The Communist Manifesto And Karl Marx And

Frederick Engels Essay, Research Paper

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The Communist Manifesto and Karl Marx and Frederick Engels

In The Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx and Frederick Engels present their

position of human nature and the consequence that the economic system and economic

factors have on it. Marx and Engels discuss human nature in the context of the

economic factors which they see as driving history. Freud, in Civilization and

Its Discontentments, explores human nature through his psychological position of the

human head.

Marx states that history & # 8220 ; & # 8230 ; is the history of category struggles & # 8221 ; ( 9 ) .

Marx positions history as being determined by economic sciences, which for him is the

beginning of category differences. History is described in The Communist Manifesto

as a series of struggles between suppressing categories and laden categories.

Harmonizing to this position of history, monolithic alterations occur in a society when new

technological capablenesss allow a part of the laden category to destruct

the power of the suppressing category. Marx briefly traces the development of this

through different periods, adverting some of the assorted laden and

suppressing categories, but points out that in earlier societies there were many

steps of societal categories. He besides states that this category struggle

sometimes leads to & # 8220 ; & # 8230 ; the common ruin of the contending classes & # 8221 ; ( Marx 9 ) .

Marx sees the modern age as being distinguished from earlier periods by

the simplification and intensification of the category struggle. He states that

& # 8220 ; Society as a whole is more and more dividing up into two great hostile

cantonments & # 8230 ; middle class and labor & # 8221 ; ( Marx 9 ) . The middle class, as the

dominant category of capitalists, subjugates the labor by utilizing it as an

object for the enlargement of capital. As capitalist economy progresses, this

subjection reduces a larger part of the population to the labor and

society becomes more polarized.

Harmonizing to Marx, the polarisation of society and the intense

subjugation of the labor will finally take to a revolution by the

labor, in which the control of the middle class will be destroyed. The

labor will so derive control of the agencies of production. This revolution

will ensue in the creative activity of a socialist province, which the labor will

usage to establish socialist reforms and finally communism.

The reforms which Marx outlines as happening in the socialist province have

the common end of disimpowering the middle class and increasing economic

equality. He sees this socialist phase as necessary for but necessarily taking

to the constitution of communism. Human existences, which are competitory under

capitalist economy and other anterior economic systems, will go concerted under

socialism and communism. Marx, in his position of human nature, sees economic

factors as being the primary incentive for human idea and action. He asks

the rhetorical inquiry, & # 8220 ; What else does the history of thoughts prove, than that

rational production changes its character in proportion as stuff

production is changed? & # 8221 ; ( Marx 29 ) . For Marx, the economic position of homo

existences determines their consciousness. Philosophy, faith and other cultural

facets are a contemplation of economic sciences and the dominant category which controls the

economic system.

This position of human nature as being chiefly determined by economic sciences may

look to be a basal position of humanity. However, from Marx & # 8217 ; s point of position, the

human status reaches its full potency under communism. Under communism,

the rhythm of category struggle and subjugation will stop, because all members of

society will hold their basic stuff demands met, instead than most being

exploited for their labour by a dominant category. In this sense the Marxian position

of human nature can be seen as hopeful. Although human existences are motivated by

economic sciences, they will finally be able to set up a society which is non

based on economic subjugation.

Freud, in Civilization and Its Dis

contents, presents a construct of

human nature that differs greatly from that of Marx. His position of human nature

is more complex than Marx & # 8217 ; s. Freud is critical of the Marxist position of homo

nature, saying that & # 8220 ; & # 8230 ; I am able to acknowledge that the psychological premises

on which the [ Communist ] system is based are an indefensible semblance. In

get rid ofing private belongings we deprive the human love of aggression of one of

its instruments & # 8230 ; but we have in no manner altered the differences in power and

influence which are misused by aggressiveness, nor have we altered anything in

its nature & # 8221 ; ( Freud 71 ) . Freud does non believe that remotion of economic

differences will take the human inherent aptitude to rule others.

For Freud, aggression is an unconditioned constituent of human nature and will

exist regardless of how society is formulated. He sees human existences as holding

both a life inherent aptitude ( Eros ) and an inherent aptitude for devastation. In Freud & # 8217 ; s view

of human world, the beginning of struggle, subjugation, and devastation in human

society is adult male & # 8217 ; s ain psychological make-up.

Because of Freud & # 8217 ; s position of human nature as inherently holding a

destructive constituent, he does non believe that a & # 8220 ; transmutation & # 8221 ; of worlds to

communist work forces and adult females will be possible. Marx & # 8217 ; s belief that the current

capitalist society will germinate into a communist society is non bearable

under Freud & # 8217 ; s construct of human nature because the desires of human existences

are excessively much in struggle with the demands of any civilised society. This

struggle does non be because of economic inequalities, harmonizing to Freud,

but instead because it is in human nature to hold aggressive desires which are

destructive to society.

Freud & # 8217 ; s attack to the possibility of cut downing struggle among humanity

focal points on understanding the human head, the aggressive qualities of homo

nature, and how human existences & # 8217 ; desires can come into struggle with the demands

of human society. He does non believe that the jobs of human struggle,

aggression, and devastation can be solved by a extremist reordering of society as

the doctrine of Marx suggests. Alternatively, Freud looks inside ourselves to

explore these jobs. At the stopping point of his work, Freud provinces, & # 8220 ; The fateful

inquiry for the human species seems to me to be whether and to what extent

their cultural development will win in get the hanging the perturbation of their

communal life by the human inherent aptitude of aggression and suicide & # 8221 ; ( Freud

111 ) . Freud does non offer any extremist solutions to human aggressiveness, but

instead sees it as something that worlds must continually endeavor to get the better of.

He states & # 8220 ; & # 8230 ; I have non the bravery to lift up before my fellow-men as a

prophesier, and I bow to their reproach that I can offer them no solace & # 8230 ; & # 8221 ;

( Freud 111 ) . Freud can non offer some vision of a human Utopia, but can merely

suggest that there is some possibility for the betterment of the human

status and society, but besides warns that our success at get the better ofing

destructive inherent aptitudes may be limited.

Marx offers a extremist doctrine which besides sees struggle as one of the

invariables of anterior human being. Unlike Freud, Marx believes that the

aggressive and conflict-oriented facets of human nature will vanish under

the Communist society which he sees as the inevitable merchandise of capitalist economy.

This is the hopeful component of Marx & # 8217 ; s doctrine. However, if communism is non

seen as inevitable or the possibilities for cut downing human struggle before a

socialist revolution are considered, so Marx & # 8217 ; s position of human nature locks

humanity into changeless struggle. If the hereafter is to be like Marx & # 8217 ; s version of

history, so there is small hopefulness in this position of human nature.

Plants Cited

Freud, Sigmund. Civilization and Its Discontentments. Ed. James Strachey. New

York: W.W. Norton, 1961.

Marx, Karl and Frederick Engels. The Communist Manifesto. New York:

International Publishers, 1994.