Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels
A. IDEALISM AND MATERIALISM
The Illusions of German Ideology
Germany has in the last few years gone through a revolution in which heroes of the mind have overthrown one another, supposedly in the realm of pure thought. The industrialists of philosophy have set about marketing their wares. When the market was glutted, the business was spoiled, as usual, by shoddy goods, false labels and fictitious credit. If we wish to rate this whole tragicomic Young-Hegelian movement, we must look beyond the frontiers of Germany.
All this has sprung from the soil of Hegel's philosophical system, from where each side extracts pure categories like "substance" and "self-consciousness" and then desecrates them with names like "species" or "man".
The Old Hegelians comprehended by religion; the Young Hegelians criticise by it. The dominance of religion was taken for granted, and every dominant relationship transformed into a cult, a cult of law, a cult of the State, etc.
The Old Hegelians declared thoughts and ideas the true bonds of society; the Young Hegelians attribute to them an independent existence as the real chains of men, the only thing against which they have to fight. They declare that they are fighting against "phrases", forgetting that they oppose them only with other phrases, in no way combating the real world.
It has not occurred to any one of them to enquire into the connection between German philosophy and German reality, the relation of criticism to their own material surroundings.
First Premises of Materialist Method
We do not begin with dogmas, but with empirical statements about real individuals.
The first premise of all human history is, of course, the existence of living human individuals, distinguished from animals by consciousness, religion or anything else you like. They themselves distinguish themselves from animals when they produce their own means of... [continues]
Cite This Essay
(2012, 05). German Ideology. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 05, 2012, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/German-Ideology-999459.html
"German Ideology" StudyMode.com. 05 2012. 05 2012 <http://www.studymode.com/essays/German-Ideology-999459.html>.
"German Ideology." StudyMode.com. 05, 2012. Accessed 05, 2012. http://www.studymode.com/essays/German-Ideology-999459.html.