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SOCY 122 (65)

Marx, the Communist Manifesto, and Modernity

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Queen's University
SOCY 122
Rob Beamish

Marx, the Communist Manifesto, and Modernity Contradiction within the Mode of Production-bourgeois was a revolutionary class that transformed society as it became dominant in the feudal society for owning land and other developed productive forces -feudal society than became capitalist where everyone had to work for wage-labour, and wealth was gained from profit -class struggle was a major motive force of history -Marx emphasized the ‘subjective’ side of social change- the development of class consciousness and the desire of the classes to make change -Marx proved: -existence of classes in only bound up with particular historical phases in the development of production -class struggle necessarily leads to the dictatorship of the proletariat -the dictatorship only constitutes the transition to the abolition of all classes and to a classless society Marx’s and Mill’s- both described the objective and subjective dimensions of society, and their socio-historical context Class Struggle (Klassenkampf)-social change centres on the actions of many people- not individuals -emphasizes that groups push for social change -Reminds us that there is a subjective element to social change- a particular consciousness with human agents before the push of change -looks at the economic infrastructure Economic Determinism -refers to monocausal determinism by material, economic factors -often associated with Karl Marx’s ‘historical materialism,’ but not clear if Marx supported it -rigid versions are associated with Stalinism and Marxist-Leninism -in the ‘final analysis’ which is rare, economic determinism is the force of production that determines the relations of production in any mode of production -Closely related is economic reductionism- idea that the economy is closely intertwined with all forms of the culture of consumerism -Marx’s argument for it has shifted globally because of the studies of origins of the ‘capitalist world system’ Rate of Profit- long term tendency that falls because of the increase in technology Mass of Profit- increased by selling more goods at smaller marginal gain -technology improves efficiency and increases volume of goods to sell but reduces the number of workers employed, which causes unemployed dampen consumer market, than there is a problem of over-production -surplus workers drive wages down further-> less consumer spending power -unsold goods means profits not realized -profits fall-> leading to more layoffsv -economy goes into a crisis-> potential solution is finding new markets-> globalization Economic Development -how societies have, could, and should pursue improvement in the quality and quantity of life for their inhabitants -in the past, it was largely based on the belief that all societies developed through a set of stages that ultimately would lead to a modern nation-state and industrial economy -Modernization theory-ideas about evolutionary progress and convergence toward a single model -Lead to the dependency theory- the underdeveloped world reflected colonial pasts that had not been substantially changed despite decades of development attempts to alter institutions and practices through economic loans and subsidies -development scholarship arose out of the major social, political, and economic changes that came from WWII and the restructuring of the global geopolitical map -economic growth is typically measured in terms of an increase in the size of a nation’s material output -Gross Domestic Product (GDP) -most used index for the size and health of a domestic economy -adding domestic consumption rates with investment, government purchases, and net exports -consumption has become the largest component in this measure -Human Development Index (HDI) always measure domestic economy Economic Sociology: Classical Political Economic Perspective Classical Political Economy-Adam Smith, Karl Marx, John Stuart Mill, John Cairnes, David Ricardo -science of production, distribution, exchange and consumption of wealth -Divided into two intertwined branches: -pure economics- theory of market economy -Social economics or economic sociology- analysis of the social- institutional conditions of the economy -A plurality of motives- John Stuart Mill -social and cultural conditions of human preference -Marx’s examines the influence of social conditions on society Bourgeoisie and Proletariat -Karl Marx, Adam Smith, David Ricardo, James Mill, and J.B Say -Identified the struggles of the three great classes: -landed property -capitalist
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