Marxist Philosophy and Animal Farm, by George Orwell

Essay by CrabholeHigh School, 11th gradeA-, November 2004

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Summary of Extract - Marxist Philosophy

According to Marx, the social being of mankind determines its consciousness, and there are three moments of consciousness, each corresponding to a stage in history where, socially, man defines his labour in a certain way.

The initial primitive self-awareness is where nature dominates man. This is soon replaced by the second phase, known as Capitalism, where private property grows and nature becomes objectified by man.

The capitalist Labour theory of value states that, the value of a commodity is determined by the amount of labour spent on it. Under capitalism, men and women are objectified; their labour-power is a commodity - the root of all wealth. Human nature is fixed and abstract and relations between individuals appear as relations between things. The liberal Laissez-faire system furnishes the market with maximum competition freedom, but alienates the worker, increasing the polarisation between the bourgeoisie and proletariat.

While the capitalists 'work' to produce profit by controlling the means of production, the proletariat works to survive. Their first eight working hours earn wages, but in the next four hours, the market value of the produce exceeds the value of their labour. The difference is surplus value, and this is from which the capitalist extracts profit. Such a system projects the illusion of social freedom, but it in fact enslaves the worker, reducing them to a commodity aiding the production process. The capitalists, who control this process, control the systems and its people, and are actually the dictators of the society.

Communism represents the final, inevitable stage of human societal development, where capitalism is abolished with private property and man becomes a part of nature. Interaction between man and nature produces the dialect of history. Through work on nature, man produces knowledge, which produces changes in development.

How the...