Real Living Individuals There Are Some Important Term Paper

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¶ … Real Living Individuals

There are some important points made by Marx in relation to the condition of man in the society and other surrounding elements.

He considers the idea of society as subject. In his argument he points out the fact that society is in fact the "complete unity of man with nature (...) the accomplished naturalism of man and the accomplished humanism of nature" (16). Moreover, it can be said the he defines the man only in the conduct of social relations and actions because the result of the production is part of the relation within the society, concluding that a man is a "social being" (16).

Another important issue is Marx's view on the evolution of the world in relation to that of man. In this sense, he argues that the history of the world in fact is the result of the human creation through labor. Therefore, he glorifies labor by considering it to be the means through which the history of the world can be developed and moved forward. Moreover, the society in his view is not a subject in itself; it is the result of the man uniting in their labor together. Finally, he points out the issue of egalitarian norm that would later be developed by the communist rule. In this sense, he argues that all are in fact men, without class distinction.

In relation to the society which Marx considers to be man oriented, he underlines the fact that the identity of the individual is strictly related to the material conditions of his production. However, taking into account the social evolution of man, the author argues in support of a two folded relation: a natural one including the satisfaction of basic needs, and the social one, the duty related to the society.

He also discusses the issue of the nature of the society, considering again the relation between the nature of the society and the production. In this sense, the means used for production determines the nature of the society. More precisely, "the hand-mill gives you society with the feudal lord; the steam-mill, society with the industrial capitalist" (20)

Finally, he concludes that on a first instance, history is the result of social interaction, that society is the outcome of the human interaction, and that production and labor are the means of human interaction.

2. "Preface to a Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy"

Marx discusses in this brief introduction the issues related to the basis of the economic process in relation to the development of the legal, social, and political superstructure. However, in the introduction he also makes important and relevant points concerning the issues he would later develop upon.

First and foremost, he discusses the issue of the superstructure. In this sense, he points out from the very beginning that in fact the basis of what Hegel mentioned as being the civil society is the economic foundation. More precisely, Marx considers that the superstructure system is the result of the development of the relations of production and their forces. In this sense, society is made up of the forces of production and the relations between them; therefore the society in his own terms is a structure based on relations. They stand at the core of the society determined by the economic order which in the end gives rise to the political superstructure. The production process and the entire range of activities represent the materialistic side which determines in the end the political, economic, and social life.

Secondly, in relation to this idea, Marx points out the sources of change and revolution. The transformation of the society is a natural consequence of the conflict between the material sources and the existing relations of production. This occurs when these two elements no longer share the same direction. However, at the same time, this transformation can be quantified depending on the level at which they manifest. In the case of the economic foundation, as Marx points out, these changes can be measures precisely; the changes that take place at the level of the legal, political, and social superstructure are ideological. Thus, "men become conscious of this conflict and fight it out."

Thirdly, he tries to explain the relation between the social revolutions that take place as a result of the conflicting situation mentioned above and the possible outcome of the transformation process. More precisely, Marx considers that the revolution and in general this type of change will not occur without having a possible replacement for the state it is destroying.

3. "Contribution to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Law"

In his piece of writing, Marx discusses the issue of religion and its nature. In this sense, he argues that religion is the result of the society. Moreover, religion is a means of escaping the real happiness (16). However, he does construct a critique of the religious aspects. This is possible precisely because religion is the direct result of the action of man; it is its own creation.

Religion is for Marx a means for creating illusions as he points out the fact that in the process of criticizing religion he is destroying the veil of illusion. Seeing the fact that Marx views religion as opium, he supports the idea that the individual in his quest for real happiness must refuse a spiritual life in exchange for the practical, real life. In this sense, the philosophical approach on theory must represent not a way of life but rather a source of tools for the analysis of history.

Another point he takes into account is related to Germany and the possibility of development of the country. In this sense, Marx argues that Germany must above all consider the change in all walks of life because change cannot take place but over all things. Therefore, the German spirit must refuse the philosophical approach on issues and the religious ideals, and must live in the real society, one in which, as Marx suggests in the end, has France as its most important enemy.

1. What are the principal elements of Historical Materialism as a social theory?

The definition of historical materialism can be considered to have been identified in the "Preface to a Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy" as indentifying the relation between the creation of history and the individual. More precisely, "it is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but, on the contrary, their social existence that determines their consciousness," an idea which points out the fact that man through its existence is the creator of history which in the end creates his conscience.

The main elements of historical materialism are those related to the issue of the definition of the circles of history. In this sense, Marx argues that the evolution of history is marked by various models of production. Thus, there is a division of labor in the society. Finally, a determining element is the evolution of the society which takes into account the demise of a ruling class and the emergence of a new one.

2. In what way is the approach "historical" and "Materialist"?

The approach is historical from the perspective of the fact that it discusses the issue of the evolution of history from its very origins to the present day. However, it is also the result of the idea that the present can only be explained by analyzing the past because the present state is the result of the evolution of the past. The "materialistic" part of the theory discusses various aspects. On the one hand, it is pointed out the fact that it is the present element which must be primordial, and it is only afterwards that a philosophical aspect is placed under discussion. On the other hand, materialism argues that in… [END OF PREVIEW]

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