How does a mode of production influence the social class? What is the relation between workers, capital, the state and culture?
I bought an apple for 5 cents, spent the evening polishing it, and sold it the next day for 10 cents. With this I bought two apples, spent the evening polishing them,and sold them for 2O.
And so it went until I amassed It was at this point that my wife's father died and left us a million dollars".
What does it all mean? Karl Marx sought the answers to these questions by trying to understand how our capitalist society works for whom it works better, for whom worsehow it arose out of feudalism and where it is likely to lead.
Concentrating on the social and economic relations in which people earn their livings, Marx saw behind capitalism's law and order appearance a struggle of two main classes: Some socialist ideas can be traced as far back as the Bible, but Marxism has its main intellectual origins in German philosophy, English political economy, and French utopian socialism.
It is from the German philosopher, Hegel, that Marx learned a way of thinking about the world, in all its fluid complexity, that is called "dialectics.
From the French utopians, especially Charles Fourier and the Comte de Saint-Simon, Marx caught a glimpse of a happier future that lay beyond capitalism. Along with the paradox of an Industrial Revolution which produced as much poverty as it did wealth, these are the main ingredients that went into the formation of Marxism.
With dialectics, changes and interaction are brought into focus and emphasized by being viewed as essential parts of whatever institutions and processes are undergoing change and interaction.
In this way, the system of capitalism, the wider context, is never lost sight of when studying any event within it, an election or an economic crisis for example; nor are its real past and future possibilities, the historical context, ever neglected when dealing with how something appears in the present.
Whatever Marx's subject of the moment, his dialectical approach to it insures that his fuller subject is always capitalist society Marxist perspective it developed and is still developing.
Marxism definition is - the political, economic, and social principles and policies advocated by Marx; especially: a theory and practice of socialism including the labor theory of value, dialectical materialism, the class struggle, and dictatorship of the proletariat until the establishment of a classless society. Marxism is relevant to welfare on two counts. First, as a comprehensive theory of society it provides an explanation of the nature of welfare and its development in bourgeois and other societies. The purpose of science is to discover the nature of reality concealed under surface appearance. Based on this definition, Marx makes the above assertion - if things appeared exactly as they are, there would be no need for science to remove the veil of appearance.
The actual changes that occur in history are seen here as the outcome of opposing tendencies, or "contradictions", which evolve in the ordinary functioning of society.
Unlike Hegel's dialectic, which operates solely on ideas, Marx's dialectic is materialist. Marx was primarily concerned with capitalism as lived rather than as thought about, but people's lives also involve consciousness. Whereas Hegel examined ideas apart from the people who held them, Marx's materialism puts ideas back into the heads of living people and treats both as parts of a world that is forever being remade through human activities, particularly in production.
In this interaction, social conditions and behavior are found to have a greater affect on the character and development of people's ideas than these ideas do on social conditions and behavior.
How do the ways in which people earn their living affect their bodies, minds and daily lives? In the theory of alienation, Marx gives us his answer to this question. These are owned by the capitalists to whom the workers must sell their "labor power", or ability to do work, in return for a wage.
This system of labor displays four relations that lie at the core of Marx's theory of alienation: Someone else, the capitalist, also sets the conditions and speed of work and even decides if the worker is to be allowed to work or not, i.
This applies not only to relations with the capitalists, who use their control over the worker's activity and product to further their own profit maximizing interests, but also to relations between individuals inside each class as everyone tries to survive as best he can.
Through labor which alienates them from their activity, product and other people, workers gradually lose their ability to develop the finer qualities which belong to them as members of the human species.
The cutting of these relationships in half leaves on one side a seriously diminished individual physically weakened, mentally confused and mystified, isolated and virtually powerless. On the other side of this separation are the products and ties with other people, outside the control and lost to the understanding of the worker.
Unknowingly, the worker has constructed the necessary conditions for reproducing his own alienation. The world that the worker has made and lost in alienated labor reappears as someone else's private property which he only has access to by selling his labor power and engaging in more alienated labor.
Though Marx's main examples of alienation are drawn from the life of workers, other classes are also alienated to the degree that they share or are directly effected by these relations, and that includes the capitalists.
Smith and Ricardo used the labor theory of value to explain the Cost of commodities. For them, the value of any commodity is the result of the amount of labor time that went into its production. Marx took this explanation more or less for granted. His labor theory of value, however, is primarily concerned with the more basic problem of why goods have prices of any kind.
Only in capitalism does the distribution of what is produced take place through the medium of markets and prices. In slave society, the slave owner takes by force what his slaves produce, returning to them only what he wishes.
While in feudalism, the lord claims as a feudal right some part of what is produced by his serfs, with the serfs consuming the rest of their output directly. In both societies, most of what is produced cannot be bought or sold, and therefore, does not have any price. In accounting for the extraordinary fact that everything produced in capitalist society has a price, Marx emphasizes the separation of the worker from the means of production whereas slaves and serfs are tied to their means of production and the sale of his or her labor power that this separation makes necessary.
To survive, the workers, who lack all means to produce, must sell their labor power. In selling their labor power, they give up all claims to the products of their labor.
Hence, these products become available for exchange in the market, indeed are produced with this exchange in mind, while workers are able to consume only that portion of their products which they can buy back in the market with the wages they are paid for their labor power.The following draft document was discussed at the World Congress of the International Marxist Tendency in July The main aim of the document is to define the main economic, social and political trends in the world today and to develop a perspective for the class struggle in the next period.
Marxist sociology is the study of sociology from a Marxist perspective. Marxist sociology is "a form of conflict theory associated with Marxism's objective of developing a positive (empirical) science of capitalist society as part of the mobilization of a revolutionary working class ".
. DIALECTICAL MARXISM: The Writings of Bertell Ollman contains selections from Ollman's work on Marxist theory, dialectics, alienation, class consciousness, class struggle, communism, socialist pedagogy, radical humor, and political science.
The purpose of science is to discover the nature of reality concealed under surface appearance. Based on this definition, Marx makes the above assertion - if things appeared exactly as they are, there would be no need for science to .
Marxism definition is - the political, economic, and social principles and policies advocated by Marx; especially: a theory and practice of socialism including the labor theory of value, dialectical materialism, the class struggle, and dictatorship of the proletariat until the establishment of a classless society.
Marxism is relevant to welfare on two counts.
First, as a comprehensive theory of society it provides an explanation of the nature of welfare and its development in bourgeois and other societies.