Marx Essay, Research Paper
After reading through Marx?s German Ideology, I came to realize that it was not actually a critique on the faults of German thinkers or philosophers. It was more a critique on the nature of history, as we know it. For the most part, people see history reflected through ideologies that distorts reality. These ideologies exists in many forms, but they all sustain the “false consciousness,” he argues history is. Some of the factors that he attributes to this are the sexual, religious, educational, occupational, political economic and technological aspects of our lives. Because of our need to fill or measure up to, these concepts, we remain dependent upon those who control their production. Therefore, in essence we see history in the form of objects that we produce, because in order to meet our personal physical needs, we must enter into labor. This in turn generates our needs into cultural and social action. Further, the person and society, with thought and action, define history upon the premise of past generations. The basic argument that he makes is man needs sustenance to survive. Therefore, his first stage of man is that he must live in order to make history. Nevertheless, man cannot live without providing for himself. Through the process of providing, man encounters others and propagates. Thus, Marx describes the formation of the family unit. After that, he goes into the development of means of production and the way that this ends up. The eventual formation of history based on materialistic goals came to focus on civil society, commerce, and industry. Marx called this the first historical act, it all began with means of production being placed on top. Therefore, all of history neglects real relationships and confines itself to high sounding dramas of princes and states. These powers become the foundation of importance and thought, which in turn ends up as dogma. This hero history adds to the thoughts of future generations, which will write successive versions. Basically, it is a paradox of life, control of the means of production of the material items that we are told we need also holds control over intellectual and cultural production.
Marx?s argument is a sound one, if you accept the possibility of one rejecting the trappings of society. It does not seem likely that a blue-collar worker would suddenly decide the things society deems valuable are not for him. The regular person is reminded constantly of how the better half lives. The possessions one owns, does in a way, define who that person is in the eyes of our culture. We live in a culture based on the ideas that bigger is better and everyone should own a Jaguar. Marx may have a point about the origin of this idea, and how it comes from past generations, but he does not live in today?s world. History may have taken a step in the wrong direction by placing merit on wealth and power over others, but this does not seem like something that can be undone. In order to do that, humanity would have to remove itself from itself, which is not possible. Even if it were, the leading powers would make it illegal, thus the individual remains stuck in the articulations of the dominant class. While I may not agree with the argument that all history is faulty, I can see that it has always been written by those who would make themselves look like the hero. Is there any way to go back and find the other side to our histories?