Key points marxism


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  • Created by: kesha
  • Created on: 09-04-12 10:56

Key Points - Marxism

Historical materialism 
Forces of production (material needs - food, shelter)
Eventually produced 2 classes - means of production, class of labourers

Together - mode of production - Mode of production forms econmoic base of society (superstructure) determines all the other features of society.

Successive class societies:
Ancient, Feudal, Capitalist

Capitalism (Bourgeoisie + Proletariat)
The proletariat do not recieve the value of the goods that their labour produces, only the cost of the subsistence. The difference between the 2 is surplus value (profit)

Class consciousness - capitalism sews the seeds of it's own destruction. Capitalism creates the conditions in which the working-class develop a conciousness. (proletariat become aware of its need to overthrow capitalism)
Ideology - also controls the production of ideas. (Institutions such as religion, media)
Alienation - result of loss of control 

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The state, revoloution and communism: State is made up of bodies of men - army, police, prisons, courts etc
Abolish the state, create a classless communist society, abolish exploitation, replace private ownership with social ownership, & end alienation.

Ev - Marx predicted ultimate victory, of the proletarian revoloution and the establishment of world-wide communist society. There is little evidence happening so far.

Marx sees class as the only important division
two-model is simplistic

Gramsci and Hegemony
Explains how the ruling-class maintain its position: coercion - police, army - capitalist state. Consent (hegemony) - persuade that their rule is legitimate 

Ruling class - minority therefore make ideological compromises

Proletariat - dual consciousness - see through dominant ideology. Only lead to revoloution

Ev - Gramsci under-emphasises the role of both state coercion and economic factors: workers may wish to overthrow capitalism, but may not try because they fear state repression or unemployement. 

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Althusser's structuralist Marxism
Criticisms of the base-structure model
Marx stated that society's economic base determines itws superstructure of institutions, ideologis etc, and that contradictions in the base cause changes in the superstructure.

Althusser's structual determinism is more complex:
The economic level - comprising all those activities that involve producing something in order to satisfy a need.
The political level - comprising all forms of organisation
The ideological level - involving the ways that people see themselves and their world.

Ideological and repressive state apparatuses
RSAs - armed bodies of men
ISAs - manipulating the mind

Althusser's criticism of humanism
For structual marxists, free will, choice and creativity are an illusion - everything is the product of underlying social structures.
Humans are meerly puppets 

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