Marx read from the same script as Hegel by portraying the situation of modern individuals – specifically modern wage laborers – who are deprived of a fulfilling mode of life. They are socially productive agents and do not have any sense of the communal act or pleasure and give them no ownership over their lives or their products. In modern society, people are alienated in their common human essence (Marx & Friedrich 145). The supportive activity that unites them is helpless in the lives subjected to inhuman power – created by them, but differentiating and dominating them as an alternative of being subject matter to their united will. The power of the market is “free” only in the context that it is above the management of its personal creators. However, it is enslaving by sorting them out from one another, from their activities, and from the commodities.
Marx was Hegel’s student and acquired skills from him. He upheld Hegel’s philosophy during his time together with other left-wing Young Hegelians. The right-wing group offered a conservative interpretation of Hegel’s work. They stressed the compatibility linking Hegel’s philosophy and Christianity (Marx & Friedrich 123). Politically, they were orthodox. The left-wing Hegelians ultimately moved to an atheistic situation. In politics, many of them became revolutionaries. The history has it that it is significant to know that the left-wing group included Bruno Bauer, Friedrich Engels, Ludwig Feuerbach, and Marx. People referred to them as the Young Hegelian.
Marx distinguishes appearances and reality like Hegel and other philosophers. He argues that the material world is real and that the ideas of it are consequences, not causes of the world. Marx broke from the rest of the Young Hegelians from his writings about the German idealism. Marx thus stood Hegel on his head in his view by changing the idealistic dialectic into a materialistic one. He claims that the material things shape ideas, instead of the other way around.
Marx view of historical materialism was significantly influenced by Hegel’s claim that reality was to be viewed dialectically. Hegel was a supporter of greater and greater rationality of human history and was against the existing status quo. He opposed slavery in United States and predicted a moment when Christian states would radically remove it from the civilization.
Marx agreed to the concept of human history, however, unlike Hegel, who was an idealist; he sought to rewrite dialectics in materialist terms (Marx & Friedrich 89). He stated that, “In the social production of their survival men inevitably enter into specific relations, which are autonomous of their wish, namely the relations of the development, which are suitable to a given step in the growth of the material forces of the expansion. The entirety of the relations of the production constituted the financial organization of humanity, the real basis that arises from a lawful and opinionated superstructure and corresponds to the definite forms of the social awareness. The method of producing the material life conditions for the general procedure of political, social, and even the intellectual life. It is not the awareness of the men that resolve their survival but the social existence determines their consciousness.
Marx was one of Hegel’s pupils together with Bruno Bauer, who was a leader of the circle of the Young Hegelians where Marx was attached. However, there was a disagreement between Marx and Bruno Bauer. The rest of the Young Hegelians also disagreed with Marx about the socialism and usage of the Hegel’s dialectic (Banaji 18). In 1841, Marx broke away from the idealism of Germany and Hegelian philosophy. He cut away with the environment where he was brought up and encountered the workers in both Germany and France. The early writings of Marx are a response towards Hegel and a break with the other Young Hegelians. Marx, turn out to stand Hegel on his head in his view of his role through changing the dialectic of the idealism into a worldly one to propose that the material conditions figure the ideas, as an alternative of the other way.
In the Hegel’s philosophy, Marx regards the Hegelian dialectics as the most comprehensive and even the most profound doctrine of the development. He also considered it as the richest idea in the whole continent. The Hegelian dialectics was one of the achievements of the most classical German philosophy as considered by Marx (Banaji 35). This idea made them believe that any other formulation of the principle on either development or evolution was one-sided. It could also have poor content, which could only distort and even manipulate the actual course of the development in both the nature and the society. Therefore, Marx wanted to rescue the conscious of dialectics from the destruction of the idealism.
Marx applied this idea developed by Hegelian his materialist concept of Nature. He says that nature is the only proof of the dialectics. It must be said for the modern natural science furnished extremely rich and the daily increasing materials for the test.
Marx further wrote a scathing criticism of the Young Hegelians ideas. He argued that the real thing is the material world while other ideas in the earth are results other than the origins of the world. Thus, according to Marx, God is not the creator of man and the qualities that people attribute to God are the qualities of the humanity (Banaji 23). In addition, Marx did not believe the idea that the material world is hidden from the people as the actual world of the ideas. He thought that the historical and the specific ideological issues to prevent the individuals to see the material states of their lives in a clear way.
Marx also negates the Hegelian idea that there is no need for replacing the capitalist system if it does not cause the alienation and there is a failure to any attempt of revolution. He also says that communism does not bring back what the capitalism has set apart. Thus, alienation is for making strange then it will fail. According to Marx, instead of revolution happening, there is creation of alienation that makes people be different with others.
Therefore, they think that revolution has taken place while, in actual sense, there is no revolution. For that matter, Marx believes that up-to-date, revolution has not taken place, and the communism failed (Coase 313). It made Marx become a revolutionary himself since he believed that no one could reform the capitalism. He believed that the capitalist idea was meant to create alienation and the estrangement.
Marx is seen to deviate from Hegel’s opinion as he said that the capitalists and proletarians are equally alienated. The social class, though, experiences alienation in a different form. It is evidenced as the propertied class of the proletariat presents the same human self- estrangement. The proletariat feels annihilated and powerless (Coase 325). Marx gives a proposition on self-actualization of man’s progress. Hegel suggested that there is a succession of historic stages in the human spirit. Marx’s response to Hegel touches on replacement of the spirits with categories of materialism. He states that for a man, spiritual unawareness becomes isolation and self-perception becomes the realization of his species being. Thus, it led to the end of the past consequences in the achievement of the human being over the isolation, and the establishment of an impartially better society.
Marx ideas supported the fact that the social development came up from the inherent contradictions within material life and the social superstructure. The notion is mostly understood as a historical narrative. The slave states had developed into feudal societies. The societies turned into capitalist states, and the self-conscious portion of their people would overthrow them. Marx’s idea describes the development of capitalism from feudalism, and the prediction of the development of communism from capitalism.
Throughout many years, there has been an argument on various theories between the philosophers and the economist. An example is Friedrich Engels highly negates the idea of the Adam Smith that he wrote about capitalism in his 1776 book, The Wealth of Nations. According to Adam Smith, capitalism is concerned with the requirements of the manufacturers and the customers alike. Therefore, capitalism held various ideas concerning the natural prices, monetary theory, and even the value theory.
However, Engels held that production portion of the capitalism highly signaled a great doubt. According to him, he believed that the production in the capitalism worked in a manner that the rich factory owners were to benefit, and the poor factory owners were to lose. In this way of reasoning, the capitalist system was to benefit those who were rich and take advantage of the poor people. Engels also held that in a society that is civilized, production would occur among the individuals. It aimed to meet the individual’s needs in the society. With this Engels’ idea, production creates the object that corresponds to the given needs. Production relates to the consumption in that production is a product of the production, and even the act of the production itself is an act of the consumption.
In addition to the Wealth of the Nation, Adam wrote about the theory of the Moral Sentiments whereby he discusses the moral theory on the nature of the man and the world. In the writing, he demarcates the system of the virtues, nobles and the commercial. The commercial virtues are the interest of the individual and should be applicable to reap the success in the business world. Engels highly negates this Moral sentiment, as there is a discrepancy between the discussion of the morality and virtue and the thought on the capitalism, which is self-interest.
However, Smith’s theory has stood the test of time better than the Engels’ negation of the thinking of Smith. The idea of Capitalism developed by Smith was to develop the economy that was to benefit the every citizen and even the entire nation at the same time. It is a system of free trade that allowed individuals to have the opportunity of own property and even seeking a living in the way they wish. The free trade society gives the capability to shift the unrestrained from one profession to another. The capitalism is a freedom that allows even the poorest individuals the opportunity to become successful as opposed by Engels in his negation. The capitalism explains that one’s status at of birth does not necessitate a particular outcome. Using the free will and reason, individuals have the ability of making into what they desire.
Smith asserts that capitalism is the most lucrative, logical, moral political, and the economic system. Therefore, in this system, people are free to do anything they wish and can spend in the way that fits them with their property. Thus, the privately possessed property, combined with a desire to spend, earn, and spend fruitfully show the way to the natural market roles of the free financial system of the market. The capitalism also led to rivalry that in turn determines the equality in the prices and leads to the only competent benefit between those who produce and the consumers the products. Thus, capitalism is the most natural economic system.
Idealism suggests the priority of ideals, principles, values, and objectives over concrete realities. The idealists are perceived to represent the world as it might or should be, as opposed to pragmatists, who focus on the world as it is currently. In actual sense, idealism affirms the imagination and attempts to understand an intellectual idea of beauty, a normal of perfection, learning to esthetic naturalism and realism.
Idealistic philosophy assigns crucial significance to the ideal or spiritual realm in the account of human existence. Metaphysical idealism represents an ontological doctrine that holds that the reality itself is incorporeal or experimental at its core. Platonic idealism confirms that notions are more essential to the reality than the things that one may perceive. On the other hand, the phenomenalists and the subjective idealists tend to favor sensory skills to prevent the reasoning. One can define Epistemological idealism, as the analysis of the reality that one can understand through ideas, that only psychological experience can be seized by the mind.
Idealists like George Berkeley, a subjective idealist, are opposing realizes in terms of a mind-independent world. On the other hand, transcendental idealists like Immanuel Kant are firm skeptics of such a world. It affirms epistemological and not metaphysical idealism.
According to Kant, idealism is the declaration that one can never be sure whether not all of the presumed external experience is a mere imagination. He asserts that, according to idealism, the certainty of the peripheral substance does not admit of strict evidence. However, the truth of the entity of the internal sense of an individual and the state is clear immediately through consciousness. As a rule, the transcendental idealists defend the epistemic side of the idealism with no commitment from them to whether reality is primarily mental. Objective idealists, however, affirm reality’s metaphysical basis in mental or abstract without minimizing their epistemology to ordinary experience. In addition, the subjective idealists affirm both metaphysical and epistemological idealism.
Positivism is the philosophy of science that asserts that all realities are justifiable. The verification can be through logic, science, or mathematics. It rejects metaphysics and theism. It holds that a society like the physical world operates in accordance with the law. The introspective and intuitive knowledge is neglected.
The positivist move has been a regular theme in the modern sense of approach and history of western thought.
Sociologist Auguste Comte developed it in the early 19th century. He argued that the physical world operates according to the gravity and other absolute laws and so does the society. The second stage in the evolution of positivism is attributed to Ernst Mach and Avenarius (Priestley 84). They had a view of extreme psychologist that merged with subjectivism. The formation of the latest positivism or neo-positivism is attributed to Vienna Circle and of the Berlin Society for Scientific Philosophy. It looks at issues that include logical positivism, logical atomism, and semantics.
Materialism idea is a philosophy that holds matter as the basic substance in nature. It looks at all phenomena including mental and consciousness as being the result of material interactions. Materialism leans towards the physicalism; all that exists is ultimately physical. Philosophical physicalism has evolved over time from materialism following the discoveries of the physical sciences (Priestley 94). During the 19th century, the materialism concept got extension by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels to elaborate a materialist conception of history. It was centered on roughly experimental world of the human activity and the organizations formed, replicated, or destroyed by that action. Marxists later on developed the idea of dialectical materialism, which was the character of Marxist philosophy and method.
Materialism idea is found in the class of monist ontology. It is different from ontological theories that base their arguments on dualism or pluralism. The materialist idea is in opposition to the doctrines of immaterial substance found in the mind form history (Priestley 78). It is always associated with reductionism. Non-reductive materialism rejects the notion of existence of real objects in terms of basic material constituents. Jerry Fodor argued that psychology and geology are invisible from the basic physics perspective.
- Banaji, Jairus. “From the commodity to capital: Hegel’s dialectic in Marx’s Capital.” (1979): 14-45.
- Coase, Ronald H. “The wealth of nations.” Economic Inquiry 15.3 (1977): 309-325.
- Marx, Karl, and Friedrich Engels. The communist manifesto. Penguin, 2002.
- Priestley, Mark. “Constructions and creations: idealism, materialism, and disability theory.” Disability & Society 13.1 (1998): 75-94.