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KARL MARX

I. Theoretical Framework : Dialectical Historical Materialism

A. his framework for analysis was profoundly influenced by several philosophers: Hegel,
Veber and Fauerbach
1. What did he lift from these philosophers?
a. the concept of dialectics – change in society is a result of two opposing
forces coming together and will result in positive changes  conflict is the essence of
change
b. history – societal changes can be drawn in a society’s “social pyramid” 
changes in society are determined by its members
c. materialism – an object exists if and only if it can be verified by any of the five
senses. Anything metaphysical is insignificant in reasoning

B. DHM – looks into the relationship of classes in struggle: there will always be a ruling
class and a ruled over class
 also looks into the relationship of people to the methods/means of
production : those that own the means of production belong to the ruling class

C. DHM is depicted in his social pyramid that relates the effect of the forces and relations
of/to production to the values, benefits, religion and the general way of thinking of the
society’s members

Social superstructure – religion,


law, government

Relations to production –
private property, wages

Forces of production – land,


labor, capital & technology

II. IMPORTANT WORKS AND ITS CONTENTS


A. Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844
1. history under modern capitalism is the age of alienation in people’s
lives as producers
2. COMMUNISM : is achieved through revolts against private property
3. labor is the source of all wealth
4. workers only earn subsistence wages
5. human relations become merely money relations
6. workers become all the poorer the more wealth/output is produced
B. The Grundrisse
1. relates production processes to stages of social development
2. criticized the Classical analysis of production

C. Das Kapital
1. very important Marxist terminology : SURPLUS VALUE
2. Q: How does the capitalist cheat the workers?
A: through the persistence of subsistence wages and the utilization
of surplus value
3. laws that explain how and why capitalism is capable of self-destruction

D. What are the inherent elements of capitalism that will lead to its self-
destruction?
1. Falling Proft Rates and the Accumulation of Capital – competition is
the source of the dilemma as addinf to capital will decrease profits
2. Increasing Concentration of Economic Power – the larger firms which
produce more cheaply, will triumph in competition
3. Deepening Economic Crises and Economic Depressions – when capital
is substituted for labor, NO ONE WILL BE ABLE TO BUY THE GOODS
4. Industrial Reserve Army – more people willing to work for less wages
when capital accumulation becomes the norm
5. Increasing Misery of the Proletariat – will eventually be aware of their
plight and then REVOLT : in the Communist Manifesto, it is said that workers should
capture the economy and liberate themselves

E. Communist Manifesto – contained a ten-point plan for social change


1. abolition of property in land and the application of all land rents to
public purposes
2. a heavy or graduated income tax
3. abolition of all right to inheritance
4. confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels
5. centralization of credit in the lands of the state, by means of a national
bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly
6. centralization of the means of communication and transport in the hands
of the state
7. extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state,
the bringing into cultivation of wastelands, and the improvement of the soil generally in
accordance with a common plan
8. equal liability of all to labor. Establishment of armies specially for
agriculture
9. combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries, gradual
abolition of the distinction between town and country by a more equitable distribution of
the population over the country
10. free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of
children’s factory labor in its present form