From: “Yongho Kim”
Sent: Monday, September 20, 2004 2:04 PM
Subject: Marx Notes
September 20, 2004
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, Opposition of the Materialist and Idealist Outlook
- German Ideology is a work that unfolds from the context of the Hegelian/socialist debates in Germany. In it, Marx criticizes idealist reformists such as Max Stirner and Bruno.
- Marx and Engels point out that the world, which belongs to the material, cannot be changed through discussion of ideas about it, but through the actual conditions of it. The term real condition is a term they come back throughout the work.
- Engels develops a revision of history according to its materialist configuration: the tribal ownership with slaves as property and family as a force of production, the city-state in which slavery persists and the community is a unit of production, the feud in which the unit is the feud and the rise aristocracy in opposition to the urban bourgeoisie, and the contemporary situation in which the tensions between the feud and the town classes peaks.
- Marx tries to bridge the material and mental aspects of the man by focusing on his labor as a material condition that determines his consciousness. Because men worked 12 or more hours a day during the early industrial setting in Germany, this argument had strength of proof.
- Marx and Engels point out at the division of labor and the specialization arising thereof as a precondition of the alienation of man and the resulting social oppression. McGee and Warms criticize this perspective by showing that society cannot sustain itself without division of labor.