Karl Marx - Labor and Production, Dialectics and Materialism.

Essay by Saria420University, Bachelor'sA+, February 2003

download word file, 5 pages 4.7

Karl Marx was born in a time of contradiction. Capitalism was becoming the economic basis for society. The Industrial Revolution pushed people out of a life of agriculture in which they had decided how to do their work, into factories where they produced as much as possible in a certain amount of time each day. This was the time of the greatest rise in manufacturing and good, and also a time with the greatest rise in a poor population. Marx explored this phenomenon and drew conclusions about it. He used the methods of materialism and dialectics. His theory arose not from speculation, but rather from looking at who does what to whom. What Marx saw was one class exploiting another. His method of materialism was in opposition to philosophers of the time. These philosophers said that to understand history, one must understand the people and their ideas. Marx says the opposite, that people's ideas stem from their necessities.

To understand humanity must understand the economic state. He said to understand any society must look at who owns the means of production and who does the work. Any society in history can be understood by looking at their economic system, for that is the basis for everything in that society. Any system of economic production is composed of two things. The first is forces of production, which include raw materials, tools, technology and such. The second is the relations of production, who owns the means of production, who does the work, and class relations. A societies system of economic production forms their ideas, cultural norms, and beliefs. Take for example the period in the United States when slavery was a large part of the economy. Culture, politics, and religion all basically supported it. When slavery became illegal and no longer part...