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Ch 2. Karl Marx.docx

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York University
SOCI 2040
Secil Erdogan- Ertorer

CH 2. KARL MARX 1 SEPTEMBER 26, 2013 Biography th  Sought the explanation for the nature of capitalism that spread across Europe in 18-19 century. o Economic deficiencies and social injustice broke down capitalistic societies.  Basis of his theoretical system, historical materialism came from Georg W.F. Hegel’s philosophy of social change. o Marx had join the Young Hegelians (group of radical thinkers) while studying history and philosophy in Berlin.  Blacklisted by the Berlin ministry of education for his radical views.  Henri de Saint-Simon (1760-1825) o Ideas led to creation of Christian Socialism (movement aimed to organize modern industrial society via social principles of Christianity). o Counter capitalism – the ethic of brotherhood and cooperation, social justice.  Also studied the work of Adam Smith (1723-1790) and David Ricardo (1772-1823), political economists. o Their work was the first representation of systematic examination of government policy and its relationship with nation’s economic growth.  CENTRAL ROLE IN POLITICAL ECONOMY  Associated with the League of the Just and Communist League.  Collaborated with Friedrich Engels and produced The Germany Ideology and The Communist Manifesto. o The German Ideology (1845-1846), influenced by Hegel.  Detailed account of Marx’s theory of history.  History, a progressive, dialectic process that culminates in utopia of freedom and self-realization. It is material existence (NOT CONSCIOUSNESS) that fuels historical changes.  Ideas of the ruling class are the ruling ideas. Dominant economic class controls means of production and also production of ideas (IE. Ideas of individual equality) – Think of this as division of labour. o The Communist Manifesto (1848), written by both Marx and Engels.  Downfall of the capitalist class and rise of the proletariat.  Due to the ‘epidemic of overproduction’ – overabundance of goods  Too much civilization, means of subsistence, industry, and commerce.  Productive/forces no longer further conditions of bourgeoisie property. o Conditions too narrow to comprise wealth accumulated. o To overcome crisis, enforced destruction of mass productive forces, conquest of new markets, or exploiting old ones.  Communists identify and bring out common interests of all proletarians.  Represent the interest of the movement as a whole.  Goal – Formation of proletarians into class, overthrow bourgeoisie supremacy, and the political power of the proletariat. CH 2. KARL MARX 2 SEPTEMBER 26, 2013  Distinguishing feature of communism is the abolition of bourgeoisie property  Represents the system of producing based on class antagonism.  Also, the abolition of bourgeois individuality, independence & freedom. Freedom as in its condition of production (free trade, selling & buying).  Theoretical orientation – primarily rationalist and collective. o Mostly reflected in class-based interests.  ‘men make their own history…they do not make just as they please; they do not make it under circumstances chosen by themselves, but under circumstances directly found, given and transmitted from the past,’ -MARX Class  In reaction to the social/economic conditions of the Industrial Revolution, Marx created a theoretical model that acted as an interpretation of the political/economic world  Wanted to change it and in doing so, he analyzed the economic classes. o Classes as in groups of individuals who share common position in the means/forces of production.  Classes of modern society consist of …with income (wages, profit, and ground-rent) o Wage labourers o Capitalists o Landowners Bourgeoisie  Was the result of the Industrial Revolution in Britain (technological advances in transportation, communication, and manufacturing commercial goods)  Birth of modern capitalism and rise of middle-class owners of capital – the bourgeoisie o Modern bourgeoisie society established:  New classes  New conditions of oppression  New forms of struggle  Bourgeoisie simplified class antagonisms  Market grows as demand rises  Modern industry has established the world market (an European influence)  The Bourgeoisie constantly revolutionizes instruments of production and ended all feudal, patriarchal, and idyllic relations. o Created enormous cities through increased urban population. Proletariat CH 2. KARL MARX 3 SEPTEMBER 26, 2013  Def. Wage earners who do not own property.  Make up the majority of the population.  Proletariat’s, the modern day working class; way of survival is to work. o Commodity > exploitation of worker  The various stages of development o Struggle with bourgeoisie o Laborers riot (a small-scale attack on the bourgeoisie) o The number and strength of proletarians grow o Wage reduction spread, and workers create union. o Expansion of union  Bourgeoisie gives proletarian to fight back (the backfire of capitalism) o Proletarians are the lone class that can face the bourgeoisies. o Must abandon old methods for a successful revolu
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