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Topic: Economic Determinism


In the News (Sat 18 Nov 17)

  
  Determinism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Determinism in the West is often associated with Newtonian physics, which depicts the physical matter of the universe as operating according to a set of fixed, knowable laws.
One approach to determinism is to argue that materialism does not present a correct understanding of the universe, not because it is wrong in its general picture of the determinate interactions that occur among material things, but because it ignores the souls of conscious beings.
If probabilistically determined events do have an impact on the macro events, such as whether a person who could have been historically important dies in youth of a cancer caused by a random mutation, then the course of history is not determined from the dawn of time.
en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Determinism   (4001 words)

  
 Economic Determinism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The law of economic determinism attributed to Marx is simple: self-preservation is the supreme instinct in man, and therefore the whole pattern of human conduct must always have been governed by the fundamental laws governing survival, a dialectical process between man and nature (see co-evolution).
In this view, when Marx talked about the "economic base" and the "ideological superstructure" of society, he was making a generalisation about the broad sweep of history, to the effect that people ultimately will follow their material self-interests, whatever else they may imagine about their motivations.
The end result of economic determinism in this view is both economism (a narrow focus on how people earn their livelihood) and economic reductionism (the attempt to reduce a complex social reality to one factor [the economic] such that this one factor causes all other aspects of society).
en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Economic_Determinism   (947 words)

  
 Definition Determinism   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-08-20)
Determinism is in fact the name of a whole class of theories which have the above feature in common.
For instance, economic determinism tends to mean the doctrine that economic factors determine others, historical determinism tends to mean the theory that events in history are determined, sociological determinism is likely to mean the assertion that social facts are determined, and that they are determined by social factors.
An important characterization of determinism, cutting across the sub-division in terms of field, or subject, arises from describing it as causal determinism, which means the doctrine that events are determined causally.
www.members.tripod.com /GellnerPage/Determinism.html   (239 words)

  
 Politics and Culture
It rages between those who reject any form of determination in social relations and accuse Marxists of being 'economic determinists' and others, like myself, who believe that many aspects of cultural studies and postmodern theory are predicated on their own forms of technological and cultural determinism.
At the core of arguments and slanging matches about determinism of "You're a determinist." "I know you are but what am I?" type is the question of the relationship between the base (usually referred to as the sphere of economics) and the superstructure (the realm of civil society, politics, culture and ideology).
I have suggested that this dialectic reflects to duality of the news commodity - its economic and cultural forms - and that newswork is a form of intellectual labour that is amenable to a materialist analysis.
aspen.conncoll.edu /politicsandculture/page.cfm?key=355   (7202 words)

  
 siva
Other theorists rejected economic determinism, but this led to an over-emphasis on culture and cultural politics, which were fragmented and separated in terms of challenging social blocs, but which was still capable of unity.
Economic determinism has been abandoned, so any kind of economic analysis has been abandoned, leading to a widespread ignorance of the scale and importance of changes in the new technology, where 'Capital is now emancipated from Labour' (page 24).
Economic determinism seems absent from the cultural revolutions and theoretical innovations of the 1960s (including semiotics) which are so crucial for Hall.
www.arasite.org /siva.html   (2718 words)

  
 Karl Marx - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For Marx this mismatch between (economic) base and (social) superstructure is a major source of social disruption and conflict.
In addition, the political repression and economic problems of several historical Communist states have done much to destroy Marx's reputation in the Western world, particularly following the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union, as the Soviet bureaucracy often invoked him in their propaganda.
While the economic devastation of the Great Depression broadened the appeal of Marxism in the developed world, future government safeguards and economic recovery led to a decline in its influence.
en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Karl_Marx   (6075 words)

  
 E. Belfort Bax: Neo-Marxist conception of history (1896)   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-08-20)
Kautsky asserts that the economic conditions form the only variable element in history, while taken by themselves all the other elements are constant, and that they undergo change only in consequence of changes in the former.
The importance of the economic basis for the historical development is, as I have said, denied by no one, let alone a Socialist with any knowledge of history; but to assert that it and it alone is, so to say, the exclusive causal agent in history, contradicts the whole course of historical facts.
Attention is called in it to the economic and social conditions of that time which afforded a favourable ground for the bringing to expression of ideas that had arisen far earlier in the East and the Graeco-Roman world, and which clearly can be traced back to other ideas which had a still earlier origin.
www.marxists.org /archive/bax/1896/10/kautsky.htm   (2582 words)

  
 Russia, Economy, Gaidar Book - JRL 6-22-05
Gaidar himself preferred, as demonstrated by “The anomaly of Economic Growth,” to subscribe to “economic materialism” as “a powerful analytical and prognostic instrument” for the study of contemporary societies that are all in the “state of transition” (the author did not specify the direction of transition, see 19-21).
Gaidar reduces the choice of economic models in post-revolutionary Russia to “the alternative of state or private accumulation” (303), which is indeed a very superficial explanation that distorts the depth of the Soviet drama.
However, in describing economic developments in his own country, Gaidar almost completely ignores the fact that militarization was the essential feature of Soviet society and had indeed a crucial impact on the economy, political organization, culture, education and all other spheres of social life.
www.cdi.org /russia/johnson/9182-23.cfm   (3495 words)

  
 E. Belfort Bax: Economical Theory of History (1905)   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-08-20)
The history of Russian popular movements, for instance, is determined solely by the fact that there is a peasant population of 80 per cent., and a small intellectual class and city proletariat.
The determination of social progress by this external factor is mainly, though not entirely, deducible, especially during the historical period, to the conditions under which the wealth of society is produced and distributed-in a word, to the economical conditions prevailing therein.
The analogy of an economic foundation and an intellectual superstructure is inexact.
www.marxists.org /archive/bax/1905/10/econhist.htm   (1874 words)

  
 March 2001
This concept of economic determinism is central to the Marxist worldview.
If, as L. Bueva claims, "classes form the basis of social structure: their traits and the relations among them determine all social and socio-psychological processes in society and the laws governing them," then a classless society (communism) is far superior to a society that encourages one class to oppress another (capitalism).
Such economic determinism assumes that the particular economic system of a society determines its politics, religion, law, and culture, and especially the individual’s social consciousness.
www.schwarzreport.org /SchwarzReport/2001/july01.html   (4988 words)

  
 [No title]   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-08-20)
The focus on the economic aspects of European integration in itself is not problematic, as long as it is recognized as a partial analysis.
They suggest that government policy and international agreements are not explainable as determined by economic structure; that large-scale (global or regional) developments cannot be explained only in terms of overall structural-economic changes; and that political and ideological forces should be treated in their own right, as having effects, for example, on political-economic strategies and developments.
Moving away from economic reductionism, however, can only succeed if it is recognized that we need to look at both political and economic forces and struggles at all levels, and that political forces shape the economic ‘base’.
web.uvic.ca /ecsac/toronto/papers/on/line/pdf/7A-mpistor.doc   (7451 words)

  
 Laws of History: Economic Determinism
Moreover, these benefits are supported by massive economic evidence, not the least of which is the emergence of globalized East Asia over the past 60 years from relative poverty to significant prosperity.
First, culture and religion may be a determinant of economics, as Max Weber famously argued regarding capitalism and the Protestant ethic.
Second, warfare and international competition is also a major determinant of economic, social and political phenomena, according to the historian William McNeill, among others.
wais.stanford.edu /History/lawsofhistory0728.htm   (964 words)

  
 Althusser (by L. Proyect)
Basically this article is a call to arms against economic determinism, a bane of Marxism throughout the 20th century.
Economic determinism basically is a belief that social movements and beliefs are reflections of underlying economic structures.
In its most sophisticated version, you get Charles Beard's "Economic Interpretation of the US Constitution" which attempted to explain the various clauses and subclauses in terms of the different economic interests of various constituencies of the American bourgeoisie.
www.columbia.edu /~lnp3/mydocs/modernism/althusser.htm   (599 words)

  
 Marx Myths and Legends. Peter G. Stillman   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-08-20)
Source: “The Myth of Marx’s Economic Determinism” was written for Marx Myths and Legends by Peter G. Stillman, in April 2005, and rights remain with the author, as per Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives Licence 2.0.
Economic determinists can argue four possible forms of “determinism” from passages in the “Preface.” One determinism refers to the level of the individual: the human will is determined -- i.e., its contents and actions are causally formed by the circumstances in which the person lives.
In the place of the myth of economic determinism, Marx’s theory presents the interpretation of a complex, dynamic totality by a careful dialectic, an interpretation that shows that active human beings can by revolution transform the world, tear down alien structures and powers, and build on the potentials of modern industry.
marxmyths.org /peter-stillman/article.htm   (4653 words)

  
 Dewey on the Eclipse of the Public by Ziniewicz
Americans are opposed to "economic determinism" as espoused by communist regimes, but they allow their own affairs to be determined in large part by economics.
Economic factors are genuine determinants of experience, but they are not the sole determinants, and by themselves they can move society only toward economic ends.
Economic factors can be used in this cooperative effort, but they must be directed in the light of added higher aims and allied to genuinely social tools and processes.
www.fred.net /tzaka/deweypub.html   (1462 words)

  
 The Becker-Posner Blog: On the Economics of National Culture-BECKER   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-08-20)
A clear illustration of this is the huge effects of technological change and economic development on behavior and beliefs regarding many aspects of the family.
The rapid economic growth Ireland experienced during the past couple of decades had a revolutionary impact on the incentives of parents to have many children, on attitudes about whether married women should work, and on whether married couples were obligated to remain together throughout their lives.
Married children are much less likely to live with parents than before their economic development, divorce rates are rising, and married women have become active in the labor force.
www.becker-posner-blog.com /archives/2006/04/on_the_economic.html   (2010 words)

  
 The Two Marxisms, Ch 8 - " 'Economic Determinisms' in Marxism," by Alvin W. Gouldner
Thus I am not asserting that Marxism is reducible to this economism and determinism; on the contrary, I am arguing that it is characterized precisely by its contradictory combination of determinism and voluntarism, its emphasis on the laws of capitalism and the struggle to release men from subjugation to them through their own free practice.
Not only do we need to think about the meaning of ''economic determinism," but we also require more methodological clarity, asking ourselves about the texts being cited whether from a brief letter or from a carefully developed analysis, from an earlier or later text, and asking ourselves what is implied in comparing certain texts.
In his letter of 25 January 189437 to Starkenberg, Engels writes that "the economic conditions which we regard as the determining basis of the history of society are the methods by which human beings in a given society produce their means of subsistence and exchange the products among themselves....
www2.pfeiffer.edu /~lridener/DSS/Marx/ch8.htm   (8400 words)

  
 Theodor Adorno [Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy]
The Frankfurt School's rejection of economic determinism and interest in the social and cultural planes of human oppression culminated in a far more circumspect appraisal of the likelihood of capitalism's demise.
Put simply, Marx argued that those who produced economic wealth, the proletariat, were alienated from the fruits of their labour as a result of having to sell their labour to those who controlled the forces of production: those who owned the factories and the like; the bourgeoisie.
Rather, he was arguing that an awareness of the extent of domination required both an appreciation of the social basis of human life coupled with the ability to qualitatively distinguish between various social formations in respect of the degree of human suffering prerequisite for their maintenance.
www.iep.utm.edu /a/adorno.htm   (10896 words)

  
 Charles Horton Cooley: Social Process: Chapter 5: Particularism versus the Organic View   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-08-20)
Another reason for the popularity of material or economic determinism is the industrial character of our time and of many of our more urgent problems, which has caused our minds to be preoccupied with this class of ideas.
They are as much the effect as they can possibly be the cause of psychical phenomena, and to argue economic determinism from their importance begs the whole question.
The economic process is as vital as anything can be, and there is nothing in life that does not change when it changes; but the same is true of the ideal processes; geography is important, but not more so than the technical institutions through which we react upon it; and so on.
spartan.ac.brocku.ca /~lward/Cooley/Cooley_1918/Cooley_1918_05.html   (2504 words)

  
 Foucauldian Reflections: Foucault, Marxism and economic determinism
Foucault rejects economism or economic determinism as to be found in vulgar Marxism.
The rejection of economic determinism is related to the rejection of a basic distinction in Marxism between base and super structure.
This distinction is used in Marxism “to propound the idea that the economic structure of society (the base) conditions the existence and forms of the state and social consciousness (the superstructure)” (The Dictionary of Marxist Thought, p.
foucauldians.blogspot.com /2005/03/foucault-marxism-and-economic.html   (1294 words)

  
 The Adventures of Chester: Economic Determinism and Europe's Descent
Charles Boix has written a fascinating recent article in Policy Review, in which he argues that as universal as the desire for freedom may be, the conditions for the spread of democracy are limited.
Socially, there is more mixing with the general population (since they are economic peers, they rub shoulders with ordinary Americans at the workplace and marketplace more often than their European counterparts).
Vast economic inequalities in the prescence of high poverty can be inimical to democracy as class warfare is tempting for those on the outside.
www.theadventuresofchester.com /archives/2006/04/economic_determ.html   (2868 words)

  
 Orson Bangert
It should be duly noted that neither he nor his family was a part of the proletariat class because they would not be greatly affected by the state of the proletarians.
Economic determinism is the belief that all things are related to one's economic situation.
The bourgeois domination was economic, not political, for one hundred years, which may explain his mindset.
www2.carthage.edu /~obangert/MarxLocke.html   (1509 words)

  
 ECONOMIC DETERMINISM
Castells (1976a, 1976b) studied the concrete ways in which the material elements of geographic space is shaped and articulated into the social structure as a whole.
The economic base is the single most important factor in explaining why Redfern is not like Wahroonga, or why Byron Bay is different to Wollongong.
A local community cannot function independently of the wider political and economic system of which it is a part, but the precise configuration of the local community also depends on the local resources in the locality.
www2.fhs.usyd.edu.au /arow/o/m11/econdet.htm   (414 words)

  
 Reviews: Ethics and Economics
Consistent with these assumptions, the authors reject the notion that economics or any of the social sciences are “value free”—a notion that has been influenced by twentieth-century positivism.
Ethical critique begins at the foundation: “The foremost task of economic ethics is, therefore, to concern itself critically with the normative foundations of supposedly value-free, ‘pure’ economic thought.” (11).
Economic arguments for the free-enterprise system aim to show that unrestricted market activity or, perhaps, only moderately restricted market activity on the part of minimally rational agents maximizes efficiency and human well-being.
www.acton.org /publicat/m_and_m/2003_fall/reviews2.html   (3220 words)

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