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Is Marx's theory mainly a positive or a normative account?

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I understand the normative aspects to Marx's writing such as the exploitation of workers, the alienation of workers and the immiseration of proletariat, but I need help constructing his positive account.

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Solution Summary

Marx's theory mainly a positive or a normative account is examined.

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Here's the basic thesis:

Marx held that his approach to the world was scientific, not moral. It may have moral implications, but is not based on morality as such. Workers do not have a moral right to control industry, neither do the present owners. It is just the simple fact that since labor creates value, that value belongs to them, not those who do not create it. It is a fact, not a moral judgment.

Marx writes the following:

"We recognize only one single science, the science of history. You can view it from two sides, and divide it into the history of nature and the history of people. . .we will start from really acting people, and try to deduce from their actual life-process the development of these ideological images and reflections of that life-process. For these misty formations in the brains of people are necessary sublimations of their material, empirically ascertained life-process, which is bound up with material conditions. In this way morals, religion, metaphysics, and other forms of ideology, lose their apparent independence. They have no history, they have no development; only people, developing their material production and their material relations, change also in the course of this activity their thinking and the products of their thinking" (quoted from Max Eastman).

Science is all there is. Morality is an "ideology." That means that it is an abstraction, something unreal, that tries to justify the painful position of different inferior classes in history. That's all there is. Hence, there is no "normative" account of Marxism, he says there is no such thing, he calls them " misty formations" in the brains of people. Notice he does not use the word "mind." He does not believe in minds, only in physical brains.

Marx and "Metaphysics"

In addition, morals and other forms of "metaphysics" (which is used as an insult) are the result of ignorance. When one does not know the cause of something, people have a tendency to invent some spiritual or non-material cause of it. This is metaphysics, the mysterious forces behind our perceptions and the objects we experience in nature. The point of science is to eliminate this. Once science discovers actual, physical causes, metaphysics will go away, since it will no longer have any purpose. We can say the same about poetry and most art. These are mystifications.

Yet, what matters alone is, "Material, empirically ascertained life process, which is bound up with material conditions." That sentence alone shows the fullness of Marx's project. He cannot be ...

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