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Historical materialism. Materialism as inversion of idealism: Marx turns Hegel upside down: economic conditions determine ideas, not the other way around. . Historical materialism.

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historical materialism
Historical materialism

Materialism as inversion of idealism: Marx turns Hegel upside down: economic conditions determine ideas, not the other way around.

historical materialism1
Historical materialism

Materialism as inversion of idealism: Marx turns Hegelaround: economic conditions determine ideas, not the other way around.

Marx turns Hegel back on his feet.

slide3

The materialist conception of history starts from the principle that production, and with production the exchange of its products, is the basis of every social order; that in every society that has appeared in history the distribution of the products, and with it the division of society into classes or estates, is determined by what is produced and how it is produced, and how the product is exchanged. According to this conception, the ultimate causes of all social changes and political revolutions are to be sought, not in the minds of men, in their increasing insight into eternal truth and justice, but in changes in the mode of production and exchange; they are to be sought not in the philosophy but in the economics of the epoch concerned. (Engels)

slide4

The materialist conception of history starts from the principle that production, and with production the exchange of its products, is the basis of every social order; that in every society that has appeared in history the distribution of the products, and with it the division of society into classes or estates, is determined by what is produced and how it is produced, and how the product is exchanged. According to this conception, the ultimate causes of all social changes and political revolutions are to be sought, not in the minds of men, in their increasing insight into eternal truth and justice, but in changes in the mode of production and exchange; they are to be sought not in the philosophy but in the economics of the epoch concerned. (Engels)

historical materialism2
Historical materialism

Materialism as inversion of idealism: Marx turns Hegelaround: economic conditions determine ideas, not the other way around.

Marx turns Hegel back on his feet.

(Economic) base – (political and cultural) superstructure

slide14

In order that a manner of life so well adapted to the peculiarities of capitalism could be selected at all, i.e. should come to dominate others, it had to originate somewhere, and not in isolated individuals alone, but as a way of life common to whole groups of men. This origin is what really needs explanation. Concerning the doctrine of the more naive historical materialism, that such ideas originate as a reflection or superstructure of economic situations, we shall speak more in detail below. At this point it will suffice for our purpose to call attention to the fact that without doubt, in the country of Benjamin Franklin's birth (Massachusetts), the spirit of capitalism (in the sense we have attached to it) was present before the capitalistic order. (Max Weber)

slide15

In order that a manner of life so well adapted to the peculiarities of capitalism could be selected at all, i.e. should come to dominate others, it had to originate somewhere, and not in isolated individuals alone, but as a way of life common to whole groups of men. This origin is what really needs explanation. Concerning the doctrine of the more naive historicalmaterialism, that such ideas originate as a reflection or superstructure of economic situations, we shall speak more in detail below. At this point it will suffice for our purpose to call attention to the fact that without doubt, in the country of Benjamin Franklin's birth (Massachusetts), the spirit of capitalism (in the sense we have attached to it) was present before the capitalistic order. (Max Weber)

cultural explanation
Cultural explanation:

Question of origin: a mode of life originating elsewhere (Puritanism) gets “selected” because it happens to suit capitalism

cultural explanation1
Cultural explanation:

Question of origin: a mode of life originating elsewhere (Puritanism) gets “selected” because it happens to suit capitalism (agency lies with capitalism)

Question of (ultimate) determination:

cultural explanation2
Cultural explanation:

Question of origin: a mode of life originating elsewhere (Puritanism) gets “selected” because it happens to suit capitalism (agency lies with capitalism)

Question of (ultimate) cause: sometimes ideas transform economic relations

slide22

Marx (visionary) – Lenin (formulate doctrine; founder of party)

Socrates - Plato (formulates doctrine; founder of

party)

slide23

Marx (visionary) – Lenin (formulate doctrine; founder of party)

Socrates - Plato (formulates doctrine; founder of

party)

Jesus –

slide24

Marx (visionary) – Lenin (formulate doctrine; founder of party)

Socrates - Plato (formulates doctrine; founder of

party)

Jesus – St. Paul (formulates doctrine; founder of

party)

karel apek 1890 19382
KarelČapek (1890 – 1938)

Journalist

Interest in pragmatism, William James. (Dr. Gall: “People who have ideas should never be allowed to have any influence on the events of this world.”)

karel apek 1890 19383
KarelČapek (1890 – 1938)

Journalist

Interest in pragmatism, William James. (Dr. Gall: “People who have ideas should never be allowed to have any influence on the events of this world.”

Science fiction or future-oriented works

r u r 1920
R.U.R. (1920)

Opening scene:

r u r 19201
R.U.R. (1920)

Opening scene:

Office work

r u r 19202
R.U.R. (1920)

Opening scene:

Office work

Global capitalism

slide33

Comedy:

Domin finishes Helen’s sentences; keeps holding her hand

slide34

Comedy:

Domin finishes Helen’s sentences; keeps holding her hand

Surprise inversion: Rossum [“Reason”] was mad

slide35

Comedy:

Domin finishes Helen’s sentences; keeps holding her hand

Surprise inversion: Rossum [“Reason”] was mad

Helen does not believe that Stella is a robot

and thinks the other managers are robots

slide36

Comedy:

Domin finishes Helen’s sentences; keeps holding her hand

Surprise inversion: Rossum [“Reason”] was mad

Helen does not believe that Stella is a robot

and thinks the other managers are robots

Humans playing robots (Bergson’s theory of laughter: an organism acting mechanically)

slide37

Robots: the products of industrialization when young Reason takes over from his father (“[Rossum] had no idea at all about industrial production”)

slide38

Robots: the products of industrialization when young Reason takes over from his father (“[Rossum] had no idea at all about industrial production”)

New type of laborer

r u r rossum s universal robots1
R.U.R. = Rossum’s Universal Robots

Robota = serf labor, hard, manual work

r u r rossum s universal robots2
R.U.R. = Rossum’s Universal Robots

Robota = serf labor, hard, manual work

Rozum = reason

slide42

Fabry: “to give birth to a machine is wonderful progress. It’s more convenient and it’s quicker, and everything that’s quicker means progress. Nature had no notion of the modern rate of work. From a technical point of view, the whole of childhood is quite pointless. Simply a waste of time.”

slide43

to give birth to a machine is wonderful progress. It’s more convenient and it’s quicker, and everything that’s quicker means progress. Nature had no notion of the modern rate of work. From a technical point of view, the whole of childhood is quite pointless. Simply a waste of time.

slide44

Ten years later

War leading to revolution, comp. to WWI and Russian Revolution

slide45

Ten years later

War leading to revolution, comp. to WWI and Russian Revolution

The Robot Manifesto: “Proclamation to all Robots in the world”

“Robots of the world! Many humans have fallen. We have taken the factory and we are masters of the world. The era of man has come to its end. A new epoch has arisen! Domination by robots!”

slide46

Busman: Dear lady, what I mean is that the price of labour is getting cheaper! Even with its food, a robot costs no more than three quarters of a cent per hour! It’s wonderful; every factory is buying robots as quick as they can to reduce production costs, and those that aren’t are going bankrupt.

Helena: Yes, that’s right, and throwing their workers out on the streets.

Busman: Haha, well of course they are! [ . . ]

slide47

Busman: Dear lady, what I mean is that the price of labour is getting cheaper! Even with its food, a robot costs no more than three quarters of a cent per hour! It’s wonderful; every factory is buying robots as quick as they can to reduce production costs, and those that aren’t are going bankrupt.

Helena: Yes, that’s right, and throwing their workers out on the streets.

Busman: Haha, well of course they are! [ . . ]

economic explanation
Economic explanation

Industrialization created a class that will overthrow bourgeoisie: the workers (Robots)

economic explanation1
Economic explanation

Industrialization created a class that will overthrow bourgeoisie: the workers (Robots)

Reforms (Helen), seeking recognition of workers as human, are useless

economic explanation2
Economic explanation

Industrialization created a class that will overthrow bourgeoisie: the workers (Robots)

Reforms (Helen), seeking recognition of workers as human, are useless

Only nationalism can avert united front of workers

economic explanation3
Economic explanation

Industrialization created a class that will overthrow bourgeoisie: the workers (Robots)

Reforms (Helen), seeking recognition of workers as human, are useless

Only nationalism can avert united front of workers

Historical reference point: WWI and Russian Revolution

religious explanation
Religious explanation:

Nana: robots are crime against God: only God can create. Humans must not try to imitate God.

natural explanation
Natural explanation

Only natural reproduction is possible. Once humans reproduce mechanically, nature revolts: humans can no longer reproduce.

ending
Ending?

Robots become human:

ending1
Ending?

Robots become human:

emotions

ending2
Ending?

Robots become human:

emotions

superfluous words

ending3
Ending?

Robots become human:

emotions

superfluous words

admire beauty

ending4
Ending?

Robots become human:

emotions

superfluous words

admire beauty

uselessness (Helen and Helen Robot)

ending5
Ending?

Robots become human:

emotions

superfluous words

admire beauty

uselessness (Helen and Helen Robot)

they will procreate like animals/humans (Alquist: “If you want to live you’ll have to breed, like animals!”)

ending6
Ending?

Robots become human:

emotions

superfluous words

admire beauty

uselessness (Helen and Helen Robot)

they will procreate like animals/humans (Alquist: “If you want to live you’ll have to breed, like animals!”)

Robots are re-naturalized: evolution continues