World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

The German Ideology

Article Id: WHEBN0041249147
Reproduction Date:

Title: The German Ideology  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Friedrich Engels, Character mask, Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844, Marxist philosophy, Marx's theory of the state
Collection: 1932 Books, Books by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

The German Ideology

The German Ideology (German: Die Deutsche Ideologie) is a set of manuscripts written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels around April or early May 1846. Marx and Engels did not find a publisher. However, the work was later retrieved and published for the first time in 1932 by David Riazanov through the Marx-Engels Institute in Moscow.

The multi-part book consists of many satirically written polemics against Bruno Bauer, other Young Hegelians, and Max Stirner's The Ego and Its Own (1844). Part I, however, is a work of exposition giving the appearance of being the work for which the "Theses on Feuerbach" served as an outline. The work is a restatement of the theory of history Marx was beginning to call the "materialist conception of history".

Since its first publication, Marxist scholars have found the work particularly valuable since it is perhaps the most comprehensive statement of Marx's theory of history stated at such length and detail.

Contents

  • The text 1
  • General outline 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

The text

The text itself was written by Marx and Engels in Brussels in 1845 and 1846 but it was not published until 1932. The Preface and some of the alterations and additions are in Marx's hand; the bulk of the manuscript, however, is in Engels' hand, except for Chapter V of Volume II and some passages of Chapter III of Volume I which are in Joseph Weydemeyer's hand. Chapter V in Volume II was written by Moses Hess and edited by Marx and Engels. The text in German runs to around 700 pages.[1]

General outline

Marx and Engels argue that men distinguish themselves from animals as soon as they begin to produce their means of subsistence; what individuals are coincides with their production in both how and what they produce. The nature of individuals depends on the material conditions determining their production.

How far the productive forces of a nation are developed is shown by the degree to which the division of labour has been carried. Also, there is a direct link between division of labour and forms of ownership.

The ruling class, in ruling the material force of society, is simultaneously the ruling intellectual force of society. They regulate the production and distribution of ideas of their age. As the ruling class changes with time, so too do the ideals and the new ruling class must instill upon its society its own ideas which will become universal. This system will forever remain in place so long as society is organized around the need for a ruling class.[2]

To illustrate this theoretical framework, Marx draws on his formulation of base and superstructure. Historical development is the reflection of changes in the economic and material relations of the base. When the base changes, a revolutionary class becomes the new ruling class that forms the superstructure. During revolution, the revolutionary class makes certain that its ideas appeal to humanity in general so that after a successful revolution these ideas appear natural and universal. These ideas, which the superstructural elements of society propagate, then become the governing ideology of the historical period. Furthermore, the governing ideology mystifies the economic relations of society and therefore places the proletariat in a state of false consciousness that serves to reproduce the working class.[3]

Morality, religion, metaphysics, all the rest of ideology and their corresponding forms of consciousness no longer retain the semblance of independence; they have no history and no development; but men, developing their material production and their material intercourse, alter, along with their real existence, their thinking and the product of their collective thinking.

This approach allows us to cease understanding history as a collection of dead facts or an imagined activity of subjects.

See also

References

  1. ^ Hamilton, Christopher (2003). Understanding Philosophy for AS Level. Nelson Thornes.
  2. ^ Karl Marx. "The German Ideology". Literary Theory: An Anthology. 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell, 1998. 653-658. Print.
  3. ^ Marx, Karl. “The German Ideology”. Literary Theory: An Anthology. Eds. Julie Rivkin and Michael Ryan. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 2004, p. 653-8.

External links

  • The German Ideology (Marxists.org)
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.