Karl Marx Continuation OF THIS Enlightenment Sociology Essay

Karl Marx is regarded as one of the classics of sociology. His social thought, considered one of the most important social ideas, was a humanistic theory, focused on the health of society and a location of individual in social framework. Marx is recognized as one of the greatest ideologists of the nineteen century. His politics theory was cutting edge. Being a sociologist though, he's regarded to be a "great heir of Enlightenment", using and expanding key principles of the eighteen hundred years thinkers. This newspaper is aimed to go over Karl Marx' theory compared to the Enlightenment school of thought. I will try to answer a question: from what stretch Marx' work inherited from the Enlightenment thinkers? To be able to that I am going to discuss the key principles of the Enlightenment that were further developed in Marx's works. In the next area of the paper I am going to compare the ideas of the eighteen century thinkers with Marx' theory, in regard to notions of improvement, social structure, faith, science, materialism, condition and individualism.

Social development, progress and public change

The theory of cultural development and improvement was the main element concept of the Enlightenment. The experience of Renaissance - recovery from the "dark ages", rediscovery of old-fashioned philosophy, the enlargement of colonialism and exploration of non-European cultures, violated established order and lead to expansion of new ideas doubting traditions. The Enlightenment regarded that human history changes which societies experience material and mental, moral or philosophical improvement. It became clear, that modernity is just another stage of development, that will not lead the end of background, but might be as well a new of some better, new world. Eighteen hundred years thinkers considered reason as the main power of change, thinking, that real human knowledge and consciousness may develop linearly. Because the Enlightenment was an time of technology and reason, philosophers have a tendency to classify and order possessed knowledge. That lead to some ideas of historical stages development of societies that established historical periods in progressive order.

Marx inherited from the Enlightenment that linear and deterministic perspective on development of societies, building his theory on the thought of progress. In his works he wrote about successive levels of development of societies: primitive culture, feudalism, capitalism (bourgeois development), socialism and communism. He left behind the idea of reason as the main force of improvement, though. For Marx' the main element force of development was possession and setting of production appearing from it. HeEach of the phases presented different interpersonal relations, policies, politics and consciousness - all of which resulting from monetary relations. The function of development representing each of historical creation of modern culture was seen as a platform, and resulted in several superstructures - culture, religion and politics. Every stage of history was more technical than another and business lead to another one. For Marx it designed that the annals of all societies is inescapable and must lead through the same phases.

The Enlightenment's connection to the idea of progressive development of societies lead to the ideas of future utopia - last, goal level of social advancement. It was an extremely optimistic concept of history, beginning in dark, oppressive durations of the past, through ambiguous and chaotic modernity, leading to some "enlighten", better and future. Such utopian vision was referred to by Condorcet, for whom future contemporary society would prevail tyranny by changing custom and superstition into reason. Delany composed of the Enlightenment as "characterized with a certain utopianism, which was a representation of the perception in the pledges of modernity to bring about freedom. Unlike prior cultural thought, it exhibited a great opinion in the power of real human action to shape the near future". A similar was true for Marx, who found communism as the perfect and most of all - just, communal system. For Marx the end stage of human history - communism - displayed the most popular and final stage of real human development. As Sideman wrote: "Marx never quit his Enlightenment beliefs in the arriving of a fresh period".

But unlike the Enlightenment philosophers, for Marx, the utopia was not to be obtained through evolution and development of reason, but through trend of working class. The idea of revolution had not been within eighteen century before the experience of French revolution. Though it is sad, that the Enlightenment well prepared the bottom for the revolt in France, works of eighteen century thinkers didn't appeal to induce or violent change. Marx distributed the romantic eyesight of trend with socialist thinkers and activists assisting French strife. Additionally, unlike his eighteen century ancestors, Marx searched for emancipation in proletariat - the working course of modernity. The Enlightenment was an era of intellectuals, presenting special role to philosophers along the way of development of world. In eighteen hundred years thought, reason had the emancipatory force. Marx violent perspective of revolution didn't reserved place for intellectuals, though Marx was one of these.

Social structure

The Enlightenment was a period of any great enlargement of egalitarian theories. The thought of natural regulations developed and idea of equality acquired spread. Eighteen hundred years philosophers attemptedto find and identify origins of interpersonal order as well as discover best cultural conditions to keep up and expand individual flexibility. Especially the last mentioned - freedom, realized as unconstrained development and extension of reason - was an important concern in the theory of talk about and governance. The Enlightenment appreciated the thought of liberated specific in the contemporary society - free from state, cathedral and other collective varieties of organizations. To reconcile the principles of point out and freedom, the idea of civil society was developed. Individuals became residents - residents of circumstances that got their natural, inside rights, those who through that civil protection under the law gained flexibility. Though humans were not equivalent, especially because of different types and sizes of possession, that they had the potential of equality internalized through their natural, inalienable rights.

For Marx notion of equality was an objective of the development of societies. Contemporary sociable structure was definately not egalitarian one. To spell it out social composition Marx used an idea of class as sets of folks or elements of world that differ by the "effective control over the means of production and property possession". The course designated people who lived in similar conditions. For bourgeois stage of development interpersonal structure was essentially dichotomous, comprising two classes - owners (capitalists) and workers. Since individuals within one category shared alike monetary positions - they also distributed the same passions. Individuals from different classes, on the other hands, remained in long term discord as they passions were contrary. For in Marx' theory class composition is a structure of everlasting class-conflict. As E. C. Cuff while others portrayed it: "Since the inequality between your owning class and the labouring course is not only an monetary one, narrowly identified, but includes a social romantic relationship of power and control, the difference of interest between these classes refers to freedom" and further: "The issue of interest between buying and labouring classes is, then, a discord over vitality and flexibility. " Once more Marx' theory turned down peaceful and optimistic assumptions of the Enlightenment.

Ideologies and religion

The end of the Middle Ages finished the era of god's laws and theological description of communal order. The Enlightenment segregated religion from politics. Eighteen hundred years brought to life the concept of general population - private spheres. Religious beliefs became private matter of residents. God's rights no more decided on political questions and sociable relations. Secular population was based on secular rules. The Enlightenment thought in reason and science, and through them looked for emancipation from faith and superstition. "Social change required that cultural practices be weakened to allow for new ideas and attitudes favoring social progress". Religion and tradition constrained cultural change and overruled the utopian eye-sight of future. It generally does not imply that the Enlightenment was a secular age. Rejection of faith covered only open public, political sphere. None of the fantastic philosophers of the time - Becon, Diderot, Locke - postulated atheism. The issue was to split up religion from knowledge, theology from rational reasoning. Religious beliefs intruded cognition, so had to be forgotten in the sphere of knowledge.

Marx also distributed to the Enlightenment the concept of secular culture, though he helped bring the thought of secularization further. For Marx every ideology and meta-narration of population, in every stage of its development, was a product of current economical relations, and so was religion. Faith - internalized rules, legislation and prohibitions - offered justification of the conditions of creation and hence, the justification of exploitation. In such a sense faith was a device of oppression. It was no longer an exclusive issue, but a politics one, that justified bourgeois order. Just as the eighteen century - religious beliefs obstructed change, but this time around, though, it had not been imagine to be withdraw from public life, but destroyed absolutely. That's the reason, corresponding to Marx, emancipation not only required rejection of theological order of the world, but also complete rejection of religious beliefs. Once more this emancipation required revolution - dramatic and rapid change of economic conditions that would change social relationships, including execution of religion.

The role of science

The Enlightenment was the era of development of sciences. A great expand of sciences such as mathematics, treatments, natural sciences modified the view of modern philosophers on the planet and real human kind. Science unveiled mystery of lifetime and the order of mother nature. That's the reason science became one of the ways to obtain specific flexibility. Eighteen century philosophers presumed that one day research will lead to discovery of logical, rational order of individual and societal relationships.

For Marx knowledge also had an important role in disclosing the guidelines of corporation of modern culture. Marx knew that "to be able to change, it's important to comprehend the social makes - institutions, ethnic traditions, social organizations". In Marx' theory research organised the explanatory role by exposing the real mother nature of cultural order, gave information about communal classes, modes of development and rules of historical development. Corresponding to Marx, research should be based on rational assumptions and logical laws, it will reject common sense and superstitions.

When speaking about the role of technology in Marx' theory, his contribution to clinical methods will probably be worth talk about. The Enlightenment admired accomplishments of modern mathematics and physicists, especially those of Newton. Philosophers were dreaming of finding scientific method, just like methods used in physics and mathematics, to research and describe cultural world. Modern thinkers presumed that since the intricate world of character can be characterized through clear rules and habits of numbers, the same can be done with individual environment.

Marx' wanted different way of inquiry. His clinical method characterized as "historicism" postulated analysis on every interpersonal phenomena in their historical context. Marx claimed that individuals and their activities are embedded in broader environment, since none human being exists segregated from his environment. Additionally he posed the question of an researcher as a interpersonal actor, entangled in public reality beside investigated objects. Marx claimed that scientist stocks common consciousness to the same level as all other members of society. True technological method required from the researcher detachment from bogus, superstition knowledge inserted on the top of communal life. Here again Marx portrayed notion in reason and logic, similarly to his eighteen century ancestors.

Economic perspective

Though Marx' theory stocks materialistic point of view, he had not been the main one to introduce economical interpretation of social life. Adam Smith, Adam Ferguson and more eighteen century thinkers saw the leading role of current economic climate in public life. Those early on economists had written about dehumanization of work and disintegration of contemporary society through modern field of expertise of creation and specialized development of the production process. Industrial trend of eighteen century brought to light new phenomena which were not forgotten by present-day thinkers. Negative effects of industrialization, demographic explosion and urbanization were thoroughly discussed by that point.

As we can see, the importance of material conditions for human being individual and collective life had not been the Marx' invention, though he also noticed that technology destroys public relations. Matching to him, enhancements, machines and devices found in the process of production serve the dominant course for exploitation of staff. Nevertheless, with his materialistic view on society, Marx proceeded to go further with the idea, declaring that: "the reproduction of material life precedes the development of culture". For Marx material conditions of presence were the basis for all the characteristics of life. In this idea, living conditions motivated social structure, insurance policies, guidelines and morality. Marx revealed that certain interpersonal conditions shape certain forms of consciousness. That was a great contribution of Marx' considered to public sciences. Since Marx, cultural scientists started research on the role of material conditions on human being thoughts, believes and attitudes, offering a start to many disciplines of public sciences, as sociology of thought, sociology of knowledge or sociology of religion. Moreover, since that time, social researchers considered development process and ownership relations of societies as some of the most important criteria of interpersonal studies evaluation.

The idea of state

Eighteen century beliefs was critical for the old order or routine. The Enlightenment developed several status theories, all linked with the idea of social deal. Hobbes, said that the says are made based on common agreement where individuals give their protection under the law to absolute vitality. John Locke postulated conception of liberal state predicated on tolerance, private possession and freedom of economical action. In this particular conception it was not the definite ruler but culture that hold the vitality. Kannt, on the other hand, proposed peaceful republican plan of federation of areas. Finally Rousseau published about egalitarian routine of equal chances, conditions and rights of citizens. All of the eighteen century ideas of authority were positive ones, presuming rationality of electricity and universality of interests.

Marx' idea of the state had not been the optimistic one. In his works status power had class character. Plan authority served category interest of prominent group of world - capitalists, through arranged violence towards the suppressed class. There was no possibility to gain freedom through or within their state. Unlike the eighteen century theories, Marx' project of attractive future assumed abolishment of the bureaucratic, oppressive, class regime. Decomposition of the state of hawaii should be completed through the proletariat revolution that could lead to class-free world of common owners.

Individualism and collective action

In earlier beliefs, the position of individual in contemporary society was regular and determined, not by people himself, but by external forces - the entire world order, god's will, some type of justice and inner sense of communal lifestyle. Enlightenment and especially the French revolution, brought the idea of civil modern culture and civil rights. The Enlightenment claimed that all humans share some common characteristics that are self-employed of external, historical or natural conditions. It had been the sort of individualism, that said that human dynamics in general have some common attributes inherited from the talk about of nature. That is what makes society egalitarian - variations between human position in society are simply just secondary, in a sense that (man) humans are equal and share the same civic rights. Emancipation in this context was a political emancipation of people from feudal, traditional relationships.

Marx connected human position in interpersonal structure with materials conditions and idea of work and possession. For him the idea of society was not based on the idea of civil protection under the law, but on the thought of economic relations between different cultural categories - classes. It had been dichotomous eye-sight of society manufactured from personnel and capitalists - the owners of means of development. Emancipation was possible not on the basis of civil rights, but based on changing economic relations. This was a revolutionary point of view, resulting in turnover of public order. Unlike the Enlightenment, Marx' did not identified emancipation and concept of freedom in specific actions. He plainly declined individualism - both in conditions of individual public actions and since the technique of inference about individuals conditions. Marx claimed that every person is rooted in his collective record and population, and his consciousness, as well as values, goals and needs are designed through that traditions. That is why not only evaluation of real human conditions, but also the projected change of social relations, must consider collective baggage and collective effort.


As we can easily see, Marx benefited much from the Enlightenment beliefs, though we have to keep in mind, that issues provided in this newspaper are merely types of eighteen century traditions in Marx' thought. Marx indeed was "a kid of the Enlightenment" in a sense, that he needed form that custom in different ways, sometimes immediately, sometimes expanding further ideas and sometimes criticizing and negating the eighteen century thought. This heritage however seems somehow natural, since we cannot abandon of our background and are always influenced by previous discourses. What we must keep in mind about is, that eighteen century custom does not exhaust Marx' thought but merely enriches and embeds it in historical framework.

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