Introducing Marxism: A Graphic Guide by Rupert Woodfin (Author), Oscar Zarate (Illustrator)
Private property must be abolished via revolution.
Wanted a progressive tax system and free education.
“Religion is the opium of the masses”
[Like Rousseau, people are naturally not selfish/good, but with the introduction of classes & capitalism it then cause people to exploit each other] – Thus profit and the need for it is bad
Hegel felt that the apogee of the Absolute was the state (this lead to fascism via veneration of the state). The dialectic and continual progress led to the idea of communism with the inevitability of progress (and no object truth -my note).
Dialetical materialism (Hegel the Absolute is Ideal that leads to material; Marks the absolute is material that leads to ideas).
The thesis (capitalism) will give way to the new antithesis (socialism). The synthesis will leave out all the bad parts of capitalism while retaining the good (ie new technology)
Believed that capital will concentrate on the capitalists/bourgeoise and due to increasing technology would have less need for workers. Workers would then unite and overthrow the capitalists. Leading to an eschatological classless society. Lenin though that the proletariat would be a class themselves and start he “dictatorship of the proletariat.” Marx thought this uprising against a class structure, would cause the worker class to abandon “classes” once they overthrow the bourgeoise. This will then be the realization of socialism. “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.”
Bourgeoise take advantage/exploit the workers. The only variable costs is the laborers’ hours, thus they are forced to work longer for less.
Marx is very wary of technology’s ability to displace workers
3 “laws” that would end capitalism (tried make communism a scientific endeavor): Law of capitalist accumulation, law of the concentration of capital, and law of increasing misery.
Alienation keeps us from the product of our hands, which now belong to the capitalists for profit. Work becomes drudgery. It makes us unhappy. In current times, we are still looking for the “alienation” that makes us unhappy.
Felt capitalism made people objects.
Trotsky thought the urban proletariats and peasants would not unite. He also felt an international uprising was needed to sustain the revolution.
Saw the nation-state as a bourgeoise creation. Revolution had to be international ie Marx is a globalist.
Lenin saw imperialism as the last stage of capitalism. Through global domination the new proletariat would be the “toiling masses “
Antonio Gramsci modified Marx by emphasizing the role of human agency and choice while maintaining the idea of class struggle. He noted that ideas could bring about revolution. He noted hegemony is seen as “common sense” and “natural.” These ideas are also necessary, besides economic force and power, to control the people. And who implements these cultural norms? Those in power! How? Via instiutions such as the educational system and mass media. Disadvantaged must not completely unite, just work together, and keep their distinctions. All groups can make their own special contribution to the struggle and form a popular collective will. Gramsci noted that the revolution would need to take time to change culture, as those in power still had the control of force (ie 1960’s French revolution). He made everyday culture political.
Gramsci and the Frankfurt school denied Marx’s economic determinism. They were interested in Freudian concepts, mass media, the culture industry, and the sociology of “mass society.”
Althusser’s concept of ideological state apparatus. The dominant ideology sucks in the individual (“interpellates”).
Marxists today still insist on the evolutionary movement and change based on a doctrine of material relations and social action.
Fukuyama thought a liber capitalist society was the “end of history” in the way that it was the end game of Hegel’s dialectic ie the Absolute realized.
Antagonisms can arise through not only class, but gender ethnicity, age, etc. Thus there can be struggles everywhere, there can be strange alliances, and unity is very difficult.
Postmodernism sees you not as an individual but a collection of narratives.
Laclau and Mouffe are radical b/c they politicize the whole of life. Power relations are everywhere.
Marx’s system was not falsifiable (Popper) and didn’t anticipate a middle class that became owners via stocks and bank investments.
A contradiction in Marxism was its need for someone / some class to control the centralization. There were Lenin’s promises that the government was only provisional, but that is not what happened… Staling notes this contradiction “reflects the Marxist dialectic…”
At the end of the 19th century, contrary to Marx’s prediction, wages went up and people were enjoying a higher standard of living.
Third world countries, not industrial ones, adopted Marxism