Marxism Class notes
Marxism Class notes 19877 - ENG 216 - 03
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Julia Dang on Monday February 15, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 19877 - ENG 216 - 03 at Grand Valley State University taught by Brian Daniel Deyo in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 16 views. For similar materials see Foundations of Literary Study: Critical Approaches in Foreign Language at Grand Valley State University.
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Date Created: 02/15/16
Marxism ENG 216 2-10-16 Ideologies: Marx definition: ideas, sentiments, beliefs, values, and ideals of the dominant/ruling/bourgeoisie class—the movers and the shakers—the influential people who usually have money and own capital and land. Labor power- treating humans like capital—like things. Distributed throughout the community with media, books, literature, religion Media is the means of communication and representation according to Marx. Symbolic order is composed of these ideologies Tyson says it’s a belief system. 2-12-16 subjectivity--self—identity. Many things shape our self—media What we desire is a function of ideologies from society. Ideology constitutes our being—marxism Tyson—ideology is the way we respond to the society’s ideologies that makes us who we are. Implies we have wiggle room to control. the Symbolic Order, language, ideology—which are virtually synonymous—or any authority figure or accepted social practice. It’s civilization’s job to form relationships for children with not only other people, but also ideas, roles, norms, and language. It’s difficult because ideas are so abstract. But people get so overwhelmed with them—they’ll kill for these ideas. Subjectivity is so wrapped up in symbolic order. Ideology’s function: Creates a social hierarchy. Rationalizes and justifies the decisions/interests of the ruling class. Maintains their interests. Super structure: Emerges from a base. o Machine that produces surplus value (money) Law 2-15-16 Base-superstructure: Marx’s quote in 1859 from Contrib. to the Critique of Political Economy o We need to produce our existence and reproduce our existence. We need food, shelter money which is by working. For humans to maintain themselves and reproduce themselves, you have to “make stuff.” They have to enter into a social kind of relationship which is “independent of their will.” Have to work—get a job. o What happens in the base preconditions everything that leads to the superstructure. It produces the superstructure. o That superstructure corresponds to ideals, definite forms of consciousness, Base superstructure subjectivity Base: o economic structure of society. o Sphere of production Where everything comes from... the commodities. Ruling class owns this. We need resources Need labor—labor theory of value. We need to pa y humans enough to make up for o use value: what the commodity does—it’s utility. o exchange value: price capitalists hang onto the use value, sell it for a profit (surplus value) and this comes about. o surplus value: profit. to produce this, the capitalists enter into social contract with proletariat and if they make use values, they’ll pay them. Capitalists dictate the wage and own the use value pretty much. Calculate by: net exchange value (amount of commodities you sell) – cost of production (labor/wages, materials, transportation, machines etc) = surplus value. o They’ll keep the wage as low as possible to make the most they can—enough for them to survive—amount required to feed yourself, to rent, etc—basic needs in life. 2-17-16 Marx’s labour theory of value: Wage: what your work is worth—equivalent to cost of living so they can feed, shelter themselves and get them back to work the next day. o Deemed by the capitalists—they own it. o Use value (what something is used for—utility) in exchange for a wage. Indispensable to capitalists o People come into relations with the capitalists and they produce something with use value for a wage Since the capitalists are in charge, they slap on an exchange value (price) Then surplus value (profit) is created. o Calculate by: net exchange value (amount of commodities you sell) – cost of production (labor/wages, materials, transportation, machines etc) = surplus value. o They want to keep COP and wages as low as possible so they can make as much o Capitalists use this money to increase production o What if the proletariats start getting fed up with the low wages? They realize that if they stop working and protest… The capitalists would call the police--they’d tell them it’s private property and it’s illegal to loiter. –go in to work or leave—if not, arrest. Even though capitalists create the laws through the government and the state. Majority produces these commodities and value, yet the minority collects the money from their production. State’s interest is to insure the stability of the relation between the proletariats and capitalists because they’re creating all the commodities. Base: sphere of production In order to produce commodities, we need to have a social relation of production. o Between the capitalists and the proletariat (dominant class vs working class) Unequal power dynamic If it becomes destabilized: Social unrest Production is limited and surplus value goes down. Gives rise to superstructure, which shapes public consciousness& subjectivity. 2-19-16 political economy: (need to know this) what marx studied Be able to explain Marx’s labor theory of value How the super structure emerges from base (sphere of production) o Emerges from the fact that the capitalists are able to harvest a bunch of money off of the labor power of the proletariat. Know how superstructure works to produce subjectivity: o laws- shape with gay rights, people who could vote in 19 century were white men with land, took women a while to be able to vote& also African Americans (these assumptions lead to the feeling that they’re not as important/not as rational makes and reinforces a hierarchy. Gives people authority to rule over others. Drills it into people’s heads. 3/5 human. Don’t worry about driving force of history for the quiz. o Base: Where commodities are produced. Need infusion of labor power. Social relations of production o Bourgeoisie and proletariat o Asymmetrical power dynamic—unfair and exploited. o If this is not maintained, then there will be social unrest and production will go down. Superstructure: State Laws Education and church Means of communication/representations Media We model ourselves after these representations. o If we don’t we might feel we’re inferior, deviant, unnatural from the norm Keeping wages down: Increases profit (surplus value) o More money for the bourgeoisie Keeps proletariat suppressed and vulnerable and dependent on wages If you’re a smart capitalist, you’d take your money and: Use it to make more money. Possibly invest in government
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