Karl Marx. Ethan Fishman. Life. Karl Marx has had profoundly practical impact on world politics in late 19 th and early 20 th century. He was born on May 5 th , 1818 in Trier to a Lutheran converted family descended from Jewish Rabbis and Scholars.
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What did Marx mean by Praxis?
The first historical fact is … the production of material life itself. Therefore in any interpretation of history one has first of all to observe this fundamental fact in all its significance and all its implications and to accord it its due importance. It is well known that the Germans have never done this, and they have never, therefore, had an earthly basis for history and consequently never a historian.
In broad outlines Asiatic, ancient, feudal, and modern bourgeois modes of production can be designated as progressive epochs in the economic formation of society. The bourgeois relations of production are the last antagonistic form of the social process of production – antagonistic not in the sense of individual antagonism, but of one arising from the social conditions of life of the individuals; at the same time the productive forces developing in the womb of bourgeois society create the material conditions for the solution of that antagonism. The social formation brings, therefore, the prehistory of human society to a close.
Would you describe Marx as a humanist or a determinist? Why?
We therefore reject every attempt to impose on us any moral dogma whatsoever as an eternal, ultimate and forever immutable ethical law on the pretext that the moral world, too, has its permanent principle which stand above history and the differences between nations. We maintain on the contrary that all moral theories have been hitherto the product in the last analysis, of the economic conditions of society obtaining at the time… A really human morality which stands above class antagonisms and above any recollection of them becomes possible only at a stage of society which has not only overcome class antagonisms but has even forgotten them in practical life.
Was Marx mistaken in not calling for a strict political accountability of the political leadership to the rank-and-file proletariat?
What did Marx think of democratic socialists such as the Labor Party in England?
As a result, therefore, man (the worker) no longer feels himself to be freely active in any but his animal functions – eating, drinking, procreating, or at most in his dwelling and in dressing-up, etc.; and in his human functions he no longer feels himself to be anything but an animal. What is animal becomes human and what is human becomes animal.
With the seizing of the means of production by society, production of commodities is done away with, and, simultaneously, the mastery of the product over the producer. Anarchy in social production is replaced by systematic, definite organization. The struggle for individual existence disappears. Then for the first time man, in a certain sense, is finally marked off from the rest of the animal kingdom, and emerges from mere animal conditions of existence into really human ones. The whole sphere of the conditions of life which environ man, and which have hitherto ruled man, who for the first time becomes the real, conscious lord of Nature, because he has now become master of his own social organization.
Do you think that Marx has a realistic view of human nature?
Can reform of the industrial workplace forestall the proletarian revolution Marx predicts?
Along with the constantly diminishing number of the magnates of capital, who usurp and monopolize all advantages of the process of transformation, grows the mass of misery, oppression, slavery, degradation, exploitation; but with this too grows the revolt of the working class, a class always increasing in numbers, and disciplined, united, organized by the very mechanism of the process of capitalist production itself. The monopoly of capital becomes a fetter upon the mode of production, which has sprung up and flourished along, and under it. Centralization of the means of production and socialization of labor at last reach a point where they become incompatible with their capitalist integument. This integument is burst asunder. The knell of capitalist private property sounds. The expropriators are expropriated.
Do you agree with Marx that only human labor, and not machines, can produce economic value?
Why is Marxism sometimes described as a secular religion?
To what extent have capitalist societies met the standards of political justice outlined by Marx in his Communist Manifesto?
Did the Hurricane Katrina tragedy on the Gulf Coast illustrate the evils of capitalism about which Marx warns?