“Philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is, to change it”.
“Three of capitalism’s basic features make it anti-ecological: an imperative for constant expansion of the economy as a whole; the drive for profit in each economic unit; and a built-in focus on the short term. Marx captured capitalism’s general drive for expansion with his classic definition of the root purpose of the system—the “self-expansion” of capital, symbolized as M-C-M’. The process begins with money, M, which is turned into a commodity C, to be sold on the market for M’, where M’ is more money than the original M. The cycle then repeats on an enlarged basis with a larger starting pot of capital, M’. Thus capitalism entirely abstracts the exchange value of a commodity from its use value. Put another way, the only thing that matters is whether a commodity can be sold for more money than was used to manufacture it, not whether it’s actually useful.” –Chris Williams
Benefits of Capitalism: innovation/science, higher standard of living/quality of life, progress
Negatives: boom and bust cycle, exploitation of workers, exploitation of the natural environment
Marx & Engels use the terms to mean essentially the same thing, ideas that reflect the interests of a particular class at a particular time in history, but which are presented as universal and eternal.
“The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.”
- Derived from Hegel’s dialectic, the belief that truth (synthesis) emerges from a comparison of a thesis and anti-thesis.
- According to Marx, there were four distinct stages in human history, all defined by the primary means of property ownership:
- Each of these steps represents a distinct mode of production, and the transitions between each are marked by stormy conflicts and violence.
- Marx’s version was that human history was a series of steps towards a perfect economic arrangement—an inevitable march. According to marx, capitalism was the result of conflict between lords and serfs in feudal society and between guild masters and journeymen in pre-capitalistic society. The resulting conflicts created the capitalist class or bourgeoisie, which owns the means of production, and the wage workers or proletariat class, which has to sell its labor to survive.
The Labor Theory of Value