Paper type: Essay Pages: 8 (1760 words)
1.3 Marxist dialectical materialismDialectics comes from the Greek dialego which means to discourse or to debate. In the classical period this was a method of finding the truth by revealing the inconsistencies up to when an objective position was achieved. Marx’s materialism holds that the world is by its very nature material, conceiving nature just as it exists. It is not the consciousness of men that determines their being as Hegel believed. On the contrary, it is their social being that determines their consciousness.
1.3.1 Connectedness inherent in natureAccording to Marx, the dialectical method is explained in such a way that in nature no phenomena can be comprehended if taken by itself and detached from the surrounding phenomena. Such an isolated phenomenon lives on a lonely island amidst the vast ocean of the rest of connected phenomena in nature and hence it becomes meaningless. Likewise any phenomena that obeys the law of unity or connectedness with the surrounding phenomena can be understood and explained.
1.3.2 Continuity and Change in NatureAccording to Marx, there is nothing like inertia and immutability in nature. He sees nature in a perpetual movement and change leading to a continuous renewal and development. Therefore, there must be something always coming up and developing and something always fading away. Marx’s dialectical method therefore invites us to understand that phenomena should be considered not only from the view point of its interconnection and interdependence, but also from the standpoint of its movement, change, development, its coming into being and going out of being. 1.3.3 Quantitative Change yields to Qualitative ChangeThe agenda of dialectics according to Marx looks at development as passaging from insignificant and faint quantitative changes to open the horizons of fundamental and qualitative changes taking place not at a slow pace, but rapidly and abruptly, shifting from one state to another. Marx’s dialectics therefore entails the fact that the process of progress should be understood not as movement in a circle, not as a simple repetition of events, but as an onward and upward movement, portraying an evolution from an old qualitative state to a new qualitative state, as a development from the simple to the complex, from the lower to the higher. This characteristic was very central in articulating the idea how accumulation of wealth leads to different social-economic classes, a thing that later leads to a revolution.1.3.4 Contradictions Inherent in NatureTo Marx, nature cannot do away without contradictions. All things have their negative and positive sides, a past and a future, something dying away and something developing; and that the struggle between these opposites, the struggle between the old and the new, between that which is dying away and that which is being born, between that which is disappearing and that which is developing, constitutes the internal content of the process of development, the internal content of the transformation of quantitative changes into qualitative changes. This process occurs not as a harmonious unfolding of phenomena, but as a disclosure of the contradictions inherent in things and phenomena. In its proper meaning, Lenin an orthodox Marxist says, Dialectics is the study of the contradiction within the very essence of things. 1.4 Historical materialismKarl Marx had a strong passion for historical materialism because it dealt with the extension of the principles of dialectical materialism to the study of social life and its history. Historical materialism also aims at applying the principles of dialectical materialism to the phenomena of the life of society. It is with historical materialism that the social evils will be diagnosed and treated diligently to rescue man.Historical materialism then, influenced Marx to come up with three things in his communist manifesto. The first is that whenever we talk of existence of classes it must be bounded up by particular historical phase which tells about development of production and how it takes place. The second is that the question of class struggle necessarily leads to dictatorship of proletariat by the bourgeoisies. The third is that the dictatorship of the proletariat leads to abolishment of all classes ushering in an era of a classless society.1.4.1 The five phases of history History to Marx is a product of conflict. These conflicts leads to five phases of history listed as follows: Primitive communal phase, Slave phase, Feudal phase, Capitalist phase, and finally the Socialist and Communist phases as a prediction of salvation of man. In this Marx’s quest was to search for the law of motion which could explain not only that history had produced these various epochs but the reasons why these particular epochs unfolded as they did. Discovering history’s law of motion could help him not only to explain the past, but also to predict the future.22.214.171.124 Primitive communal In the primitive system there is a social ownership of the means of production. In this period the productive forces involve primarily stone tools. Later, the bow and arrow helped men to fight the beasts of prey. These simple tools also helped men to gather the fruits of the forest, to catch fish, to build some habitations. For men to survive, they were obliged to work in common. To overcome the beasts of prey or the attacks from neighboring societies, they at whatever cost had to unite. There was common ownership of the means and fruits of production since labor was in common. Here the conception of private ownership of the means of production did not yet exist. There was no exploitation and no classes at all.126.96.36.199 Slave systemHere the means of production and the worker in production is in the hands of the slave master. He can sell, purchase, or kill the slave without any inquiry as though the slave was an animal. In this epoch metal tools replace the stone tools. Pasturage tillage, handicrafts, and division of labor that were absent in primitive period now takes the lead.People can exchange products amongst themselves and between societies. The sickness of the accumulation of wealth in the hands of a few crops up. Also evil tendencies like the accumulation of the means of production in the hands of a minority and the possibility of suppression of the majority by a minority and the conversion of the majority into slaves mushrooms. Common and free labor of all members of society in the production process is now a dream. Slaves are forced to work while they are being exploited by their masters. Common sharing of the fruits of production is now overthrown by private ownership. The former equals are now; some slaves and others masters.188.8.131.52 Feudal systemIn this system, there exists a feudal lord and a serf. The feudal lord owns the means of production but does not fully own the worker in production. The serf (Worker) can no longer be killed but can be bought and sold. The serf can individually own some property based on his personal labor. In this phase, there is improvements in the smelting and working of iron; the spread of the iron plow and the loom. There is a boom in agriculture, horticulture, viniculture and dairying. Manufactories alongside of the handicraft workshops begin to come up. The serf makes initiative in production and shows desire for work. The feudal lord therefore abandons the slave as a laborer who has no interest in work and is entirely without initiative. He prefers to deal with a serf who has his own husbandry, implements of production, and a certain interest in work. The serf pays in kind part of his harvest to the feudal lord. Here private ownership is further developed. Exploitation is nearly as severe as it was under slavery. It is only slightly softened.184.108.40.206 Capitalist systemThis is the most crooked and worst system according to Marx. In this phase, the capitalist owns almost everything but not the worker in production. The labourer who can neither be killed nor sold works for wages. He is personally free but deprived of means of production. In order not to die of hunger, the worker must sell his labour power to the capitalist and accepts to bear the yoke of exploitation. Handicraft workshops, manufactories, huge mills and factories equipped with machinery are established. Now appears large capitalist farms run on scientific lines and supplied with agricultural machinery. The new productive forces demands that the workers in production be educated, intelligent and with skills than the downtrodden and ignorant serfs since they have to use machines in production.1.4.2 The revolutionAccording to Marx, a time comes when contradictions between productive forces and the relations of production are incompatible. The goods of the capitalist run into a crisis of the demand. In other words, supply is higher than demand. The capitalist himself is obliged to burn products, destroy manufactured goods, suspend production, and destroy productive forces. Such a situation renders millions of people to suffer unemployment and starvation not because there are not enough goods, but because there is an overproduction of goods. At this point the proletarians are pregnant with a revolution aiming at replacing the capitalistic ownership of the means of production with a socialistic ownership. 1.4.3 The end of historyMarx maintains that history can only and only attain its end with the emergency of socialism and finally communism. The emergence of socialism and communism do not come with an empty envelope but they come with the signing of the emancipation proclamation which bears the words free at last’. This means that all the contradictions between the classes are resolved. The force that has been championing movement and changes disappear hence only a classless society remains unopposed. In this classless society all the forces and interests will be in perfect equilibrium and thus, no further development in history. With this situation at hand, Marx then runs into the cities of Europe shouting end of history’. This will be the final historical stage of the dialectical materialism, when social-economic conflict is replaced with mutual collaboration.1.5 Primacy of Substructure to SuperstructureAccording to Marx, the substructure is about the material order while the superstructure is all about the order of human thought. Marx’s materialism entails the sum total of natural environment which includes inorganic nature, social life, and organic nature with matter referring to the objective reality that exists outside the human mind. Primacy then goes to Substructure as opposed to Hegelian idealistic outlook that gives priority to the Superstructure. Remember for Hegel consciousness (spirit) is the center of focus in history making everything move. To Marx, it is the material order which is in constant motion changing from quantitative to qualitative and hence it drives the scene of world history.
Cite this page
Marxist dialectical materialismDialectics comes from the Greek dialegoвЂќ which means to. (2019, Aug 20). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/marxist-dialectical-materialismdialectics-comes-from-the-greek-dialego%d0%b2%d1%92%d1%9c-which-means-to-essay