The Enlightenment Karl Marx and Max Weber

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The Enlightenment The 17th century was torn by witch-hunts and wars of religion and imperial conquest. Protestants and Catholics denounced each other as followers of Satan, and people could be imprisoned for attending the wrong church, or for not attending any. All publications, whether pamphlets or scholarly volumes, were subject to prior censorship by both church and state, often working hand in hand. Slavery was widely practiced, especially in the colonial plantations of the Western Hemisphere, and its cruelties frequently defended by leading religious figures. It was inevitable that sooner or later many people would begin to grow tired of the repression and warfare carried out in the name of absolute truth. In addition though…show more content…
Marx seen the economy as the basis of society and called this the infrastructure, he saw the institutions of society such as the political system, the education system, the mass media, religion and even family as developing out of the economic system which he called the superstructure which was shaped by the base (infrastructure), the means of production (everything required to produce), machines, factories, land and raw materials all owned by the bourgeoisie. The Marxist theory of historical materialism understands society to be determined by the relationships which people enter into with one another to fulfill their basic needs, for instance to feed and clothe themselves and their families. In general Marx identified five successive stages of the development of these material conditions in Western Europe. • Primitive communism- early human societies (hunter gatherers) • Slavery- considered to be the beginning of "class society" where private property appears. • Feudalism- monarchy attempts to control the lands of the realm through agreements with regional leaders. • Capitalism- an economic system based on private ownership of capital • Socialism unfairly concentrates power and wealth among a small segment of society that controls capital and derives its wealth through exploitation. Marx saw that each stage or epoch created a new class or invention that would
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