[Marxism] Do you agree or disagree with the following proposition

Lüko Willms lueko.willms at t-online.de
Mon Mar 27 15:49:57 MST 2006

On Mon, 27 Mar 2006 11:28:28 -0500, Charles Brown wrote:

> However, the issue I am trying to get at is that the 
> determining role of the class struggle in historical 
> change is rooted in the fact that economic classes 
> ( social as they are) do the work of meeting biological needs. 

  Strange formulation, that. Actually it is not the classes which do the 
productive work, but it is the society. Classes play various roles in 
that societal undertaking. 

> In modern society there is a lot of other production 
> of goods and services that do not directly meet 
> biological needs. Nonetheless, the ancient, necessary
> task of meeting biological needs still must met in 
> modern production.  

  And ancient, too. But while the simple biological needs of keeping the 
individual alive (by feeding and protecting from weather) and the 
species alive by procreating, human society is marked by the creation of 
its own conditions of existence, what creates new needs, which must be 
met to meet the pure biological means of a naked existence. 

  Human beings do not only use and procuce tools, but also produce tools 
to make tools. They use fertilizer and irrigation to get more food out 
of a given surface of fields. These tools and the means to produce those 
tools are a necessity to feed a growing population, without meeting the 
needs of what has become a great industry, the basic biological needs 
cant be met. 

  And the evolution of the economic production not only makes it easier 
to meet the basic biological needs for a growing population, but also 
creates new needs. Human needs, even those having to do with the basic 
needs of survival, are historically created. E.g., having a radio and TV 
set is nowadays a basic necessity, at least in richer societies, so that 
they are not distrainable. 

> And is it the fact that the production to meet biological 
> needs is located in "the economy" of modern society the 
> reason that Marx and Engels focused on socio-_economic_ 
> classes in trying to find what is _necessary_ in human
> activity ?

  No, but because the economic activity of producing to meet all the 
historically grown needs of human beings in that society is what creates 
the social fabric of relations between the human beings. 

  Gibbons, on the other hand, did not create a society, because they 
live isolated in couples or pairing families, without a common 
productive or even gathering activity binding gibbons beyond that couple 
and their offspring. 

Lüko Willms
Frankfurt, Germany
visit http://www.mlwerke.de Marx, Engels, Luxemburg, Lenin, Trotzki in German

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