Karl Marx Was One of Term Paper
- Length: 10 pages
- Subject: Sociology
- Type: Term Paper
- Paper: #76011375
Excerpt from Term Paper :
Geology was one of the sources of Marx's views about social system and it's structure (the idea of formation). Among the biological discoveries that influenced on Marx's sociological views were the discovery of cell, cell theory of the organism's structure and the most important was evolutionary teaching of Darwin that was stated in work "The origins of species." Marx saw biological analogue of his theories in Darwin's work and it was a stimulus for further work as well.
The basic question of sociology is a question about interaction of material and spiritual values in the life of society.
Marx introduced a new and independent variable in this process, which plays a key role in the relations that exist in society and it was a mode of material production. Besides he supported the views about the initial role of being in relation to society's consciousness, but not in the sense of the appearance of being and then consciousness but in the matter of accepting the key role of the being in the process of interaction. Marx made an analysis of the conditions of productive powers, scientific and technological knowledge, material relations between people.
Marx marked in his work to the critics of political economy:
The mode of production of material life directs social, political and spiritual processes of life in general. it's not consciousness that defines the being, but visa versa, their social being defines their consciousness." (Marx, Karl Preface to a Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy p.14)
The statement that Marx developed his theory from the perspective of economical determinism, in other words explains the foundation of definite social structures and relations, political and cultural institutes from the tendency of economical development, even though that in real life the reverse and opposite relations are observed, because there are a lot of factors that have an impact of economics and the mode of production.
But if to look from the critical point-of-view on Marx's theory we would notice that making an accent on mode of production, he didn't take into consideration the role of cultural, spiritual and religious values in the development of society. But Marx during his life mentioned that economical determinism was not the major concept of his theory, but he looked on the interaction of all the factors that caused the development of society.
Marx was the first sociologist that considered society to be objective, self-developing reality. The oringins for this kind of self-development lied in contradictions and conflicts mainly of material life:
On the certain stage of the development material powers of society's production come to the contradictions with existing productive relations... From the forms of production development these relations become its fetters. At this moment the epoch of social revolution comes... Consciousness has to be explained from the contradictions of material life, from the existing conflict between society's productive forces and productive relations."
Marx, Karl Preface to a Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy p.28)
It's important to pay attention to the principles. The moving forces of society's development are the contradictions between productive forces and productive relations. Social revolution is not a political chance, but a natural manifestation of a historical need. The consciousness of people reflects real life contradictions. In other words, independent from subjective ambitions of individuals, ruling classes, masses think and act according to the character of contradictions, imainly in material life. The nature of conflicts and contradictions change- so the forms of people's thinking change and the reevaluation of common values takes place. If the material interests of masses are not taken into consideration, if the contradictions grow and become sharp, then the revolutionary consciousness appears, that motivates masses into motion, and by the means of social revolution radical changes take place as well qualitative renovation of social relations takes place as well.
Such views on society came to history of public thought as dialectic materialism. Karl Marx applied it to the concrete analysis of capitalism of his time. By the words of Marx:
Bourgeois productive relations are the last antagonistic form of social process of production, which is antagonistic not in the sense of individual antagonism, but in the sense of antagonism that grows from social conditions of individuals' life; but developing productive forces in the entrails of bourgeois society create material conditions for the solution of this antagonism. That's why bourgeois social formation ends the prehistory of human society."(Marx, Karl Capital: A Critique of Political Economy p.21)
The main task of sociologist by Marx is the examination of existing modes of production and the search of contradictions of material and class distinctions of individual's existence, which could cause revolution -- the main moving force of the progress " in reality for practical materialist, that is for communist, the main task is to revolutionarize existing world, in order to practically come out against existing matter of things and change it."(Marx, Karl Capital: A Critique of Political Economy p.23)
In defining the individual Marx made three premises. The first one, according to Marx is that a man has to exist, because he has to perform history. This thesis has two possible interpretations: "a man has to exist because he has to." it's an implicit definition which looks like religious dogma: "God exists because he has to." Both of statements has no material or theoretical proof. Karl Marx didn't make any persuasive attempt to apply to his theory of mans' existence, some anthropological and evolutionary teachings, which is surprising for an educated man of the 19th century.
The second premise tells that according to modern philosophical and anthropological theories we can answer on the question about the existence of a man but from a different perspective. A man appeared not to make history. The history of existence of other species is more ancient than one of a man, but we speak about man as about one of the forms of animal world. That's why from the philosophical position we can allow to state, that man exists because he exists, not because he has to. The second premise was taken correctly. The labor created a man. Only the growth of man's needs caused a progress. Marx observed this premise carefully and made a correct conclusion about the reasons of man's progress during the transition to pristine social formation.
In the third premise Marx contradicts himself. Coming out from his classification of societies: that primitive people were united into tribes, but Marx didn't take into consideration one particularity of tribe relations: that there was no social unit as a family in those tribes, such social unit that carries the definition of a family according to him.
Those relations were close to the relations that existed in the animal world. But according to Marx the family was initial, and it later transformed into something.
In the definition of the individual by Marx the material basis is clearly observed: "The primary activity of these individuals (humans) that differentiates them from animals, consists not in the fact that they are able to reason, but in the fact that they start to produce necessary means for their life." (Marx, Karl Preface to a Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy p.19)
It was different to the thoughts of philosophers (sociologists) of the past, who marked the Devine origin of a man and later his spiritual nature. He made a right hypothesis but made a wrong conclusion, as the human is not able to produce anything without the process of thinking and reasoning, otherwise his activity will be on the level of animal instincts.
It's not consciousness that defines the being, but visa versa, their social being defines their consciousness." (Marx, Karl Preface to a Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy p.14)
Karl Marx doesn't look on a man as on personality in general, he only pays his attention to the individual's class heritage. That's why we can say that the definition of a man as a personality is absent in Marx sociology; he looks on the class or on estate from general perspectives.
The society by Marx is a class of oppressed and the class of oppressors and their economical and social contradictions. The state by Marx is the unity of big business and institutions of power which are directed on its support.
Marx considered the ruling class to be the class that had the means of production in his property. In his works talking about dominating class he mentioned bourgeoisie, but mainly bankers and industrial magnates. Small business, engineers, teachers, clerks considered to be the class of philistines and were the main support of big bourgeoisie. Oppression was characterized basically by the fact that bourgeoisie had all the essential means of production, capital, power, ideologists, police, judicial system and periodicals.
The attitude towards the philosophers, political scientists and sociologists of the past was mostly negative. He considered them to be the hyenas, that ate the food of ruling class and who were ready to change the history for the good of…