The Relationship Between Karl Marx And Knowledge And Education

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Karl Marx never directly wrote articles on education, but his influence on the authors, scholars, intellectuals, and educators who followed him was profound. The power of his ideas has changed the way we see the world. Whether you accept his analysis or opposition to society, he can not be ignored. Karl Popper, who strongly opposes Marxism, says: ‘Even if you do not know Marx, all modern writers owe it to Marx.’


Karl Marx was born on 5 May 1818 in Trier. He studied at the Universities of Bonn, Berlin and Jena. His early writings and editors in the Cologne Rheinische Zeitung led him quickly to disputes with the government. He is critical of social conditions and existing political arrangements. In 1843, after only one year in office, Marx had to resign his editorial office. Shortly thereafter, the newspaper had to stop its publication. Marx then went to Paris (he met Engels for the first time). His activism was recognized as ‘communist’. His revolutionary analyzes and activities prompted him to leave Paris in 1845. Karl Marx settled in Brussels and founded correspondence committees of the Communist Party in many European cities. This led to the organization of the Communist Alliance (and the drafting of the Communist Manifesto with Engels) (see below). After the riots and revolutionary activities of 1848, Marx was again forced to leave a country. He returned to Paris and then to the Rhineland. In Cologne, he founded and edited New Rhein Magazine and organized his work further. In 1849 Marx was arrested and tried for incitement to armed uprisings. He got out of the car, but was deported from Germany.

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Karl Marx spent the rest of his life in England and came to London in 1849 (see Karl Marx in Soho). His most productive years were spent in the reading room of Museum, where most of his research and writing took place. Although almost no article was published in English after his death in 1883, he wrote a large number of articles.

Marx as a thinker

Marx’s knowledge output is difficult to categorize, and his Capital ledger is translated into English and is called Capital, a business book. He is widely recognized as a social scientist and political philosopher. As C.Wright Mills explains, ‘Like most complex thinkers, there is no Marx. We can construct his work from his writings, pamphlets, articles, and letters were written at different times in his own development, different forms depending on ours This is why there are Marxist anthropology, Marxist literary criticism, Marxist aesthetics, Marxist pedagogy, Marxist cultural studies, Marxist sociology waiting, for 40 years he created many works that enriched the thoughts of those who followed him.

Many people think that Karl Marx’s thoughts are on different levels. His early works are sometimes referred to as humanistic Marxism, a Marxist philosophy that focuses on the role of the individual, the actual face of humanity, the relationship between consciousness and existence. Someone told us that Marx was later written as a social scientist, a political economist who paid more attention to the social structure than to the individual. It can be read in Karl Marx’s work, but it is also possible to see a basic thread that runs through all of his works. One of the reasons for this is that Marx’s biographer David McLellan described one of his main books, floor plans or outlines as ‘most of Marx’s works, Basic’ and did not publish in English until the 1970s. It is therefore easy to understand why Karl Marx has different views and why my Marx differs from yours.

Karl Marx on the class struggle

What makes Karl Marx so important? The cornerstone of his thinking is the concept of the class struggle. He is not the only one who finds the existence of classes. Others have done it before him. The new discovery of Marx is that it recognizes that the existence of classes is related to a particular mode of production or economic structure, and that the proletariat, the new working class created by capitalism, has historical potential and can abolish all classes. And founded a classless society. He insisted that ‘the history of all existing societies is the history of the class struggle’. Every society, whether tribal, feudal or capitalist, is characterized by its own way of producing food, its material way of life and its way of producing goods and services. Every society creates a ruling class and a subordinate class because of its production or economic methods. The relationship between the two is essentially opposite. Marx called this a production relationship. Your interests are different. The feudal economy was characterized by a small group of lords and nobles, which later developed into a landed aristocracy and a large group of landless peasants. The capitalist economy that replaced it is characterized by a handful of owners who have the means of production, factories, mines and factories and all the machines in them. This group is also called bourgeoisie or bourgeoisie. Next to it stands a huge and growing working class. He sees the emergence of this new propertyless working class as the driving force behind their own liberation. It is the working class that has been created and organized into an industrial army that will destroy the creators of the working class and launch a new society without exploitation and oppression. ‘So the bourgeoisie first created its own gravedigger.’

Communism declaration

These thoughts, first of all, consider the light of day as a whole of the ‘Communist Manifesto’ written by Marx’s manifesto with his countryman Frederick Engels in 1847/48. The statement first acknowledges the historical and revolutionary role of the bourgeoisie. It points out that the bourgeoisie revolutionized the way of production, continued to expand the market for its products, found cities, moved a large number of people from rural occupation to factories, and centralized political management, completely changing the face of the earth. Karl Marx summed up the great achievements of the bourgeoisie and declared: ‘During its century of scarcity, it created ever higher productivity than previous generations.The obedience of nature to man, machines, the application of chemistry in industry and agriculture, the steamship, railroads ‘Telegraphs, the cleansing of the entire continent for agriculture, the channeling of rivers and the entire population, which fluctuates on the ground – at the end of the last century this productivity fell asleep in social work?’ However, the task of creating these productivity forces does not exist to improve social conditions but to cause crises at regular intervals. As the production and exchange organizations of the bourgeoisie impede productivity, the economic crisis caused by overproduction becomes more frequent.

But with the development of the bourgeoisie with the means of production, we find the development of the proletariat-the working class of the proletariat. Marx pointed out that with the development of modern industry, workers had become the food of factories and the cultivation of machines. People crowd into factories that are as disciplined as the military, constantly monitored by supervisors and the interests of individual manufacturers. Increasing competition and economic crises have led to wage fluctuations, while technological advances have led to increasingly unstable livelihoods. As a result, the number of struggles between individual workers and individual employers has increased, and collisions have increasingly become ‘features of collisions between the two types’. Marx and Engels described the growth of the working class as ‘a civil war more or less veiled in existing society’, but unlike the earlier historic movement, which was a minority movement, the working class was the ‘most conscious independent movement’ They came to the conclusion that the overthrow of the supremacy of the bourgeoisie and the victory of the working class would not lead to another ruling minority class, but ‘replace the old bourgeois society, because it is the opposite of Class and class has an association in which the free development of all is a prerequisite for the free development of all. ‘

The Communist Manifesto contains the basic political theory of Marxism, the theory that Marx will unfold, transform, and evolve over the rest of his life. There is no doubt that the explanation is crude and oversimplified, but Marx has never rejected the general principles of his explanation, though these obsolete parts are only ready for rejection or modification.

For example, the two-level model that has always been associated with Marx is never an accurate description of its theory. Later, Marx made it clear that within the bourgeoisie there are many factions based on different types of property, such as finance, industry, land and commerce. He recognized the growth of the middle class, made up of workers on the one hand, and capitalists and landowners on the other. He believes that they want to fully rely on the working class and at the same time increase the security and strength of the upper classes. At the other end, he explained the existence of various layers of the working class, such as the movement of nomads across the country, the poor, the unemployed or the industrial reserve, and the so-called working nobles, the technicians. All these classes constitute the working class created by the accumulation of capitalism.

But why did Marx believe that the existence of classes meant that the relationship between classes was a form of exploitation? In feudal society, exploitation often consisted in the direct transfer of agricultural products from the peasants to the aristocracy. The serfs were forced to distribute a certain percentage of their produce to the noble lords, or had to work a few days a month in the fields of the Lord to produce grain for consumption by the Lord and his followers. In capitalist societies, the roots of exploitation are less obvious and Marx strives to clarify their nature. According to Marx, labor production during the working day exceeded the real need of the employer to repay the employed workers. As he said, this added value is a source of profit that capitalists can use. For example, a group of workers in a small parts factory can produce one hundred small parts per day. The sale of half of these shares could provide producers with sufficient income to pay workers’ wages. The proceeds from the sale of the other half are recognized in profit or loss. Marx was shocked by the enormous inequality created by this production system. With the development of modern industry, unprecedented prosperity has arisen, but the workers who produce it have rarely gained wealth. They remain relatively poor, but the wealth that the productive class accumulates is disproportionate. Moreover, the nature of labor becomes ever more laborious, monotonous, and wears out, tearing apart the body of workers, alienating workers more and more from the products they make, from their own personalities and from human beings.

The relationship between Karl Marx and knowledge and education

Karl Marx made it clear that ‘life is not determined by consciousness, but by life,’ and what he calls life refers to actual daily material activities. Human thinking or consciousness is rooted in human activity, not contrary to what many philosophers felt at the time. This means that the way we conduct business, how we organize ourselves in our daily lives, is reflected in the way we think about things and the world we create. The institutions we established, the philosophy we held, the ideas prevailing at that time, and the social culture were to some extent determined by the economic structure of society. This does not mean that they are completely safe, but that they are obviously derived from socioeconomic foundations. After all, the political system, the legal system, the family, the press and the education system are all rooted in the class character of society, which in turn reflects the economic basis. Marx insists that the economic base or infrastructure has created or built a structure for operation. Therefore, as part of the structure, the education system reflects the economic foundation and helps to reproduce the economic foundation. This does not mean that education and teaching are insidious conspiracies of the ruling class to ensure their privileges and dominance in the rest of the population. No conspirator has worked out plans. It simply means that social institutions, such as education, are a reflection of the world created by human activities and generate ideas that reflect the material conditions and the environment that they produce.

This relationship between foundation and superstructure has been the subject of intense debate among Marxists for many years. To what extent is the structure determined by the economic base? How much does this reflect? Have the institutions that make up the superstructure no autonomy? If we are not autonomous, can we talk about relative autonomy when we talk about social institutions? The debate on this issue is fierce and the entire forest was destroyed as a contribution to the debate had to be published.

Now I want to talk about Marx’s contribution to the theory of knowledge and ideology. In his book, ‘German Ideology,’ Marx insisted that ‘the dominant material class in society is also its dominant intellectual power.’ He means that the people who make up the ruling class of all ages determine the agenda. They rule as thinkers and thinkers. They control the name ‘common sense’. When viewed as nature as a universal concept and as part of human nature with neutral skin, they are actually part of the structure of class society. Marx explained: ‘Every new class rises above a rule only to achieve its ends, to express its interests as the common interests of all members of society, ie, to conceive of a universal form, and it is expressed as the only rational and universally valid form. ‘The presented ideas are as if they were universal, neutral and reasonable. But even more subtle is that concepts such as freedom, democracy, freedom or expressions such as ‘fair work at fair wages’ are surrounded by opinion makers, as if they were not controversial. For Marxism, they are thoughts as weapons of social interest and ideological constructions. They came to acceptance to support the system.

Marx and Marxists would say that thinking is not neutral. They are determined by existing production relations and the economic structure of society. Ideas change according to the interests of the ruling class in society. Antonio Gramsci coined the term ‘ideological hegemony’ to describe the influence of the ruling class on what is considered knowledge. For Marxists, this hegemony is exercised by institutions such as education or the media, and the Marxist philosopher and sociologist Louis Althusser calls it part of the ‘ideological state instrument.’ It is important to note that the ruling class should not consider this as part of a conspiracy. This is the natural influence of the way we view the social construction of knowledge. Historically, the ideas of democracy and freedom, as well as the beliefs of individual freedom and competition, have been produced by the methods of production of the agents of the ruling class. It is not neutral ideas that serve the common good, but ideas of the ruling class that everyone accepts, as if they were for the common good.


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