Consciousness In The German Ideology

Decent Essays

Before one is able to consider this quote, the concept of materialism and consciousness must be dissected. According to Marx, materialism is not only the way people’s beliefs are conditioned by material activities, but also the fact that people’s ideologies are conditioned by history and the powers of production. Consciousness plays a large role in his definition of materialism, because they are inherently connected. For example, “The production of ideas, of conceptions, of consciousness is directly interwoven with the material activity and the material relationships of men; it is the language of actual life” (Marx, 111). Marx also defines consciousness as an economic process; in other words, economic determinism defines consciousness and even history itself. This differs greatly from Hegel’s idea that consciousness is a process called the dialectic, which includes distinguishing between thesis and antithesis in order to come to a conclusion. Although Marx utilizes the dialectic to analyze materialism and consciousness in The German Ideology, he goes even further than Hegel and uses this dialectic thinking to challenge Hegel’s own concepts. It is important to understand the concept that the process of thinking is actually a reflection of the external world through consciousness, because then one can connect the idea that it is more of a relationship than an externalized object. Marx explains this notion when he states, “In the social production of their existence, men

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