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Ghosts of Marx’s camera obscura

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  1. Mannheim, Niebuhr and Marx: Sociology of knowledge and national ethic.
  2. Enacted Ideologies in Bourdieu and Gramsci.
  3. Differences in 19th and 20th Century Social Structures.
  4. Conclusion.

Karl Marx began his work as a social theorist contemplating the various riddles of modernity. He was able to unveil and bring light to ideas, as well as concepts that allowed and encouraged the citizens of the late nineteenth century to ration the contradictions hidden in the social worlds. Although a theory is always ?drawn from? the experience itself, Marx was able to sympathize with the working class, therefore creating his own theory of estrangement. He correlates his theory of estrangement with the capitalistic movement that was developed in the European Diaspora; later moving west. He shows how the capitalistic structure is salient and can endure revolutions to maintain its goal in creating surplus value. Through his riddles, he assesses the separation between the bourgeoisie, the proletariat, and the hierarchy of industry.

[...] Mannheim, Niebuhr and Marx: Sociology of Knowledge and National Ethic Marx saw the unthinkable in modern society in the way in which the evolution of the capitalist society did not lead to better life for the masses. The modern revolution was supposed to end feudalism, but in reality only continued with the same oppression. The members of the ruling class were able to manipulate the masses into buying into their own belief systems. Marx says, ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas: The class which is the ruling material force of society is at the same time its ruling intellectual force.? The ideas of the ruling class are ruling ideas of the epoch? (Marx, The German Ideology). [...]


[...] Niebuhr concedes that communication and education have lessened these problems to some extent, as knowledge of world affairs had been heightened through communication and education as well as the ability think rationally and justly, but says that ?there is nevertheless little hope of arriving at a perceptible increase of international morality through the growth of intelligence and the perfection of means of communication? 244). He says that development of international commerce, the increased economic interdependence among the nations, and the whole apparatus of a technological civilization, increase the problems and issues between nations much more rapidly than the intelligence to solve them can be created? 244). [...]


[...] Here again we can see where Marx and his ideas of false consciousness tie into Mannheim's claims. Mannheim states, aim of the analysis on this level is the reconstruction of the systematic theoretical basis underlying the single judgments of the individual? 217). We are looking at the structure, the total conception of ideology in order to uncover the basis of individual thought. Enlightenment of this kind will reveal the manipulations of the ruling class and give us a better understanding of how they are able to control the minds of the masses. [...]

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