Friday, June 22, 2018

Marxism | Marxist Theory | English Literature

Karl Marx

He was a German Philosopher, Socialist, Economics, and theorist. He was born in Trier in a middle class family in 5 May 1818. Because of his political thoughts and publications he lived in exile become stateless and lived in London. He died on 14 March 1883. Marx’s theory reflects the main idea of the society, their class struggle and The Idea of Capitalism. He pointed out the socialism and capitalism.
  • Socialist idea leads the struggles and the position of humans. In this idea he talks about the power, which can turns the society’s hierarchical values.
  • Marx mainly persuade the Capitalism, without the capital power will not get a chance for grow the values.


 Marxism & Criticism

Marx divides up philosophy into the idealists (Plato and Aristotle most notably) and ' the materialists. There are two kinds of materialists, mechanical and dialectical.
The mechanical materialist thinks of life in terms of Newtonian physics. Everything is predetermined and predictable if only we had the apparatus to adequately apprehend it all.
Dialectical materialism proposes that the world as we know it is the product of a dialectical process which proceeds by means of thesis and antithesis leading to synthesis, which in moves and  becomes a new thesis, for leading to an antithesis, etc. According to Marx dialectical process leads to an infinitely rich sensuous -manifestation, out of which human beings intellectual experience. In fact, what we call 'thinking' is simply this process of abstraction. According to this, then, all ideas exist only in so far as they are abstractions from objective experiences. How these ideas are arrived at is historically determined by the time period in which they arise, socially determined by the society out of which they come, and economically determined according to what resources the person generating the .ideas comes from. One example of this is Law, which is always determined by certain phenomena and by the society, time period, and economic class it deals with. It is easy to see from this that the production of every work of art must also be determined by the circumstances surrounding its birth.
Marxism brings to study bourgeois, capitalist art is dangerous because it perpetuates a bourgeois, capitalist system. The theoretical and political formulation of Marxism shows a distinct set of problems for literary criticism. First, there was a need for a reformulation of the status of all symbolic activity such as language, law, politics, religion, and so on. These were accorded a secondary and supplementary status in relation to the primary domain of economic structures, the material base of the mode of production. The structure of layering and relationships are pyramidal. The base of the pyramid represents the basic socio-economic relations on which rests the "superstructure" comprising further layering of politics, law, am, etc. Depending on the structure of the base the super structural relationships are built.
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This Marxism metaphorical representation of the socio-material reality has been widely disputed. Beginning with the contradiction between Marx's and Engles' views on the question of a "relative autonomy" of art and literature, questions have been asked and doubts raised about the dialectical mediation between the distinct "levels" of multiple structures of causality, and of the relative autonomy of some areas. Also, the metaphor is too simple to explain the complex interrelationships. Marxism has often presupposed a methodological separation between the two domains at the level of investigation. At the same time, it assumes a correlation between the values produced in symbolic processes and the values arising from or serving the relations of material' production. Thus there has been a moving away from a theory of social domains to a theory of the class agents who live in the social domains. This moving away has entailed a moving away from a theory of superstructures to a theory of ideology.

Marxism Ideology

In the Marxism, The Original definitions of ideology, with reference to "democracy" and "individualism" tended to affirm the transcendence of ideas and of the mind. In the program of the French Revolution institute de France, "ideology was the generic study of ideas that existed as universals in the realm of reason (rather than history)". Nearly fifty years after its coinage Marx completely reversed its meaning. He denounced/dismissed the self-serving world-view of the middle class.
Literary Theory & Criticism
Ideology means "Edlse consciousness", system of beliefs about the world and one's own relation to it that shows the interests of the main dominant social class. Marxist works for Marxism set to expose the misinterpretations of "ideology", its false ideals, to strip away the lie and expose the liar. For a literary critic to do this would imply that she is an adversary of the work. But in practice Marxist criticism is not as simplistic. It has sought to illuminate [recall Benjamin’s title Illuminations] rather than to expose, to decode rather than to debunk. There is this basic opposition between those who erect imaginary worlds and those who try to unearth the foundations of these. As long as ideology meant "false consciousness", its relationship to reading and criticism remained problematic. Though neither Kant nor Hegel claimed that "consciousness" led to any complete knowledge of the thing in itself or the Absolute, Marx's theory of false consciousness implied the possibility of an objective knowledge of reality. For he modeled his scientific analysis of the society in the mechanistic and deterministic science of the 19th century.


Impact of Ideology

The objective impact of ideology, Marxism sought to understand, in shaping social laws of causality. Yet as a subjectivity "ideology" was only an obstacle to be removed- an opiate. Scientists then claimed the absolute objectivity of its methods and interferences free from any subjectivity whatsoever. The Marxists of the "Frankfurt Institute of Social Research" founded in 1923, tried to recast Marxism from a science into a social philosophy. This disengaged or at least tried to disengage a cultural and philosophical Marxism with its own problems and possibly its own laws. The result of this became evident much later, after World War II. Now instead of warning us of false consciousness Marxists concentrate on consciousness. Ideology thus became a terminus uncle scrutiny rather than a see through or pass through, which or displacing which reality was to be examined.
For Marxism, as students of literature or culture what does all this mean to us? For, we are not necessarily interested in Marxism. We need to approach theory pragmatically i.e. to make it subservient to our understanding of literature. We are greatly helped by the long tradition of Marxism's interest in literature, and the changes in the course of Marxism also coincide with the beginning, growth and evolution of modernism. And the engagements of Marxist critics with the phenomenon of modernism, and the explorations of and the attitude to the relationship between ideology and realism and modernism is a fascinating aspect of the history of Marxism.

Althusser's "Ideological State Apparatus"

In Marxism Althusser stresses the materialist economist Marx over the social historian? “For Althusser, ideology is real, though a non-historical reality by this latter he means that ideology is "omnipresent, Trans historical", not composed of any particular context but rather the constant structure of social knowledge. Just as Freud meant that the conscious is internal, Althusser proposes that "ideology is external", that is always there as the "'representation' of the imaginary relationship of individuals to their real condition of existence." Althusser effects a radical transformation in conception of reality.
It is not so much dependent "on the real conditions of existence" as more potently another account of it. In his essay "Ideology and Ideological State Apparatus", groups the literature with other productive activities. Also, in this section, just pointing out about Althusser's definition for ideology, the imaginary world is not an expression of representation of the real realm. The conception of literature as a production implies that on the one hand, as a produced object, the text is seen as a component of the general system of social production.
Renaissance & Reformation
The other hand, the same text in Marxism , as a productive activity, is seen as a distinct practice of signification (i.e. the act of producing signs) which is related to other practices of signification (such as religion, law etc.) In both cases literary discourse is treated as a reality in its own right. The significance of the term discourse is to be noticed here. From the representations worked with by the texts belong to the realm of ideology, literary discourse is both of the same order as according the ideological and yet is capable of a reflexive, self-distancing relation to it.


Althusser ideology for Marxism

For Althusser ideology for Marxism reproduces the subjects who are willing workers in the capitalist system. Capitalism requires not only the hands of labor, but also the willingness of workers to subject themselves to the system--to accept the ‘status quo’-and it in this area that ideology works. Ideology is not a matter of conscious beliefs, attitudes and values, nor is it a matter of "False consciousness". 
It is a matter of the representation of imaginary versions of the real value that people live by. According to his words, the translation: - It is a 'representation' of the kind of imaginary relationship of the individuals to their real conditions of existence in Marxism. “In the post-structuralism phase Marxist literary theory has adapted different influences such as of deconstruction, and Lacanian psychoanalysis, and Foucault. Althusser's theory of ideology which has spread literary critic theories as different as feminism, post-colonialism, and discourse analysis, and of course the new historian.

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