This solution evaluates the evidence that Marx presents to support his view that liberty, equality and the creation of wealth are only possible in the forthcoming socialist society.© BrainMass Inc. brainmass.com October 9, 2019, 5:45 pm ad1c9bdddf
Interesting question! Let's see what Marx had to say about these three concepts and if it makes sense, including examples to help your decide on your position:
Evaluate the evidence that Marx presents to support his view that liberty, equality and the creation of wealth are only possible in the forthcoming socialist society
The following quote is by Marx:
Both for the production on a mass scale of this communist consciousness, and for the success of the cause itself, the alteration of men on a mass scale is necessary, an alteration which can only take place in a practical movement, a revolution; this revolution is necessary, therefore, not only because the ruling class cannot be overthrown in any other way, but also because the class overthrowing it can only in a revolution succeed in ridding itself of all the muck of ages and become fitted to found society anew. (Marx, The German Ideology.)
In other, words, Marx believed that liberty (freedom) and equality were only possible through a revolution (working class) to overturn the ruling class (the evidence was the obvious to Marx- capitalism and the present condition of society marked by economic disparity and conflict between the working and ruling class due to economic status and exploitation of the working class by the ruling class). The overturn of the ruling class was argued by Marx to be the direct result of a progressive society and advancement of technology, and progress to a new society (communism), where everyone is equal and received equal paid regardless of work status. In other words, people would be able to self-create and have liberty and freedom in this new society. The wealth would be equally distributed and, thus, the exact opposite of capitalism, which left people feeling, alienated and linked to their working status (experience themselves as things, as commodities). In Marxist terms, we can interpret this as the advance in the forces of production, which brings with it an advance in human capacities.
Marxists argued that the advance of technology laid the groundwork not only for the creation of a new society, with different property relations, but also for the emergence of new human beings reconnected to nature and themselves (liberty and equality - enlightnement in a socialist/communist society). At the top of the agenda for empowered proletarians was "to increase the total productive forces as rapidly as possible." The nineteenth and twentieth century Left, from social democrats to Communists, were focused on industrialization, economic development and the promotion of science, reason and the idea of progress (excerpted from http://www.transhumanism.org/index.php/th/more/286/).
Do you agree or disagree with Marx? Does it sound reasonable, that this human progression is inevitable in the human history? Would socialism solve all humna socityal woes? Is it reaosnalbe to think that the the economic divison was the cause of all human problems, and that given the ideals of socialism/communism of liberty, equality and equal distibution of wealth, the ideal Utopia would really occur?
Let's look at some of these ideas more fully in the following examples:
Example 1: Liberty as self-creation in a socialist/communist world (excerpt)
Marx As a Romantic: The Concept of Alienation
Central to everything Marx writes is a strong indignation at what he sees taking place all around him, and that indignation, I would maintain, is Romantic in origin. The Romantics, you will recall, stress the importance of a self-created life, because only in such a free activity can the human individual be most fully alive. The metaphor most appropriate for this belief is that of life as creative play (the analogy with children is deliberate)--a favorite Romantic metaphor.
For the Romantics any forced activity or slavish copying of someone else's activity is in important ways a loss of what is most vital about human experience. By contrast, freely chosen play occurs only if one is fully in control of one's own activity, following one's own rules and enjoying the rewards which that creative play offers on terms dictated by oneself--in other words, if one if free in all the particulars of one's daily life. When that situation obtains, then, in a very real sense, one has a fully integrated sense of self.
When Marx looked around him, he saw everywhere that human activity was about as far removed from creative play as it is possible to get. Thousands of men, women, and children were little better than slaves, working at mind-numbing mechanical jobs in factories for a subsistence salary under hazardous working conditions which drastically shortened their lives. The hours were in many cases brutally long (up to 16 hr per day six days a week and 8 hr on Sunday), the work endlessly mechanical, the conditions appalling, the pay minimal, and the profits to the owners enormous. The fact that these conditions were extended also to women and children made the situation all the worse.
For Marx the Romantic this was, as for other Romantic critics of the factory system, a total denial of the possibilities for a human life beyond mere animal existence. In a very real sense, the workers not only had no control over their lives; they did not own their lives, for they lived most of the time as extensions of machines which someone else owned producing material goods which were not theirs. Nothing of themselves went into their work except their muscle power, for which they received a small hourly wage. Hence, their humanity was corrupted. To this situation, Marx gave the enduring name of alienation (Excerpted from http://www.ambedkar.org/research/LibertyEquality.htm).
Example 2: (Excerpt)
We saw ourselves as inheritors of the tradition known as the Enlightenment, which in the eighteenth century had fought so bravely against the old ideas of religion and superstition, laying the basis for the modern rational science of nature and for liberty, equality and fraternity.
The 'Marxists' explained that those eighteenth-century thinkers were not quite able to attain a scientific view of history, but that 'Marxism' had provided that extension. There was developed a 'theory of history' called 'historical materialism', an 'economic doctrine', sometimes referred to as 'Marxist economics', and a philosophical outlook, called 'dialectical materialism'. None of this was to be found in the writings of Karl Marx and when, in the 1960s, important texts of Marx were studied for the first time, the most strenuous efforts failed to reconcile them with 'Marxism'. (1)
Marx works to demonstrate that living humanly, in a manner 'worthy of and appropriate to our human nature' (Capital, Vol. 3), would mean a free association of human individuals, an association in which 'the free development of each individual is the condition for the free development of all' (Manifesto). He shows that individuals are 'alienated', dominated by the relations between them that they themselves have made. A truly human way of life is incompatible with private property, wage-labor, money and the state, but is actually in accord with nature, and the way that humanity, at whose heart lies free, creative, social activity, emerged from the blind activity of nature. (1)
Marx is not responsible for a 'doctrine' of any kind, neither a teaching about what the world ought to be, nor an explanation of the way the world works. He conceives of humanity as socially self-creating, and this clashes with anything, which purports to be a 'doctrine' or 'theory' of any kind. For 'doctrine' means separating the 'teacher' from the ordinary person being taught, a separation, which is itself a symptom of the sick, fragmented way of life of modernity. Today, entities like money, capital and the state are crazily accepted as subjects; at the same time, we treat each other and ourselves, not as free, self-creating subjects, but as if we were things. That is how we necessarily cut ourselves off from understanding ourselves. (Excerpted from http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/smith-cyril/works/alteration/ch01.htm).
In other words, for Marx, the capitalistic society created a society that was fragmented and sick, which created a sense of alienation (versus liberty and self creating) where people experienced themselves as commodities (things), and were not free to self-create and lacked equality due to the economic divisions in society (working versus ruling class). The economic divisions caused poverty amongst the working class and wealth only for the few ruling class. Thus, a socialist/communist society would ideally create the exact opposite of the capitalism. People would not be held back from self-creating, and gone would be the feeling of alienation and the division by economic status. Instead, equality would reign in the socialist/communist society. The wealth would be equally distributed amongst all the people, instead of a few ruling class (richer) having the economic power over the working class (poorer). In Marxist terms, we can interpret this as the advance in the forces of production, which brings with it an advance in human capacities. Marx is against exploitation, but not against development and accumulation. (2) In other word, Utopia!
Example 3: Other Links
Also, see 1 Biography
1.1 Early life
1.3 Marx and the Young Hegelians
1.5 Family life
1.6 Later life ...
This solution evaluates the evidence that Marx presents to support his view that liberty, equality and the creation of wealth are only possible in the forthcoming socialist society. References provided.