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Marxist Theory - Book Report/Review Example

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Marxist literary criticism is stemmed from the political and economic theories of the German philosopher Karl Marx. The body of ideas worked out by Marx (1818-1883) and Friedrich Engels (1820-1895) bore the name Marxism or Scientific Socialism. The ensemble of all these ideas provided a fully functional theoretical basis for the struggles of the working class to achieve a higher form of human society…
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Marxist Theory Book Report/Review
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Download file to see previous pages An understanding of Marxism consequently provides the proletariat theoretically for the enormous historic task of the Socialist transformation of Society.
The concept of ideology presented significant roles in the formation of the Marxist theory because it involved the set of ideas proposed by the dominant class of a society to all its members. The main objective behind an ideology is to present change in society, and observance to a set of ideals where traditional values already exists, through normative consideration in society. Karl Marx proposed an economic base - superstructure model or the means of production of society which is the base. It differentiates the fundamental basis of social orders from other influential and persisting social conditions such as legal and political systems, and religions. Detractors of the Marxist approach feel that it points too much value to economic factors that greatly influence society.
In the Marxist theory, the dominant ideology is the set of common values and beliefs shared by most people in a given society, framing how the majority perceive about a range of topics. Although Marx did offer a general definition of ideology, but on several occasions has used the term to denote the creation of images of social reality. Engels once stated that "ideology is a process accomplished by the so-called thinker consciously, it is true, but with a false consciousness. The real motive forces impelling him remain unknown to him; otherwise it simply would not be an ideological process. Hence he imagines false or seeming motive forces." (Torr, 1968) Since the dominant class controls the society's means of production, the superstructure of the public, as well as its governing ideas, will be established according to what is in the best interest of the ruling class. In the book, The German Ideology, Marx distinctively said "the ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas, i.e. the class which is the ruling material force of society, is the same time its ruling intellectual force." (Marx. Engel, 1932) In this regard, the ideology of a society is of great significance because it confuses the estranged groups and can breed false consciousness such as fetishism in the articles of trade. The false consciousness is the Marxist theory that material, or the substance which are used as inputs for production or manufacture, and the institutional processes in capitalist society are ambiguous to the proletariat, and other classes. These processes deceive the true relations of forces between these classes, and the real societal conditions regarding the development of pre-socialist society.
There are two divergent, contrasting models offered by Marx to characterise the processes of the dominant ideology. Conversely, neither of these models rejects the other but it only takes the other less significant. The first model portrays that ideology is intentional and constructed in a more or less intentional fashion by bourgeois intellectuals, those who own the means of producti ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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