Dialectical Materialism In Mao And Althusser

2286 Words 9 Pages
The main method of social analysis that is depicted in Marxist tradition is philosophy. Marxist tradition finds that in order to do social analysis and understand societies, one needs to approach them with a historical or dialectical materialist standpoint. Two Marxist thinkers who contemplate over how to properly practice analyzing societies are Mao and Althusser. In this paper I m going to show how both Mao and Althusser approached using social science in order to better analyze societies. I am also going to contrasts the two theories and discover which theory maintained more connectedness to Marx’s dialectical materialism. I conclude that although both philosophers had very compelling arguments, I find Mao to be more in line with Marx’s …show more content…
These conceptions in turn affect their views of social sciences and the humanities being used as tools to better understand societies. After careful analysis of the ideological State apparatuses, Althusser concludes there is no dialectical history in ideology (Althusser,107). I think this would lead Althusser to say that social sciences and humanities are forms of ideologies or come from ideologies and therefore, have no history and no historical materialism. However, I think he would find the social sciences and humanities a significant part of society because both disciplines are taught within the educational ideological apparatus. Althusser finds the educational ideological apparatus to be the most important ideological apparatus because of the significant impact it has on the ideologies of the state (Althusser,103). He believes this to be true because it is in the dominant place in capitalist social formation, that is the educational system helps reinforce the capitalist systems and its ideologies (Althusser,103). All ideological State apparatuses contribute to the reproduction of the relations of production, which is the capitalist relations of the exploitation of the working class by the capitalists (Althusser, 104). However, the educational state apparatus is the strongest because it develops people within the society with ideologies of the state for years of training. Additionally, these years of training can in a sense never be shaken off. This causes the, “relations of exploited to exploiters and exploiters to exploited [to be] largely reproduced (Althusser, 105). In other words, education is the strongest ideological State apparatus since it reaches all people and essentially influences them for the rest of their lives. Thus, the social sciences and humanities will play a part in being some of the ideologies taught within the educational State apparatus, even when those

Related Documents

Related Topics