Social classClass conflictClassless societyand Three-component theory of stratification Marx distinguishes social classes on the basis of two criteria: Following this criterion of class based on property relations, Marx identified the social stratification of the capitalist mode of production with the following social groups: They subdivide as bourgeoisie and the petite bourgeoisie. Petite bourgeoisie are those who work and can afford to buy little labour power i.
A precocious schoolchild, Marx studied law in Bonn and Berlin, and then wrote a PhD thesis in Philosophy, comparing the views of Democritus and Epicurus.
On completion of his doctorate in Marx hoped for an academic job, but he had already fallen in with too radical a group of thinkers and there was no real prospect.
Turning to journalism, Marx rapidly became involved in political and social issues, and soon found himself having to consider communist theory.
Of his many early writings, four, in particular, stand out. The German Ideology, co-written with Engels inwas also unpublished but this is where we see Marx beginning to develop his theory of history.
This was again jointly written with Engels and published with a great sense of excitement as Marx returned to Germany from exile to take part in the revolution of With the failure of the revolution Marx moved to London where he remained for the rest of his life.
He now concentrated on the study of economics, producing, inhis Contribution to a Critique of Political Economy. In what follows, I shall concentrate on those texts and issues that have been given the greatest attention within the Anglo-American philosophical literature.
Bauer had recently written against Jewish emancipation, from an atheist perspective, arguing that the religion of both Jews and Christians was a barrier to emancipation. In responding to Bauer, Marx makes one of the most enduring arguments from his early writings, by means of introducing a distinction between political emancipation — essentially the grant of liberal rights and liberties — and human emancipation.
However, pushing matters deeper, in an argument reinvented by innumerable critics of liberalism, Marx argues that not only is political emancipation insufficient to bring about human emancipation, it is in some sense also a barrier. Liberal rights and ideas of justice are premised on the idea that each of us needs protection from other human beings who are a threat to our liberty and security.
Therefore liberal rights are rights of separation, designed to protect us from such perceived threats. Freedom on such a view, is freedom from interference. What this view overlooks is the possibility — for Marx, the fact — that real freedom is to be found positively in our relations with other people.
It is to be found in human community, not in isolation. Accordingly, insisting on a regime of rights encourages us to view each other in ways that undermine the possibility of the real freedom we may find in human emancipation. Now we should be clear that Marx does not oppose political emancipation, for he sees that liberalism is a great improvement on the systems of feudalism and religious prejudice and discrimination which existed in the Germany of his day.
Nevertheless, such politically emancipated liberalism must be transcended on the route to genuine human emancipation. Unfortunately, Marx never tells us what human emancipation is, although it is clear that it is closely related to the idea of non-alienated labour, which we will explore below.
Just as importantly Marx here also considers the question of how revolution might be achieved in Germany, and sets out the role of the proletariat in bringing about the emancipation of society as a whole.
Precisely what it is about material life that creates religion is not set out with complete clarity. However, it seems that at least two aspects of alienation are responsible.
One is alienated labour, which will be explored shortly. A second is the need for human beings to assert their communal essence. Whether or not we explicitly recognize it, human beings exist as a community, and what makes human life possible is our mutual dependence on the vast network of social and economic relations which engulf us all, even though this is rarely acknowledged in our day-to-day life.
After the post-Reformation fragmentation of religion, where religion is no longer able to play the role even of a fake community of equals, the state fills this need by offering us the illusion of a community of citizens, all equal in the eyes of the law. Interestingly, the political liberal state, which is needed to manage the politics of religious diversity, takes on the role offered by religion in earlier times of providing a form of illusory community.
But the state and religion will both be transcended when a genuine community of social and economic equals is created.
Of course we are owed an answer to the question how such a society could be created. It is interesting to read Marx here in the light of his third Thesis on Feuerbach where he criticises an alternative theory. The crude materialism of Robert Owen and others assumes that human beings are fully determined by their material circumstances, and therefore to bring about an emancipated society it is necessary and sufficient to make the right changes to those material circumstances.
However, how are those circumstances to be changed? By an enlightened philanthropist like Owen who can miraculously break through the chain of determination which ties down everyone else? Indeed if they do not create the revolution for themselves — in alliance, of course, with the philosopher — they will not be fit to receive it.
However, the manuscripts are best known for their account of alienated labour. Here Marx famously depicts the worker under capitalism as suffering from four types of alienated labour. First, from the product, which as soon as it is created is taken away from its producer.
Second, in productive activity work which is experienced as a torment. Third, from species-being, for humans produce blindly and not in accordance with their truly human powers. Finally, from other human beings, where the relation of exchange replaces the satisfaction of mutual need.
Essentially he attempts to apply a Hegelian deduction of categories to economics, trying to demonstrate that all the categories of bourgeois economics — wages, rent, exchange, profit, etc. Consequently each category of alienated labour is supposed to be deducible from the previous one.Communist Manifesto study guide contains a biography of Karl Marx, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.
Analysis Of Karl Marx And Communism Essay. Karl Heinrich Marx was born on May 5, , in the city of Trier in Prussia, now, Germany. He was one of seven children of Jewish Parents.
His father was fairly liberal, taking part in demonstrations for a constitution for Prussia and reading such authors as Voltaire. Analysis of Karl Marx and Communism Karl Heinrich Marx was born on May 5, , in the city of Trier in Prussia, now, Germany.
He was one of seven children of Jewish Parents. The Communist Manifesto has four sections.
In the first section, it discusses the Communists' theory of history and the relationship between proletarians and bourgeoisie. The second section explains the relationship between the . After Marx's death and with the emergence of Marxism, there have also been dissensions within Marxism itself—a notable example is the splitting of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party into Bolsheviks and Mensheviks.
Notwithstanding Marx's own practice and contrary to his implicit warning, in what follows I have tried to reconstruct Marx's vision of communism from his writings of , the year in which he set down the broad lines of his analysis, to the end of his life.