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Marx and Darwin. Revolution and Evolution. Agency and Determinism. 18 th Century reason progress = history of rational actors 19 th Century irrational / natural forces progress = expression of determinants Power and morality. I. The Socialist Critique. From communes to Communism

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marx and darwin

Marx and Darwin

Revolution and Evolution

agency and determinism
Agency and Determinism

18th Centuryreasonprogress = history of rational actors

19th Centuryirrational / natural forcesprogress = expression of determinants

Power and morality

i the socialist critique
I. The Socialist Critique

From communes to Communism

Arise, wretched of the earthArise, convicts of hungerReason thunders in its volcanoThis is the eruption of the endOf the past let us wipe the slate cleanMasses, slaves, arise, ariseThe world is about to change its foundationWe are nothing, let us be all - theInternationale

a damn liberals
A. Damn Liberals!
  • Challenge to laissez-faire ethic- Haunted by Revolution(s)
  • Twin goals- political democracy (middle class)- economic justice (working class)
  • Fear / self-preservation- slaves to the IR
b utilitarian
B. Utilitarian
  • Rejection of Natural Rights- rights conflict- Principle of Utility Jeremy Bentham
  • Pursue economic needs of majority- communal good v. private good
c utopian
C. Utopian
  • Isn’t it Romantic?- rationalism = equality - free individual for creative talents
  • Collective abundance- Henri de Saint-Simone: “specialists” v. “capitalists”- Charles Fourier: “phalansteries”

Cooperation instead of competition

3. Theory to action- Robert Owen

4. Limits of Utopianism- motivation- animosity of capitalists- elites

Control of the mode of production?

d the road to revolution
D. The Road to Revolution

1. Reject Utopian Socialism- fear of self-interest- burden of “False Consciousness”

2.The Communist Manifesto1848- history / society governed by scientific laws- mode of production = power (materialism)

Friedrich Engels Scientific Socialism

3. Dialectical Materialism

- “History…is the history of class struggle”

- industrial capitalism is creating its own antithesis- rise of the Bourgeoisie

G.F. Hegel

  • Marx the Prophet- judgment day worker’s paradise“from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs”- trained revolutionaries to read the signs- class consciousness defeats nationalism- material culture → human nature
ii darwin s dangerous idea
II. Darwin’s Dangerous Idea

The transposition of the Victorian mind

“There is grandeur in this view of life”- Charles Darwin

a this old earth
A. This Old Earth

1. Science and exploration- Alex. Von Humboldt; Charles Lyell- ecology / geology “historical”- Transmutation of SpeciesHMS Beagle

b reluctant revolutionary
B. Reluctant Revolutionary

1. The “Dismal Science”- Galapagos journey 1835- un-Romantic; deterministic; conflict- Alfred Russell Wallace

2. On the Origin of the Species1859- Natural Selection

- “place” / “niche”- “divergence”

c the upshot
C. The Upshot

1. The Descent of Man 1871- cosmological revolution

2. Social Darwinism- Herbert Spencer

Racism/ Anti-Semitism

Class exploitation / Imperialism

Ecological Awareness