Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Me, Marx and Engels

So graduate school started this Monday and I am already immersed in reading pages and pages of works that I have never, ever heard of, that are rife with complexities that I probably should know something about, but I dont.

I volunteered to do a presentation first in a class I know almost nothing about. This happens next Tuesday and I have to speak about Culture and Society, these two concepts are intimidatingly broad and intentionally ambiguous in my opinion. My strategy was to get this assignment over with, but I feel like I just jumped off a cliff and am going to splatter all over the ground at some point next week.

Here is an excerpt from something that I am reading, maybe you can give me some insight:

“The materialist conception of history starts from the proposition that the production of the means to support human life and, next to production, the exchange of things produced, is the basis of all social structure; that in every society that has appeared in history, the manner in which wealth is distributed and society divided into classes or orders is dependent upon what is produced, how it is produced, and how the products are exchanged. From this point of view, the final causes of all social changes and political revolutions are to be sought, not in men's brains, not in men's better insights into eternal truth and justice, but in changes in the modes of production and exchange.”-Marx and Engels.


  1. i had to read it twice. and I dont even know if I got after the second time. But this is the first thing that popped into my head:

    you are what you eat.

  2. I think it means that society's rules come from how the system is set up to make money. In the old fuedal system where lords owned the lands and the serfs worked the land, the lords are automatically in the upper class and the serfs in the lower class.

    Aren't the stock brokers and their clients on wall street often viewed as the most powerful people in our society?

    If you want to truly change society, change the method of production and distribution of wealth. The class system will shift to follow the money makers.

  3. Sil said it correctly. That is why the socialism used these theories to construct a more "equalitarian" and less exploiting society. The modes of production determine the society.

  4. Mumble "Cartesian dualism", attack Engels as a vulgar materialist, dismiss him for having an inadequate understanding of Hegelian logic, namedrop Spinoza... you'll do fine.