Marxian criticism

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<ul><li> 1. The Legacies of Karl Marx:Historical Materialism, and MarxianCriticism</li></ul> <p> 2. George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831) 3. Hegelian DialecticsThis is often explained as the dialectical movement from THESISto ANTITHESIS to SYNTHESIS (a unifying, transcendentAbsolute, as in Plato)...although Hegel himself never actually usedthese terms, preferring Abstract, Negative and Concrete.The process by which self-consciousness is transformed(sublated) into Absolute Knowledge or Spirit (which Hegel alsotermed Science)For this to happen, one self-consciousness must first come torecognize another self-consciousness that negates or contradicts thefirst. A struggle ensues until one is subordinated to the other andthey fuse into a third, interdependent form. 4. In The Philosophy of History (posthumouslypublished, based on lectures given beginning inthe 1820s): Hegels notion of dialectics ispressed into the service of explaining historicalprogress through contradiction, negation andsublation.Spirit does not toss itself about in theexternal play of chance occurrences; onthe contrary, it is that which determineshistory absolutely, and it stands firmagainst the chance occurrences which itdominates and exploits for its ownpurpose. 5. The French Revolution:I. Revolution (violent overthrow of monarchy)==&gt;II. Reign of Terror (violence turned in on itself, imperilingthe goals of the revolution: note that this negation, as inall Hegelian negations, comes from within the originalabstraction)==&gt;III. The Constitutional State as rational system forguaranteeing freedom and equality.This is a teleological system: history unfoldsaccording to dialectical processes that progresstoward Aufhebung or sublation/lifting up(eventually, the transcendence of earthly history;the end of history itself). 6. This transcendence towardan absolute, unifying Idealwould resolve allcontradictions (includingsubject/object of knowledge,being/ becoming,life/death,body/spirit, etc. 7. Following Hegels death in 1831, theatheistic Left Hegelians (including ayoung Karl Marx) accused Hegel ofstanding on his head and gettingdialectics all wrong. Marx sought toturn Hegelian Idealism right sideupand insisted on DIALECTICALMATERIALISM (class struggle)instead as the engine of history.For historical materialists, such asMarx and Friedrich Engels, socialbeing precedes social consciousness.Hegels Headstand 8. Karl Marx Marx argues that for a given societal organization to remainin place, the means of production need to be reproduced. Labor is reproduced when workers are given a means ofsustenance (i.e. wages) in order to ensure that theycontinue to work. In the dialectic of Superstructure and Infrastructure, thedominance of the Superstructure is determined by thecomplicity of the Infrastructure.But how does this happen? What makes workers in ademocratic society contribute to their own subjugation? 9. The House that Marx Built: How Capitalism Works[Relations of productionand means of production] 10. Let us suppose that we had carried out production ashuman beings. Each of us would have in two waysaffirmed himself and the other person. 1) In my productionI would have objectified my individuality, its specificcharacter, and therefore enjoyed not only an individualmanifestation of my life during the activity, but also whenlooking at the object I would have the individual pleasureof knowing my personality to be objective, visible to thesenses and hence a power beyond all doubt. 2) In yourenjoyment or use of my product I would have the directenjoyment both of being conscious of having satisfied ahuman need by my work, that is, of having objectifiedmans essential nature, and of having thus created anobject corresponding to the need of another mansessential nature. ... Our products would be so manymirrors in which we saw reflected our essential nature.(Comments on James Mill, 1844) 11. Alienation of laborIn a privately owned system, the worker is an instrument,reduced to a function of his/her labor rather than a subjectendowed with individual agency. Marx thus distinguishesfour types of alienation [Entfremdung]:1. Social alienation of people under Capitalism from theirhuman nature [Gattungswesen, or species-being]2. Alienation of one worker from another.3. Alienation of the worker from his/her labor power4. Alienation from the product of that labor. 12. Commodity Fetishism 13. Louis Vuitton advertisement with MikhailGorbachev at a remaining stretch of the BerlinWall, 2007 14. The global system of jeans: from cotton field to mallRaw Cotton: Sourced from/harvested in US, Mexico, Central Asia, etc.Raw cotton shipped to China for refinementRefined cotton shipped to Malaysia and spun into yarnYarn shipped to Thailand and made into denim fabricFabric sent to Singapore for cutting, then shipped to IndonesiaFabric panels cut, sewn and otherwise assembled in Indonesia (assembly includeslabels from India, zippers from Hong Kong, buttons and rivets from Taiwan,embroidery from Singapore, etc.)Completed jeans sent back to Singapore, affixed with different brand tags, shipped toworld markets 15. A diamond is forever... 16. Average wage for a diamond miner in Sierra Leone:50 cents/day + two cups of rice(Source: BBC, 2006) 17. Rough diamond exports from Sierra Leone: $98 million/ year (2008)Globally: 500 million/ year (2006) 18. Global cut/polished diamond sales: over $14 billion/yearGlobal diamond retail sales: over $60 billion/year 19. Diamond-studded iPhone 4: $7, 890,000 20. Damien Hirst, For the Love of God, (human skull, platinum, 8,601 diamonds); Soldfor $100 million in 2007 21.$3,499.00-$19,999.00;feature=pl 22. Marxian Literary CriticismThis dimension of the text is its ideological construction, orits political unconscious (Fredric Jameson) which is silent(Terry Eagleton)Invested in uncovering what the text hides, i.e. not thatwhich is intentionally concealed, but that which the textcannot know about itself. 23. Marxian Critical QuestionsWhose perception is voiced/empowered/centraland whose perception issilenced/disempowered/marginalized?Do characters affirm or resist bourgeois values?Does the text reflect or resist a dominant ideology?What are the economic and political conditions forthe production and dissemination of the text? 24. The text emerges not as a pureoutcome of authorial intention, butrather as a symptom of a field of largelyunconscious political and economicforces. 25. The Frankfurt School Began in 1924 at the Institute for Social Research at the University ofFrankfurt. Initially concerned only with studying the work of Marx and Engels andpromulgating Marxism as a revolutionary ideology. Max Horkheimer assumed the directorship in 1930, shifted focus fromorthodox, ahistorical Marxism to what he termed CULTURAL STUDIESand CRITICAL THEORY. Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno co-wrote The Dialectic of Enlightenment(in which The Culture Industry appears) in 1944/1947 as an extendedcritique of mass culture as both a direct outgrowth of and a betrayal ofEnlightenment ideals. 26. For Horkheimer and Adorno, the cultureindustry must be understood as disseminatingfalse consciousness in the service of thetotalitarian impulses that subtend all moderncapitalist societies. This hegemonic power derives chiefly from theextent to which the companies responsible forproducing and broadcasting/distributinginformation and entertainment areeconomically bound up with other capitalistinterests (e.g. defense, industry, finance). Given this industrial 27. HegemonyThe domination and control of one group of people overanother....refers to the pervasive system of assumptions, meanings andvaluesthe web of ideologies, in other words, that shapes theway things look, what they mean and therefore what reality is forthe majority of people within a given culture.Antonio Gramsci 28. "To the extent that the ownership of andcontrol of...broadcast stations falls intofewer and fewer hands, the freedissemination of ideas and information,upon which our democracy depends, isthreatened."FCC Chairman James Lawrence Fly, 1939 29. According to Fortune, as of 2012, The Walt Disney Company is the largest media conglomerate in the US, with News Corporation, Time Warner, Viacom, CBS Corporation, and Comcasts NBCUniversal ranking second-sixth respectively.The Media Oligopoly (from The Nation, 2006)</p>