Karl had no original ideas and Marx deciphers


            Karl Marx, a radical for his time,
had very clear ideas on human enlightenment. Decimating his friendship with
Pierre-Joseph Proudhon in 1846, Marx tears apart Proudhon’s obviously
insufficient ideas in a letter to Pavel Annenkov and has no problem doing so.

This letter essentially argues all of human society and sets the stage for modes
of production, the evolution of machinery, and historic materialism. According
to Marx, Proudhon likes to believe that humankind has indeed progressed, but he
cannot explain the progress. As an anarchist, Proudhon takes popular
enlightenment ideas and does a wonderful job of conforming to social ideas of
the time. Marx breaks these ideas down and argues that enlightenment is not
actually the basis for human progress. In reality, material things are what
drive human progression. He explains it very simply: historic materialism is
the economic condition of the time that drives history. To give a clear
definition of society, Marx explains it as “(t)he product of men’s reciprocal
action” (136, Marx). To Marx, if one cannot understand that, one cannot
understand humankind. Going on, the three main components that he declares lay
foundation for society are production, commerce, and consumption. These three
things make up the mode of production. The dominant mode of production is
precisely what shapes both social and individual ideas in Marx’s eyes; a mode
to him consists of both relations and means of production. The critical human
relations go hand in hand with the vehicles with which products are made, such
as factories. The groundbreaking movement that encompassed this, also known as
the Industrial Revolution, was the iconic example of the shift in society.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!

order now

Further, Marx says that our position in the social structure determines one’s
beliefs and values and our role in the workforce defines one as who they are. In
sum, Proudhon had no original ideas and Marx deciphers and obliterates all that
he says on human progress; human progress is actually based on the economy and
technology of the time.