Factors Influencing Karl Marxs Thoughts Sociology Essay

Karl Heinrich MarxA was born May 5, 1818 and died March 14, 1883 in Trier, Prussia. In early life he studided jurisprudence at the University of Bonn and so at the University of Berlin. He became distracted by imbibing, duelling and love authorship. He was aA GermanA philosopher, A political economic expert, A historiographer, A political theoretician, A sociologist, Communist, andA revolutionist, whose thoughts were credited as the foundation of modernA communism. Marx summarized his attack in the first line of chapter one ofA The Communist Manifesto, which he published jointly with Fredriech Engels, in 1848: “ The history of all hitherto bing society is the history ofA category battles. ” Marx argued thatA capitalist economy, like old socioeconomic systems, would necessarily bring forth internal tensenesss which would take to its destructionA ( Baird, Forrest E. ; Walter Kaufmann ( 2008 ) ) .A

Merely asA capitalist economy replaced feudal system, he believedA socialismA would, in its bend, replace capitalist economy, and lead to aA stateless, classless societyA calledA pure communism. This would emerge after a transitional period called the “ absolutism of the labor ” : a period sometimes referred to as the “ workers province ” or “ workers ‘ democracy ” .A

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In subdivision one ofA The Communist ManifestoA Marx describes feudal system, capitalist economy, and the function internal societal contradictions play in the historical procedure. In his life Marx had many cardinal influences that impacted towards his ideas. Three that I would wish to speak about are Enlightenment, Utopian Socialism and Gallic category stuggles.


The Enlightenment was an intellecual motion which marked the rise of the middle class in Europe of the 17th and 18th centuries, in which thoughts of God, ground, nature and homo were shaped in adherance to capitalist political orientation through radical developments in art, doctrine and political relations. Central to Enlightenment was the lift of Reason.

The rise of empirical and rational natural scientific discipline ( Bacon, Copernicus, Galileo, Descartes, Leibneiz and Newton ) , Renaissance art, and the Protestant reformation laid the footing for the enlightenment. For Luther, as for Bacon or Descartes, the manner to truth ballad in the application of human ground, instead than the authorization of the Fathers of the Church.

Inevitable, Reason was applied to religion itself taking to Deism, particularly in England and France, and the more extremist merchandises of the application of ground to faith: agnosticism, godlessness and materialsim. The Enlightenment produced the first modern theories of psychological science, linguistic communication, political economic system and moralss – Locke, Hobbes, David Hume, Adam Smith and Bentham in England, Rousseau, Montesquieu, Diderot and Voltaire in France, Thomas Jefferson in America and Goethe, Schiller, Immanual Kant and Fichte in Germany, for illustration.

Therefore the Enlightenment became critical, reforming and finally radical with an germinating review of the arbitrary, autocratic province and the construct of a higher from of societal administration, based on natural rights and person freedom which found look as reform in England and revolution in France and America.

The reaction that followed the Jacobin application of scientific discipline to societal advancement in France ( Thermidor in 1794 ) and the turning societal torment following the application of scientific discipline to industry in Britain, confronted the middle class with the horror-stricken world of the execution of their thoughts, and brought an terminal to the Enlightenment period. The undermentioned cultural period, known as Romanticism, took a darker position of the human status, seeking consolation in the idealization of the past and chew overing the autumn of world. ( hypertext transfer protocol: //www.marxists.org/glossary/terms/e/n.htm # enlightenment )

Marx was at the same time so much a merchandise of the enlightenment, and so much a merchandise of the romantic rebellion once more the enlightenment. Like the Gallic materialists of the 18th century, Marx believed in advancement, believed that history was a additive procedure, non, as the ancient universe had thought, that is was a insistent rhythm of growing and decay ; but like the critics of the enlighenment, such as Burke, de Maistre, and Hegel, he thought that societal alteration had non occurred in the past and would non happen in the hereafter simply because some enlightenment individuals could see that it would be more sensible to act in a different manner. It was violent and irrational forces which brought about important alteration, and the reason of the whole historical procedure was something we could understand merely after the event. His brush with Marx seems to hold inspired Berline to cope with the anti-enlightenment ; he has since written at length about the anit-rationalist critics of radical and broad undertakings, such as Herder, de Maister and Hamann.

Marxism portions with the enlightenment a belief in the capacity of human ground to both conquer nature and better the form our political and societal life. The enlightenment can look to disregard or understate the passions that lead work forces and adult females to be concerned about more than comfort and convenient life. The aim, analytical and reductionist scientific logical thinking of the enlightenment leads us off from acknowledging, the beauty of the universe in which we live ; the alone qualities of single people and things ; the power of our subjective imaginativeness to form and alter our universe ; the digesting importance of cryptic questions-such as about our beginnings and topographic point in the universe as a whole-that resist difficult and fast replies.

Marx supports enlightenment thoughts and attempts to convey them together with romantic subjects. He believed, with the enlightenment, that scientific idea was they key to explicating and pull stringsing the universe to accommodate human intents. But these intents were non merely to do life easier, to enable us to work less difficult and purchase more material goods. Rather, for Marx, scientific idea enables us to assist understand the universe and ourselves in deepness and to revolutionise the political, societal and natural universes in which we live. Rather than neglect deep and cryptic inquiries, it reveals the replies to us. It explains to us our true nature and fate as productive species existences. Rather than assist us fulfill the desires we have now, it teaches us what desires we would hold if we were genuinely free. It explains to us the beginnings of our thoughts of God and why we should abandon them. It explains to us how our political and societal universe was formed and where it is heading. It explains non merely the force but the beginning of our subjective thoughts about the universe. It explains to us the beginnings of human struggle and the manner in which we will be able to get the better of such struggle. Marx besides believed, with the enlightenment, that utile cognition would take to a great enlargement in human productive powers. But Marx romanticizes machinery and mills. He sees them non merely as tools for the production of utile goods, but as the agencies by which human existences can transform nature and overcome scarceness and necessity. Marx surely believed, with the enlightenment, in the democratisation of cognition and the importance of the diffusion of cognition for democracy. Marx held that cognition of the universe around us could be spread among all people. He held that everyone could and should come to understand their political and societal life so that they can play a portion in the radical transmutation of it. And the spread of cognition was, of class, vitally of import to his desire to make a extremist democracy, one in which everyone has an equal portion of political influence.

Utopian Socialism

Utopia – literally “ nowheresville ” – was the name of an fanciful democracy described by Thomas More in which all societal struggle and hurt has been overcome. There have been many versions of Utopia over the old ages, many of them visions of socialist society. Although Marx and Engels defined their ain socialismA in resistance to Utopian Socialism ( which had many advocators in the early 19th century ) , they had huge regard for the great Utopian socialists like Charles Fourier and Robert Owen.

By depicting how people would populate ifA everyone adhered to the socialist ethic, Utopian socialism does three things: it inspires the laden to fight and give for a better life, it gives a clear significance to the purpose of socialism, and it demonstrates how socialism isA ethical, that is, that the principles of socialism can be applied without excepting or working anyone.

The job with Utopian socialism is that it does non concern itself withA how to acquire at that place, assuming that the power of its ain vision is sufficient, or withA whoA theA agentA of the battle for socialism may be, and, alternatively of deducing its ideal fromA criticismA of bing conditions, it plucks its vision readymade from the Godhead ‘s ain head. Over 40 versions of Utopia were published between 1700 and 1850. Engels makes particular reference of Morelly’sA Code of Nature. ( hypertext transfer protocol: //www.marxists.org/subject/utopian/ )

The Socialist and Communist systems decently so called, those of Saint-Simon, Fourier, Owen and others, sprung into being in the early undeveloped period, of the battle between labor and middle class. Whilst Marx had regard for the Utopian Socialists he criticised their several positions on the topic. One of these was Claude Henri Saint-Simon ( 1970-1825 ) , whom fought in the American revoltion, and was in prison during the Gallic revolution. Saint-Simon wanted an atheist society that was led by scientific discipline and industry. Another individual Marx criticised is Robert Owen ( 1772-1858 ) . Owen wanted compassionate capitalist economy with some collectivity. He built a vicinity in and around New Lanark Mill, which had schools to develop the immature and a topographic point where the older coevals could retireaˆ¦which Marx criticised. Charles Fourier ( 1772-1837 ) was another theoretician Marx disagreed with. Fourier wanted to acquire rid of war wholly and alternatively of war have cake eating competitions where everyone was happy ; he besides wanted to replace the sea with lemoade.

Marx socialism is really much a scientific discipline, and he gives many guidelines to accomplish the ultimate end that he writes about. He teaches non merely of the happy stoping, but the work to be done in between. He besides came rather a spot subsequently than the Utopian Socialists.

Utopian socialism is a really different thing. Around the twelvemonth 1820, the center of the industrial revolution, there was a batch of alteration, and a batch of social growing. The Utopian minds, for the most portion, were reacting to a social gulf, and a society that no longer held traditional values. Celebrated Utopian socialist ‘s inclue Fourier, Saint- Simons and Owen, French and British. There were besides Germans who upheld these thoughts. Most Utopian philosophers differ greatly in their ideals, but they all strive to make a universe that is Utopian in its nature, a Eden for people to populate in.

However, the chief difference between Marxism and Utopian Socialism is the ‘getting at that place ‘ . The Utopian socialists do non believe of the long term, or how hard it will be to make the universes that they envision.

Class Struggles

Marx was 25 he married his fiancee Jenny von Westphalen. He and his bride moved to Paris a twelvemonth subsequently, where he took up the history of the Gallic Revolution, studied the work of Utopian socialists and English and Gallic economic experts. In Paris, Marx attended workers ‘ meetings ; he got in touch with the leaders of the secret League of the Just, and met members of cloak-and-dagger Gallic workers ‘ societies. He became cognizant of the development of the workers by mill proprietors.

Marx looked at capitalsim as making merely two major categories: the middle class and the labor. The borgeoisie literally means city-dwellers in French ( most of the affluent concern categories lived in the cty ) , and labor is a term he borrowed from history ; it was originally used to place portion of the category system of Imperial Rome – a group one round up from the slaves. These groups were capitalists and the workers, severally. The middle class were proprietors of the agencies of production ; the prolitariat worked for them. Marx pointed out that members of each of the two chief categories have involvements in common. These category or corporate involvements are in struggle with those of the other category as a whole. This in bend leads to conflict between single members of different categories.

The middle class were different from the nobility in that the beginning of their wealth was non purely found in societal line of descent. Although many familial wealth, they were forced to put it in order to do money. Much of the money of this group came from household net incomes. Although some were former blue bloods, many came from the merchandiser category and invested their money to do more money. Marx made some room for what he referred to as the bantam middle class – those who have significant net incomes like store proprietors and professional people. However, one distinguishing characteristic is the thought that the middle class own the agencies of production. Most do non necessitate to work because it is through the investing of capital that they become rich and maintain their wealth. Everyone else works for them. Besides, the arugment can be made that attorneies, physicians and little store proprietors ( a group now quickly vanishing ) simply serve the demands of capital that has been invested. They all work for the middle class to maintain the machine running.

Marx proposed that it is category, more than anything else, which determines one ‘s consciousness. This is to state that one sees the universe through one ‘s category place and acts consequently. The middle class understand that they need to pay workers low rewards to do greater net incomes, and so they can move in behalf of their ain best involvements in making so. They realise their place, who they are, and what they are making. On the other manus, the proletairat has no such power and no apprehension of their ain potency. For the most portion, they feel fortunate to be exploited and to hold a occupation. Because the occupations at which they work are for the most portion in the service of person else and non themselves, they merely get proof of who they are and what they are deserving through their payroll check. They see themselves as powerless and, hence, need to take on the consciousness of the middle class – the consciousness of their oppressors. They become what Malcolm Ten referred to as ‘house slaves ‘ . The bulk identify with their oppressors and therefore do non see themselves as exploited workers. By private ownership of the media, the authorities, and the educational system, the middle class keep workers in a fog, ne’er leting them to be genuinely educated or to gain their full potency. ( hypertext transfer protocol: //books.google.co.uk )

Marx thought that this struggle was cardinal to the societal construction of capitalist economy and could non be abolished without replacing the system itself. Further, he argued that the nonsubjective conditions under capitalist economy would probably develop in a manner that encouraged a labor organized jointly for its ain ends to develop: the accretion of excess value as more agencies of production by the capitalists would let them to go more and more powerful, encouraging open category struggle. If this is non counteracted by increasing political and economic organisation by workers, it would necessarily do an utmost polarisation of the categories, promoting theA revolutionA that would destruct capitalist economy itself.

Overall, from what I have studied from the past few months I can see that many different factors and theories influenced Marx ‘s ideas, particularly those cited above.



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