Karl Marx: The Revolutionary as Educator (SpringerBriefs in Education)
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This book is an introduction to Karl Marx (1818–1883) as a radical educational thinker. Marx’s own schooling and education are examined and we see how his interest in educational issues was informed by his own experience. Educational themes in Marx’s thinking are identified: the role of education within capitalist society, the contribution of education to human development and the character of education in a future society. These are placed in a historical setting by the author and related to public debates over educational policy.
Throughout his career, Marx identified education as key to the prospects of the working class. The story of this engagement adds a new dimension to the picture of his work as a philosopher, political economist and socialist revolutionary. The aspects of education that concerned Marx matched prominent features of his theoretical and political activity, and educational themes provided him with a critical application for many of his most important ideas.
The author explores Marx’s work on the British factory school system, his use of evidence from the reports of school inspectors, and the contemporary movement that led to the establishment of modern systems of public schooling. The final chapter relates Marx’s thinking to questions about the place of education in today’s society, showing how relevant it is for the twenty-first century.
These discussions contain new scholarship, draw on original sources and are written in a clear and readable style. Students in education courses at universities and colleges, educational researchers and teachers will find this examination of Karl Marx’s ideas concerning education both engaging and enlightening.
materialism, the kind typical of the French philosophers of the eighteenth century. Let us look more closely at their ideas and Marx’s response to them. These writers proposed a radically new theory of human nature. They argued that the development of the individual person was entirely determined by social circumstances, so that all the contrasts we observe between one person and another—in personality, abilities and knowledge—are due to differences in their environments. This led them to put
assumption. In fact, it is contradicting itself by doing so, because the existence of such an ‘educator’ is inconsistent with the deterministic premises of this standpoint. Having given society total power over individual development, one can hardly go on to talk about some individual opportunity for intervention within the social process. Hence, Marx’s conclusion: that this theory divides society ‘into two parts’, one of which paradoxically stands above society itself. So, what is his
movement, and especially with uneducated ones, liable to be swayed by advocates of ‘labour money’ or workers’ co-operatives. His main source of income came from writing articles for the New York Herald Tribune, edited by Charles Dana. As a working journalist, Marx was a versatile commentator on current affairs, ranging from British and French politics to international conflicts such as the Crimean war and the Indian insurgency of the 1850s. The writing tasks were shared with Engels, reluctantly
or reproduction these services enter (Marx and Engels 1975–2005, vol. 31, pp. 22–23). Yet Marx goes on to note that both the amount of new labour and its productivity may vary owing to circumstances, so that ‘the labour of the doctor and the 80 5 Lessons from Marx schoolmaster does not directly create the fund out of which they are paid, although their labours enter into the production costs of the fund which creates all values whatsoever—namely, the production costs of labour-power’. Once
that the introduction of business principles into university life, already under way at that time, would run up against an impassable barrier in the intellectual independence of researchers. That was arguably an optimistic view, and yet this is an ongoing campaign at every level of education. Marx’s writing suggests that it is the business model that is deeply ideological, not the opposing view. We can even take this response one step further. Where it is realised, professional work may be the