History In Marx And Freud Essay, Research Paper
Marx and Freud are regard as very controversial individuals. They both had very unusual view of the world around them but were not afraid to express their ideas, which to many people were revolutionary. Marx and Freud formulated their opinions about the development of human history with which some might disagree. In the Communist Manifesto, Marx states that development of human history is based on economics, while Freud in Civilization and its Discontents claims that history of civilization is influenced by human nature and interaction with one another.
Marx views history as being determined by economics, which for him is the source of class differences. History is describe in The Communist Manifesto as a series of conflicts between oppressing classes and oppressed classes. According to this view of history, massive changes occur in a society when new technological capabilities allow a portion of the oppressed class to destroy the power of the oppressing class. Marx briefly traces the development of this through different periods, mentioning some of the various oppressed and oppressing classes, but points out that in earlier societies there were many differentiations of social classes. Marx sees the modern age as being distinguished from earlier periods by the simplifications of the class conflict, splitting up society into two great hostile groups: the bourgeoisie and the proletariat.
Marx starts off stating that in order for men to make history they must be able to live. According to him a human beings needs for survival include food, water, shelter and clothes. All these things need to be produced therefore the first stage of history is the production of the goods needed for survival. Without organized way for production Marx claims, no civilized society can function well and therefore by able to make history. This materialistic approach leads to the conclusion that the commerce and industry are fundamentals of any civilization.
The second point Marx argues that helps shape human history is the interaction between people. Men realize that close interaction with one another is necessary for well-developed society. Yet when humans begin to form families it creates new social relations between them and leads to division of labor. The separation of the individuals into families and division of labor in the family develops unequal distribution, where the children and the wife are “slaves of the husband”(159) and where the more powerful and wealthy gets control over the weaker. Division of labor Marx states shows the distinction between the interest of the individual and the family and the general interest of the whole community. The ruling class, bourgeoisie, controls the productive forces and sets up the standards for society, so in the end it can alone benefit from them. The way the history develops is through the oppression of a more powerful individual, whose main goal is to satisfy his own needs. There is obvious lack of unity and equal interaction between members of the community. The pressure is placed upon the satisfaction of an individual needs not the general interest of the whole community.
Unlike Marx, Freud stresses a great deal about the importance of community. He argues that the main factor in the development of history is human need for unity and well-organized community. He points out that from basic needs of human, which include food, water, shelter and clothes comes a greatest of all: the need for close interaction between people. Since the beginnings of every civilization people realized that living together in a close relations is very beneficial. Even though Freud argues men are very aggressive, they tend to overcome this inclination and try working together to attain happiness. The need for individual interest is lost as members of the community discover that one will not be able to survive alone without the help of others. The way the history is developed is based on the idea that humans in any possible way want to take control over the nature and make their lives better than their ancestors. Everything people work on is eventually going to be beneficial to them in one-way or another. Freud’s approach to history is that, without strong relations between individuals, no society can exist and therefore no history would be made. The basic principles is that people need one another in order to survive and no one class can get too much control over another because that creates a problem. The division of power and labor according to Freud is essential, because it creates an order yet there should not be a big gap between the workers and the owners. This would create tensions and would eventually lead to disruption of peace and also of the means of life.
Even though Freud and Marx’s view slightly differ, they both provide us with many new and interesting ideas that are well supported. Although some might disagree with all their opinions about the development of history and how it affects humans, one cannot say that Marx and Freud’s ideas are not to some extend correct. When all they have to say is well thought and analyzed one must conclude that some of the ideas are very well constructed and that actually can be beneficial in solving problems in our society. Maybe they both do not have the exact definition to the origin of human history I think they give us some basic principles that one can thing about and expand on.