Questions tagged [marx]

Karl Marx is a political philosopher and author of the Marxist theory of government and economics.

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The Effects of Marx's Moral Character on Communism

I recently read Paul Johnson's "Intellectuals" which includes a scourging critique of Karl Marx and his work. Surprisingly, it focused on Marx's own personality along with his many vices, which ...
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Help with philosophical interpretation of the movie 'V for Vendetta' [closed]

I am having a hard time with my essay on the film, 'V for Vendetta'. I am required to analyze the film from the perspective of two masters of suspicion, Marx and Nietzsche, but I cannot reach a ...
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Was Marx a Marxist?

In his writings, did Marx only seek to explain the social and economic transformation precipitated by the rise of capitalism as well as offer some forecast for the future or did he actively also ...
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Might Marx's argument in Das Kapital be less about justice and exploitation than it is about disenfranchisment?

Might Marx's argument in Das Kapital be less about justice and exploitation than it is about disenfranchisment? I specifically mean his analysis of work, the falling rate of profit, and movement of '...
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What does Marx mean by “the real will of the cooperative”?

This is an extract from A Darwinian Left by Peter Singer: Marx: Under collective property, the so-called will of the people disappears in order to make way for the real will of the cooperative. ...
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What does Machiavelli say about friends of my enemies?

What does Machiavelli say about friends of my enemies? I read the Prince, and some continental stuff relating it to Marxism, such as Specters of Marx. The former mostly seemed like practical, in some ...
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Marxism - primary contradiction of capitalism

After writing a long post, i decided to keep only the summary : I understand that in the marxist framework a mode of production is constituted by : the relations of production the productive forces ...
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Has anyone analyzed the possibility or impossibility of communism as an aporia?

I've read Aporias, and Spectres of Marx, and don't recall this exact question coming up, though I understand that some left leaning philosophers are working in a deconstructive tradition. Has anyone ...
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What does Marx mean in the quote from the bible?

The social revolution of the nineteenth century cannot take its poetry from the past but only from the future. It cannot begin with itself before it has stripped away all superstition about the ...
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How does commodity fetishism appear to individuals?

It is nothing but the definite social relation between men themselves which assumes here, for them, the fantastic form of a relation between things Das Kapital. I remember that fetishism ...
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Marx and teleology : what has happened, what will happen, or what could happen?

In Marxism the idea of history being a process with determinable characteristics is raised. History here being the relations of economic life and social reproduction, and the cultures they give rise ...
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How did subjectivity change with capitalism?

How did human subjectivity change with capitalism? I'm interested in Marxist answers, but I will accept answers from other perspectives. So, less about how our understanding of 'subjectivity' changed ...
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Who said that questions can only be asked if the askers roughly knows the answers?

I remember it was Marx who said this as a thought for Hegel's take on history, but searching for keyword answer in his Wikiquote page doesn't yield any result. The exact quote might be very different ...
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How do I differentiate between synchronic and dialectic approaches?

Marx has often been said to be using dialectic method and structuralism synchronic. Can someone, with examples, explain the two terms/approaches to me?
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Is the “legacy” of Marx & Engels unwarranted?

So something strange I've been thinking lately is that Marx & Engels are still pretty popular figures, even though their ideologues can be interpreted to be failures. They have numerous statues ...
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Why did Marx criticise Hegel?

While Marx accepted Hegel's dialectic process, he denied Hegel's conclusion that this dialectic ends in freedom that develops at the level of society in the form of Spirit. What is Marx's argument ...
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Locke's Anarchy versus Marx's Anarchy

I just got through reading Locke's Second Treatise of Government, and I read quite a bit of Marx a while back. They both have interesting ideas on the state of humans in a world devoid of civilization ...
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Did Karl Marx believe there is an innate human nature and does it matter in the light of contemporary biology?

Marx stressed the historical specificity of social practices and institutions. Did he think that human nature was similarly historically specific and aren't his views only of antiquarian interest in ...
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Do we need principles about every ethical decision / dilemma we have?

Do we need principles about every ethical decision / dilemma we have? I'm interested in an answer from any of the major ethical standpoint. And even ones inclusive to Marxism, either Marx's wish to ...
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Is there a cite for this attribution by Deleuze to Marx

Deleuze in his book Bergsonism compares a passage of Bergson to Marx saying “Humanity only sets itself problems that it is capable of solving.” But Deleuze gives no cite to Marx. I can see the drift ...
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Was Communism meant to be a telos, for Marx, or for Lenin etc.?

Was Communism meant to be a telos, for Marx, or for Lenin etc.? By that, I mean to ask whether Communism is already contained in anything that creates Communism? My apologies if my jargon is off, I ...
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Does the supposed status of the working class as “universal class” have any bearing on philosophical aesthetics or ethics?

Does the supposed status of the working class as "universal class" have any bearing on philosophical aesthetics or ethics, as these seem to often reach for universality? In Marxism it denotes that ...
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Can the capitalist class realise they are alienated?

I was taught that even the most self interested bourgeois is alienated, I think due to having to continually invest capital in competition with other capitalists. As so called state capitalism seems ...
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Could a Marxist claim that interpreting the world is all that a Marxist vanguard can do (but that the working class can still change it)? [closed]

Could a Marxist claim that interpreting the world is all that a Marxist vanguard can do, but that the working class can still change it? Marx, quite famously, said that philosophers have only ...
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What is the value of the individual in Marx's writing?

Very obviously, Marx put emphasis on changes to, and the value of, society. But in his writing is he doing away with the value of the individual? Or does it simply go without saying, that individuals ...
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Is Althusser's Marxism a degenerating research program?

His essay "Marxism and Humanism" is a strong statement of anti-humanism in Marxist theory, condemning ideas like "human potential" and "species-being", which are often put forth by Marxists, as ...
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When studying philosophy, is there a prioritization of primary or secondary sources/texts?

How do/did philosophers like Zizek, Cornel West, Derrida, Sartre study philosohy? Did they focus on primary sources or secondary? Both at the same time? I am currently reading a primary source and ...
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Is every mistake or reactionary form of Marxism “substitutionalist”?

Substitutionism is a term in Marxist theory which refers to the relationship between the revolutionary party and the working class, where the former's activity substitutes the latter's. It is seen ...
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Are there forms of capital which are not overtly economic?

Are there forms of capital which are not overtly economic, e.g. political capital? Especially, in what ways is capialism reproduced besides the investment of money into means of production, to extract ...
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How do Marxists explain the failures of the working movement?

How do Marxists explain the failures of the working movement? I don't so much mean the counter revolution in Russia, but the lack of an international working class movement, especially one which ...
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Clarification on two of Marx's writings: “To make the world philosophical” and “For the ruthless criticism of everything existing”

This is a post asking for clarification/commentary/explanations/intuitions for two of Marx's writings from The Marx-Engels Reader: "To make the world philosophical" (from Marx's dissertation, 1839-41) ...
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If history repeats as farce, then how can Nietzsche's madman prove the truth?

I keep wondering what "farce" really amounts to, in class terms, for Marx, rather than individual. On this question, there was the following comment But, if we look at more class based movements, ...
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Is large scale strike action an essential element of Marxism?

Is large scale strike action an essential element of Marxism? I'm asking because something significant and unforeseen has to occur, I think, to make that at all possible.
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What other defects did Marx think there was to hitherto existing metarialism?

The chief defect of all hitherto existing materialism – that of Feuerbach included – is that the thing, reality, sensuousness, is conceived only in the form of the object Does Marx allege any ...
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What did Marx mean by “revolutionary terror”?

there is only one way in which the murderous death agonies of the old society and the bloody birth throes of the new society can be shortened, simplified and concentrated, and that way is ...
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How can Marx be a materialist yet still speak of a human “essence” in his theory of alienation?

On one hand, Marx is a staunch materialist: he bases his theory of history on dialectical materialism, and denies any metaphysical realities above and beyond the material conditions that make human ...
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Was Marx an existentialist?

Obviously someone like Marcuse is often lumped under both 'Marxism' and 'existentialism'. What about Marx? I ask myself a lot how there can be any meaning to life when death is inevitable and ...
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Will automation emancipate us from labour?

In the The Human Condition, Arendt writes: The danger that the modern age's emancipation of labour will not only fail to usher in an age of freedom for all but will result, on the contrary, in ...
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Where does Adorno find this quote of Marx?

In Negative Dialectics, Adorno quotes Marx as saying: even if a society has found a natural law of motion - and the present works ultimate goal is to unveil the law of modern society economic ...
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Does Heidegger really think we need certainty to act? Is he right to?

Heidegger on Marx Does Heidegger really think we need certainty to act? He seems to. Leaving aside the I think frank ludicrousness of the demand, suppose that it's true, and that this stymies ...
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How does Marx show that capitalism is a kind of slavery?

indirect slavery, the slavery of proletariat Letter from Marx to Pavel Vasilyevich Annenkov, All official and liberal science defends wage-slavery, whereas Marxism has declared relentless war on ...
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What would Marx say about liberal identity politics?

As far as I know the main post-Marxist criticism of identity politics is that it is divisive, and so prevents the association of the proletariat. This seems to me to not take liberalism seriously ...
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Was Marx an anti-semite?

Marx wrote about jews quite a bit, despite having jewish blood or ancestors. Was Marx an anti-semite?
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What would Marx and his dialectic claim happens when both classes have been ruined?

Marx famously, in his communist manifesto, said Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guild-master(3) and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant ...
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If religion is the opium of the masses, are the masses self-medicating or is someone drugging them?

I've always assumed that when Marx said "Religion is the opium of the masses", he meant that religion is a tool used by the ruling classes of the time to dominate the lower classes. But when reading ...
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What did Nietzsche and Marx think of each other?

Nietzsche (1844-1900) and Marx (1818-1883) weren't quite contemporaries, but both were prominent and influential German thinkers, and one might expect that they have at least heard of each other. Marx ...
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What would Marx say about Lenin?

I know enough "good" Marxists (basically, ones with anarchist sympathies that take most of their history from opposition to other Communists, including Trotsky, beginning with Luxemburg): they say e.g....
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What does Marx mean by “value form”?

I've been reading some recent books that refer to money as the "value form" in Marx. In English translation, Marx does use the term "value form" and also refers to commodities as "values," in the ...
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What are Marx's ideas on the fetishization of commodities?

What are Marx's ideas on the fetishization of commodity? Specifically, I am interested in use value and exchange value; how does the commodity own its exchange value?
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How can “Diesseitigkeit” be understood in Marx' Theses on Feuerbach?

Man must prove the truth, i.e., the reality and power, the this-sidedness [Diesseitigkeit] of his thinking, in practice Thesis two of Marx's very short Theses on Feuerbach. I'm no scholar: does ...