Karl Marx, Uncategorized

Marx:Exam #1(Full marked response)

Dialectical Materialism is an important aspect of Karl Marx. This term may seem loaded but if we take this term in parts we can better understand it

Lets first start with the term dialectical. What prefix do we recognize? Dia- This prefix means two. You see this prefix in words such as dialogue, which means a conversation happening among two people. Dialectical in this case means the interplay of two ideas, which we will term thesis and antithesis. The overall effect of this is the synthesis. The thesis and antithesis come together to bring  forth or revolutionize a new idea which we will term the synthesis. (Synthesis in other words is the joining of both aspects of thesis and antithesis. )

Now let’s work with the word materialism. You can think of materialism in opposition to idealism. In idealism  individuals are concerned with ideas which are intangible. Materialism, on the other hand, deals with physical matter (Tangible).

Dialectical materialism is a method of inquiry to understand the world. This the method that Karl Marx uses to explain his theory on class struggle. Marx uses this method to map out his argument. He argues that throughout history there has been individuals who own necessary resources and other individuals who sell their labor power. This tension between the two classes has called for a revolution. Let’s see how this map looks visually.

Master                                  Lord
                feudalism                             Capitalism
Slave                                      serf

In this map, the master and later the lords own the means of production. The slave and serf were using their energy and labor to produce commodity for the master and lord. Basically, the slave and serf did not own any resources and sold their labor power.

Due to the tension between these two classes a new system was created. Many have called dialectical materialism as idea dealing with transformation or revolution. You should have the class map out something using this method. You can take some part of American history to do this . For example, the idea of voting…

Born citizens                           white men                    Men
                    14th Amend.                       15th amend.                            19th
citizens                                      Non- white               Women

In this diagram we see that born citizens could only vote but not naturalized citizen. The tension between this group caused fir a change, which lead to the 14th amendment. This diagram goes on to map other tension and revolution dealing with voting in America.