Essay on Self, Culture and Society - Engels

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Pages: 6

In this paper an excerpt titled “Theoretical” from Engels’ Anti-Dhüring will be examined in reference to Engels’ ideologies regarding materialism, the social work order, and the fundamental problems confronted in the clash between the social production and capitalist appropriation.
In the chapter titled Theoretical, Engels lays out the basic conflict between what we know as socialism and capitalism, doing so by first examining what he calls the “Materialist conception of history” (Engels 1939, p. 292). In his materialistic history he claims that the exchange and bartering of products, and their production is the “basis of every social order” (Engels 1939, p. 292). He states that in every society that has ever appeared in history, the
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It is because of this underlying contradiction in capitalism that many other problems arise within this method of appropriation and production. If the basic idea of something is flawed, then the rest of it will follow. One key problem is that with the emergence of the capitalistic mode of production the “laws of commodity production…began to operate more openly…and potently…the producers more transformed into independent, isolated commodity producers.” (Engels 1939, p. 298) It is because of this, and the rise of capitalism that lead to the anarchy of social production.
“The contradiction between social production and capitalist appropriation reproduces itself as the antithesis between the organization of production in the individual factory and the anarchy of production in society as a whole.” (Engels 1939, p. 299)
Here we can see Engels’ statement that such an underlying contradiction as this one leads to a discord between local industry and production as a whole in society. This in turn eventually leads to what is described by Engels as a “vicious circle”. (Quoting Fourier) (p. 299) This vicious circle will according to Engels “transforms the immense majority of men into…. Proletarian masses that will ultimately put an end to the anarchy of production.” (1939, p. 299) This social mode of production was clearly not agreeing with the capitalist appropriation, and can clearly be seen by the massive economic booms, and recessions described