Home Exam Compare the Notion of State Term Paper

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Compare the notion of state in Hegel with Marx's view

Both Hegel and Marx are dialectical materialists, in that both philosophers see the progress of human history in terms of an eternal and alternating struggle for control of the state instruments of power, a struggle between the haves and the have-nots. But rather than the political outlook of Hegel, who stresses the dialectical struggle of the classes in terms of who possesses political and governmental power, Marx identifies the struggle of the have-nots with the proletariat, the producers of wealth who are oppressed and exploited by capitalists. The state is no longer primarily determined in view of who rules the government, but who owns and dominates the economy in Marx.

Marx's view of the state, law, etc., as based upon the modes of production, depends upon his view of the human being. Discuss and exemplify.

The Marxist theory of the state derives from Marx's view of human beings as materialistic or economically motivated entities. Thus, the rulers of the modern state are determined to defend their interests against the proletariat whom they exploit. The capitalists are ready to recruit the violent means of the state where necessary to defend their modes of production and economic way of life. Thus the state and its laws
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are said to be nothing but capitalist instruments and ways to protect private ownership and capitalist modes of production. The state serves the ideology of capitalism, rather than political, religious, or ideological powers.

When does capitalism begin according to Marx? Of what is it constituted?

Capitalism begins with the concept of private property and ownership, whereby capitalists can own the modes of production yet do no work. The products of social labor become attached to particular individuals called capitalists, who often have played no part in the creation of such labor (they might inherit a factory or apartment building from their father, for example. Capitalists do not actually create anything at all -- rather the proletariat workers generate the goods sold at a profit for the capitalist. Simply by acquiring a factory, one can make a profit, yet do no real work, other than owning the factory, and thus capitalism is constituted as a system, as a perpetual means of exploiting those who work (the proletariat) by those who own (capitalists).

"The philosophers have only interpreted the world in different ways; the point is to change it," says Marx (Theses on Feuerbach XI). Contrast Hegel and Marx on social change. What are the ingredients for a revolution according to Marx?

The required ingredients for a true social revolution, in Marx's view, do not just mean a change of regime, as Hegel suggests. Rather, an entirely…

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