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Rousseau's Influence on the Critical Theory of Karl Marx - Essay Example

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Karl Heinrich Marx is known as a champion of the socialist cause. He was a scholar and political activist, who always stood for the cause of the people and stood against the hegemony of capitalists and wealthy people. At the end of the eighteenth century and the beginning of the nineteenth century, rapid changes started taking place across the globe…
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Rousseaus Influence on the Critical Theory of Karl Marx
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Download file to see previous pages This led to the movement of some sociologists. Theory of Karl Marx is an important milestone in this fightback for the poor and lesser privileges sections of the society. The critical theory of Karl Marx was another fine example in the series of thought provoking ideas of how the sociologists desired the world to be. It was in June 1844 that the critical theory emerged with the Economical and Philosophical Manuscripts of Karl Marx. He continued to work towards symbolizing the class struggle with the Hegelian philosophy as a guiding principle and came out with the first volume of his critical analysis of capitalism, Das Capital in 1867, which was a treatise of the economy and politics prevailing in the the 20th century1.
Born on 5th May 1818 in Trier, Prussia (now Germany) Karl Marx was a highly influential thinker and revolutionary who started following the philosophical tradition of G. W. F. Hegel, but turned develop his system of thought mainly on the political aspects of economy (Jones, 2001). While working on the critical theory, Karl Marx took inspiration from a number of contemporary and earlier social thinkers. Jean Jacques Rousseau, a Swiss born political theorist was one such writer which finds an influence in the propounding of the critical theory. ...
In the critical theory it was suggested that the class conflict would end up destroying the capitalism and lead to socialist society in which the resources would be equitably distributed instead of benefiting a selected few (Griffiths, 2005). Rousseau was a leading writer who is often considered as one of the earliest torchbearer of the modern socialism and communism. This very thought is echoed in the works of Karl Marx as well. Rousseau too criticized the tendency amongst the individuals towards amassing wealth at the cost of further impoverishing a large section of our society. He postulated man in a 'state of nature', in which he depicted how the man is divested of his social and cultural aspects (Zeitlin, 2000). In his 'Discourse on the Origin of Inequality' Rousseau argued that human beings by nature do not indulge in irrational behavior, but the social inequality becomes the root cause of injustice and moral corruption (Adams and Dyson, 2003). In fact, it has been argued by many sociologists that failings of social structure result in alienation. The failings can be pinpointed as weaknesses in the moral fiber of the social organs or as a deliberate manipulation of social relations. Thinkers like Rousseau and Marx suggested adopting ways and means so that the effects of alienation can be minimized on the masses and the social fabric can be reconstructed for creating a better world.
Rousseau suggested that in order to harmonize the social equality concept, the natural man need to be discovered. He stated that conducting experiments for such discoveries might prove to be difficult and therefore he suggested some alternatives to approach the problem. These alternatives included (Zeitlin, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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