Karl Marx Labor And Production, Dialectics And Materialism.

1241 words - 5 pages

Karl Marx was born in a time of contradiction. Capitalism was becoming the economic basis for society. The Industrial Revolution pushed people out of a life of agriculture in which they had decided how to do their work, into factories where they produced as much as possible in a certain amount of time each day. This was the time of the greatest rise in manufacturing and good, and also a time with the greatest rise in a poor population. Marx explored this phenomenon and drew conclusions about it. He used the methods of materialism and dialectics. His theory arose not from speculation, but rather from looking at who does what to whom. What Marx saw was one class exploiting another. His method of materialism was in opposition to philosophers of the time. These philosophers said that to understand history, one must understand the people and their ideas. Marx says the opposite, that people's ideas stem from their necessities. To understand humanity must understand the economic state. He said to understand any society must look at who owns the means of production and who does the work. Any society in history can be understood by looking at their economic system, for that is the basis for everything in that society. Any system of economic production is composed of two things. The first is forces of production, which include raw materials, tools, technology and such. The second is the relations of production, who owns the means of production, who does the work, and class relations. A societies system of economic production forms their ideas, cultural norms, and beliefs. Take for example the period in the United States when slavery was a large part of the economy. Culture, politics, and religion all basically supported it. When slavery became illegal and no longer part of the economy, society did not support it. In modern times as long as capitalism rules society will accept individualism and the common good will mean nothing.His other method was that of dialectics, which is reality in process. Dialectics aims to understand things concretely in every aspect, with opposite and contradictory sides in unity. This is why the same thing can cause conflicting outcomes. Marx focused dialectical analysis on capitalism, and found the contradictions of modern production. The system of modern production is socially collective, but ownership is private. There is organization in production, but anarchy in distribution. This contradiction has led to the distinctive formation of social relations between two economic classes. The bourgeoisie who own the means of production, and the proletariat who are the laborers. The capitalist ideally wants to produce the most for the lowest wages. Conflicting this ideal is that the worker wants slower pace of production and higher wages. But in a capitalistic society it does not matter what the worker wants. This is because those who own the means of production are the ruling class, and their ideas are the ideas that rule society. To...

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