from Hegel who was a
philosophical idealist)
oMaterialism: matter moves on its own accord, there is no other divine
principal behind it
Idealist: Plato, Hegel
oAlthough he calls himself a materialist, he says he tries to provides a
"materialist conception of history"
According to Prof, it is rational? history
He was profoundly influence by philosophical idealist
Young Hegelians were all materialist except for KaKgar
Humans creates these imaginations of religion b/c they are alienated and unhappy
oReligion is the manifestation of alienation
Marx wrote 11 theses on Feuerbach
oMost important thesis: time to change the thinking from philosophers
oThe chief defect of all materialisms including that of Feuerbach is that they
look upon the human being as an object and not as an active subject
The active creative side, including the human mind, were discovered
by the philosophical idealists
He becomes more philosophical and realizes that it has to be
incorporated into any thinking in order to understand any human outlook
British Empiricists
Locke, Berkley, Hume
All valid knowledge comes from sensory experience, arguing
against the rationalists
Where does objects of thought (space, time) comes
from IF all valid knowledge comes from sensory experience?
They recognized this problems
Locke's concept of infinity
Berkley remained a philosophical idealist and stated that
everything in the world is ideas, using objects of thoughts/concepts in
order to comprehend anything
Hume's billiard ball: all that the eye observes in the billiard
game is "A" ball moving to the new position
But he recognized the problem that matter is a concept,
cause is a concept "you dont see matter in chairs"
Paves the way for Kant
Says the eyes sees and the mind/imagination ADDS
"turns like", "cause/effect", "contiguity", "adjacent"
Kant says the mind does not add but the mind INTERPRETS
by its very nature using the various concepts acquired
Human mind is an active, creative entity and its
interprets using concepts
There is always an subjective element in all
According to prof, all sciences are interpretive
and historical
This is what Marx meant by the chief defect of human as passive
objects and it was the idealist who created the active, creative nature of the
Marx is no longer a material mechanist but influenced by idealism
Behaviorist = empiricist AND positivist
Mind, self, consciousness, will, autonomy = all objects of thought
Marx: even tho these doesn't exist physically in our body,
nevertheless it is very REAL

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