Ideology by Terry Eagleton

By Terry Eagleton

This examine is split into 3 elements: the classical culture; Althusser and after; and smooth debates. It contains chapters on category realization, ideology and utopia, and the epistemology of sociology, taking a look at the paintings of Georg Lukas, Karl Mannheim and Lucien Goldman respectively.

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This examine is split into 3 elements: the classical culture; Althusser and after; and smooth debates. It comprises chapters on category attention, ideology and utopia, and the epistemology of sociology, taking a look at the paintings of Georg Lukas, Karl Mannheim and Lucien Goldman respectively.

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And indeed this is an historical act, a fundamental condition of all history, which today, as thousands of years ago, must daily and hourly be fulfilled merely in order to sustain human life. (Marx and Engels 1845:48) Productive labour is thus, for Marx, the most fundamental and essential human activity, in the sense, first of all, that people must produce in order to consume and in order to live. However, there is a further and deeper point involved. For Marx also argues that it is through productive activity that we create new needs and develop our natures: Labour is…a process in which both man and nature participate….

When a cross-section of Americans were asked if they would continue working even if they inherited enough to live comfortably without working, 80 per cent said they would keep working (Work in America 1973:9). Moreover, the percentage of people who say that they would work in such circumstances rises as people approach retirement age. This is a striking fact, as Marie Jahoda observes, ‘for at the age of sixty-five the alternative to a job—no work—must be a highly realistic comparison, while for younger people the question invites fantasy’ (Jahoda 1979:312).

The life of mere consumption is possible only for a limited and dependent group in society, who must rely for the necessities of life upon the productive activity of others. Consumption presupposes the prior and more basic activity of production. Marx’s philosophy starts out from a recognition of this fundamental fact. People are not simply creatures of need—they also act in and on the world to satisfy their needs. Material, productive activity is, for Marx, the primary fact of human nature. He writes 31 MARXISM AND HUMAN NATURE The first premise of all human existence, and therefore of all history…[is] that men must be in a position to live in order to be able to ‘make history’.

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