An Analytic Review of the Marx-Engels Reader by Robert C. Tucker Essay

An Analytic Review of the Marx-Engels Reader by Robert C. Tucker Essay.

I will start my critique of this book by citing an excerpt from the Manifesto of the Communist Party proclaiming that the societies that have passed and continually exist are an absolute exposition of the contradiction of social groups based on the economic conditions. As Marx and Engels (1848) put it, “the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.”

Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guild-master and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended, either in a revolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes.

            As it has been witnessed for more than one hundred and fifty years, Marxist philosophy caused much of the world’s tumultuous events. Indeed, dialectics brought dictators down from their thrones, liberated oppressed people, united peasants, workers and the toiling masses towards a revolutionary change, and proved that at specific points in history, armed confrontations are inevitable because the antagonism between the oppressor and the oppressed is a violent contradiction.

  It is quite enlightening to know that Marxist philosophy can be claimed as the only philosophy that has deeply rooted among the masses, one that stirred their hearts and made the meekest of them grasp historical materialism and dialectical materialism. The answer, I think, is that of all the philosophies that have tried to interpret what the world is; only Marxism meddled with how to change the present conditions. It even turned peasants into generals, workers into party leaders and quite amusing that after the second world war, one third of humanity lives in a Marxist society.

            While the Manifesto of the Communist Party on pages 469-500 provided us with the historical emergence of the bourgeoisie and proletarian class and their certain collision, the Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844 gave us a vivid understanding of what was the cause of the contradiction between social classes, the hostility within the mode of production – that is the accumulation of private property. It is quite interesting for me to know what “labor” has caused and therefore, what I, as a man possessing an ability to put forth “labor”, am capable of doing. It also came to my realization though, that for centuries working men are bound by the shackles of wage labor.

On his Theses on Feuerbach, from pages 143 to 145, Karl Marx said something about men which I think is agreeable. He said that men are neither products nor they can be changed into what they are by the “circumstances or upbringing” but it is human activity that creates the circumstances where human conditions persist. So it can be derived that men are not governed by destiny of pre-supposed existence of metaphysical proportions, rather, the world we have right now is a world men has created. It makes me realize then that wars, famines, poverty, and even global warming are the circumstances that human activity has created and the persisting conditions humanity has to face.

Though Karl Marx or Friedrich Engels did not live to see Russia become the first socialist country in 1917, followed by other East European, South American, African and Asian states, the world has truly had philosophers that did not only try to interpret the world but went directly to the point of changing it. True that they may have been grave errors committed by most of the socialist regimes but Marxist writings have changed much of the world we know today. From my own analysis, Marx and Engels taught men to predict the future based on the preponderance of the scientific mind, based what we actually see and feel.

References

Tucker, R.C. (Ed.). (1999). The Marx-Engels Reader, 2d ed. New York: Norton.

 

An Analytic Review of the Marx-Engels Reader by Robert C. Tucker Essay

History, The Bourgeoisie, The Proletariat, and Communism Essay

History, The Bourgeoisie, The Proletariat, and Communism Essay.

Karl Marx begins the first chapter of his The Communist Manifesto with the opening line: “The history of all hitherto existing societies is the history of class struggles” (ch. 1). Underlying all of history is this fundamental economic theme, that each society has its own economic structure which breeds different classes—“a manifold gradation of social rank,” he calls it (ch. 1). These classes inevitably becomes in conflict with each other—that because of their economic structure, some class becomes the oppressors while others become the oppressed.

He argued that the oppressors and oppressed “stood in constant opposition to one another… on an uninterrupted… fight… that each time ended, either in a revolutionary re-constitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes” (ch. 1). He described his time as a struggle between two classes: the Bourgeoisie and the Ploretariat. Marx claims that the modern bourgeois society of his time has not helped to remove, although have simplified, clash antagonisms, but had, instead, “established new classes, new conditions of oppression, [and] new forms of struggle in place of the old ones” (ch.

1). He saw the bourgeoisie as a “product of a long course of development, of a series of revolutions in the modes of production and of exchange,” and that each step of its development “was accompanied by a corresponding political advance” (ch. 1). He claims that the “executive of the modern State is but a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie,” that it “cannot exist without constantly revolutionising the instruments of production, and thereby the relations of production, and with them the whole relations of society” (ch.

1). He said that it has torn the “feudal ties that bound men to his ‘natural superiors,’ and has left no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest” (ch. 1). He goes on to explain that the bourgeoisie draws all nation into civilization with all the rapid improvements of production and by the immensely facilitated means of communication. However, he claims that they create “a world after its own image,” that is, for all nations to adopt the bourgeois mode of production.

The bougeiosie, according to Marx, has “created enormous cities, has greatly increased the urban population as compared with the rural, and has thus rescued a considerable part of the population from the idiocy of rural life” but that it has also “concentrated property in a few hands” (ch. 1). He argued that “for many a decade past the history of industry and commerce is but the history of the revolt of modern productive forces against modern conditions of production, against the property relations that are the conditions for the existence of the bourgeoisie and of its rule” (ch.

1). At the end, he states that “its existence is no longer compatible with society” and is unfit to be the ruling class of society since “it is incompetent to assure an existence to its slave within his slavery” (ch. 1). The proletarians, on the other hand, are, during Marx’s time, the modern working class—“a class of labourers, who live only so long as they find work, and who find work only so long as their labour increases capital” (Marx ch. 1).

Marx claims that the proletarians lost its individual character and charm because of the extensive use of machinery and of the division of labour. They have become an “appendage of the machines. ” He said that lobourers are commodities which are “expensive to use” but are exploited by the bougeoisie. Marx explains that the proletariat began its struggle as soon as this class was created, at first as an induvidual struggle of the laborer, and later groups of workers.

Workers before were still disorganized, divided by goegraphy and by competition with one another. Marx claims that when workers first formed unions, they did so under the influence of the bourgeois and served to further the objectives of the bourgeoisie. The distinction between workers was obliterated due to the wages being reduced to low level. As the proletariat increased in numbers and concentrated in greater mass by forming Trade Unions, they also increased in strenght and local struggles were centralized into one national struggle between classes.

Marx further explains that “the proletariat alone is a really revolutionary class,” that other classes are conservatives or reactionary that fight against the bourgeoisie in order to “save from extinction their existence as fractions of the middle class” (ch. 1). Because proletarians have nothing of their own to secure, Marx claims that their mission is “to destroy all previous securities for, and insurances of, individual property” (ch. 1). The proletarian movement, Marx further explains, “is the self-concious, independent movement of the immense majority, in the interest of the immense majority” (ch.

1). Marx explains that the Communist Party points out and addresses the common interests of the entire proletariat, in their national struggles in different countries, independent of nationality, and represents the interests of the working class in the various stages of development it has to pass through from the struggle against the bourgeoisie. The Communist Party, therefore, still according to Marx, is the most advanced, resolute section “of the working-class of every country, that section which pushes forward all others” (ch.

2). It has the same aim as that of all the other proletarian parties, which is to overthrow the bourgeois supremacy and to seek its own political power. Marx goes on to explain that the abolition of existing property relations is not a distinctive feature of Communism, that the feature of Communism is not the abolition of property in general, but the abolition of the bourgeois property, which is, according to him, “the final and most complete expression of the system of producing and appropriating products” (Marx ch.

2). Simply put, Marx states that Communism is a struggle that aims for the “abolition of private property. ” Communism would like to abolish the conception that the labourer merely lives to increase capital, and is allowed only to live insofar as the interest of the ruling class requires it; that labour is meant to widen, enrich and promote the existence of the labourer is what the Communism is fighting for. Communism is, in a way, a struggle of the lower strata of the society against the upper strata.

However, it is not a personal struggle of the poor against the rich, it is a societal and political struggle for equality of appropriation of property. Marx explains that “Communism deprives no man of the power to appropriate the products of society; all that it does is to deprive him of the power to subjugate the labour of others by means of such appropriation” (ch. 2). With its teachings and goals, labour groups and lower working class would have found The Communist Manifesto appealing.

The Capitalists, of course, would not have found it appealing, as the manifesto seeks to destroy their current stature and their self-interest would be compromized. On the other hand, Communism would seek to empower labour groups and they would find it all to their advantage to support its cause. The Industrial Revolution has created a majority lower class workers, many of whom lived in poverty under terrible working conditions. The Communist Manifesto calls on all labourers to unite, promising them a better life sprouting from a better world.

History, The Bourgeoisie, The Proletariat, and Communism Essay

DBQ Outline Essay

DBQ Outline Essay.

Positive and negative effects of Industrial Revolution
Thesis: The Industrial Revolution had social and economic implications that called for child labor, poor living conditions faced by workers, but ultimately led to an increase in overall productivity and jobs.

I. Child Labor

See more: argument essay format

a) In the Philosophy of Manufacturers (Doc 3), Ure’s “firm conviction (opinion) is that every child would thrive better when employed in modern factories.” Based on his observations, it is inferred that he believes as long as a child seems happy and fit, they should use their youthfulness and give back to the community by working.

(POV) b) Likewise, a pamphlet (Doc 5) provides further evidence that child labor brought by the industrial revolution was, at first, viewed as a newly established, positive social aspect. Mr. Dale, the factory owner, set regulations in order to ensure the safety and welfare of his youthful workers. c) One cannot conclude with the given information that child labor was a fallacious attempt of society to increase profit.

Therefore, an additional document such as a descriptive, first person account of working conditions from a mistreated worker child is needed to further make this conclusion (ADOC).

II. Harsh environment faced by workers of the Industrial Revolution d) In the Conditions of the Working Class in England (Doc 7), it is obvious that worker settlements of the Industrial Revolution were of poor conditions. For example, rivers running through Manchester were extremely polluted. This most likely caused working individuals to resent their choice of employment and debate on switching to a cleaner, more stable job (i.e. a farmer). (POV?) Engels, the author, most likely abhorred the inhumane treatment of workers since he strived for equality for all men (POV).

DBQ Outline Essay

Animal Farm Comparison Essay Essay

Animal Farm Comparison Essay Essay.

Snowball is a young, smart, good speaker, who is also idealistic. Leon Trotsky is the other leader of the “October Revolution. ” Snowball really wanted to make life better for all while Leon Trotsky was a pure communist and followed Marx. Napoleon was not a good speaker or as clever as Snowball. Joseph Stalin was not a good speaker either and was not educated like Trotsky was. Napoleon was cruel, brutal, selfish, devious and corrupt, but Joseph Stalin was the exact same as Napoleon and did not follow Marx’s ideas or orders.

Squealer had a big mouth and would always talk a lot. He convinced the animals to believe and follow Napoleon. The Propaganda department of Lenin’s government worked for Stalin to support his image and used any lie to convince the people to for Stalin. The dogs where used as a private army that was used as fear to force animals to work. They killed and intimidated any opponent of Napoleon.

The KGB- Secret Police where not really police, but forced support for Stalin and used force to often kill entire families for disobedience.

Mr. Jones is irresponsible to his animals and lets him starve kind of like Czar Nicholas II who was a poor leader at best, who was also compared to western kings. Mr. Jones was also sometimes cruel and beat this with a whip while Czar Nicholas II was cruel and was also sometimes brutal with opponents. Old Major taught Animalism while Karl Marx had invented Communism. Again Old Major’s workers do the work, the rich keep the money , and the animals revolt. Karl Marx’s “workers of the world unite” and take over the government.

Animalism has no owners, no rich, but no poor. Communism is exactly the same. With Animalism workers get a better life and all animals are equal. In Communism all people are also equal. Benjamin was an Old Wise Donkey who was always suspicious of Napoleon and thought “Nothing ever changes. ” He was right. The skeptical people of Russisa and the outside world weren’t really sure the Revolution would change anything and realized that a tyrant could call himself a Communist.

The overall details of the revolution was designed to make life better for the animal and life ended up being far worse. It was supposed to fix the problems that existed under the Czar’s rule, but life was worse after the revolution than before, because Stalin had made the Czar look like a nice guy. Moses the Raven would tell the animals about SurgarCandy mountain(Heaven) and how animals would go there if they worked hard. Marx said “Opiate of the people” was a lie and used to make people not complain and do their work instead of study religion.

Mollie was vain and loved her beauty and herself. She also didn’t think about the animal farm either. The vain people of Russia and the world had some people who didn’t care about the Revolution but only thought about their own self interest. Boxer was a strong, hard working horse, and believed in the animal farm and always said “Napoleon is always right. ” Dedicated, but tricked supporters of the revolution believed Stalin, because he was a “Communist” and many stayed loyal even after Stalin was revealed as a tyrant.

Animal Farm Comparison Essay Essay

Anthem By Ayn Rand Essay

Anthem By Ayn Rand Essay.

Anthem by Ayn Rand is a political satire that makes one appreciate how fortunate the citizens of a country with so many freedoms, like America, are. Freedoms to choose one’s own destiny and explore the untouched frontiers of the scientific world are gifts that should never be, but often are, taken for granted. Rand’s bold novel that pokes fun at the stringent laws of communism reveals that her own political stance would be greatly supported by the first and second amendments and the policies regarding having children in America.

The mockery that Ayn Rand makes of the dystopia in her novel gives helpful clues as to what her own political views are. It appears that Rand believes in complete individual freedoms and a largely hands free government. Rand is against collectivism and believes that the government should accommodate the unique needs and desires of every citizen. Each person should feel a strong sense of identity that shares no connection with the government.

The advancement of technology and new knowledge are positive for the best interests of society.

It seems Rand would agree with the idea that people should act on any rational or irrational desires to achieve their highest potential of personal happiness. It is human nature to desire individuality and to feel accomplished because of “The word which can never die on this earth, for it is the heart of it and the meaning and the glory. The sacred word: EGO” (105). Ego, this sense of self-worth, is in Rand’s opinion the only thing man needs to survive. One man should not be considered as merely a piece of a brotherhood; he should stand alone and walk proudly knowing that everything he needs to survive lies within his own heart.

The first amendment to the United States Constitution is a perfect example of a law at the national level today that easily fits in with the views of Rand. The first amendment guarantees that citizens have the right to freedom of speech, press, religion, and assembly. Allowing citizens to speak freely and express their opinions is the foundation for a country full of unique people with a strong sense of self. Freedom is a gift that should not be taken for granted, “I guard my treasures: my thought, my will, my freedom. And the greatest of these is freedom” (95).

In Rand’s opinion, no matter how hard governing forces may try to categorize all men as one, “centuries of chains and lashes will not kill the spirit of man nor the sense of truth within him” (98). The ability to speak freely without fear of harmful consequences allows brilliant minds to stray from conformity and experience joys that “belong to us alone, they come from us alone, they bear no relation to our brothers, and they do not concern our brothers in any way” (86). The second amendment, which permits citizens the right to bear arms, would also go along with the political views of Rand.

A reoccurring theme in Anthem is the idea of fear being able to silence strong thoughts and emotions. Whether it be the fear to speak because “all must agree with all, and they cannot know if their thoughts are the thoughts of all” (47) or fear to leave the house and risk the dangers of our everyday life, the second amendment gives a comforting sense of security to many people. Characters in Anthem are limited in terms of expression because “fear walks through the City, fear without name, without shape. All men feel it and none dare to speak” (46).

The policy that not only allows citizens to choose whether or not they have children but also allows parents to name their children whatever they choose is a policy that Rand would agree with. The adults in Anthem are sent once each spring to the City Palace of Mating to reproduce. In our society today, having a child is not considered a responsibility to one’s country, it is viewed as a personal choice. Equality and liberty are two words used to name individuals in the book, born into a society where, ironically, neither of these exists.

In Rand’s dystopia, “it is a sin to give men names which distinguish them from other men” (41), but the beauty of naming a child in modern America is that the name will distinguish, in one small way, him from every other person on the earth. Although I do not completely agree with the self-sufficient lifestyle Rand has influenced, after reading Anthem I can greater appreciate the munificent freedoms that our government has endowed me with. I can also walk with a strong sense of personal identity and the notion that even though I may be a member of the brotherhood of my country, I am still a unique, powerful individual.

Anthem By Ayn Rand Essay