Today, however, at the same time as the so-called "information society" is experienced, which has raised optimistic perspectives for the possibility of achieving free time i. In addition, the aggravating factor is the domination of capital over all social relationships, at a scale never before experienced by humanity. Individuals are turned into objects and this requires urgent and increasingly complex reflection, including in classrooms and in relationships with students.
At this time of restructuring of capitalist production, schools are adjusting to the maxims of the market and increasingly converting to spaces of non-knowledge and emptying of purpose. Within this context, there needs to be action to resist the dominant tendency, so that schools can become places for reflection, criticism and combat against hegemony. Furthermore, reference can be made to Aristotle B.
This Greek philosopher, following the lines of Homer's concept of education, also advocated pedagogical concepts based on the arts of speaking and doing, as a formative process for citizens who would decide on the political destiny of the city-state at assemblies in public meeting places. In other words, arts taught at a single time, which would shape omnilateral individuals. However, these would potentially be used at different ages during citizens' lives: in their youth, the art of doing war would be preferentially developed as an activity responsible for ensuring the material basis for sustaining the society; while in old age, the art of speaking would be practiced, i.
Nevertheless, Aristotle was one of the first thinkers to put forward the idea of a state school and criticize education for specific positions within the family. He took the view that only the city-state would be able to educate for the common good, although he restricted this view to citizens. With regard to the possibility of achieving the utopia of intelligent mechanical work, as a means of replacing the slaves who performed the so-called "vulgar arts", he stated the following:.
On the other hand, Marx and Engels did not think of freedom for a particular social class, but for all. They envisaged the utopia of a world based on equality in which there would not be an exploited class that was subjected to manual work. On the contrary, there would be a society in which everyone would be able to improve themselves within fields that suited them. Thus, people would not have exclusive spheres of activity, but would be able to "do one thing today, another tomorrow, hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, herd in the evening and make criticisms after meals, and all of this as one pleases, without having to become solely a hunter, fisherman or critic" Marx and Engels, , p.
The ideal of a world and of education based on the principle of full human fulfillment is still a utopia, but as Manacorda wrote, only humankind has broken the ties of natural unilateralism and invented the possibility of becoming something else that is better and even omnilateral. In his view, if this possibility, which is given only through living within society, was denied to the majority by society itself, or rather, denied to everyone to a greater or lesser degree, the categorical imperative of human education can be stated thus: "Although individuals seem in nature and in fact to be unilateral, efforts can be made to educate them in any part of the world so that they can become omnilateral" Manacorda, , p.
The concept of omnilateral individuals in Marx and Engels. The passage from the twentieth to the twenty-first century was marked by a crisis caused by the end of "real socialism" and restructuring of capitalist production. This triggered a wave of ideological attacks on so-called "old interpretative schemes" and thus giving value to so-called "new postmodern theories" of knowledge construction, along with proclamation of the "death of Marxism".
In other words, a reduction in the value of Marxist "products" in the "market for symbolic goods" was heralded, which is amply supplied with "new paradigms".
At the same time, criticism revealing a lack of knowledge of Marx and Engels' work persists. Among this, for example, is the notion that Marxism is anti-humanistic because it replaces individuals with "productive forces and production relationships". However, at the start of this new century in which so much is said regarding rediscovery of the value of the individual, is there anything more current than the place that Marx reserved for individuals in his concept of human emancipation?
Marx taught that capitalism is a system in which the production process dominates people and not people the process. Marx's humanism in Das Kapital is not a simple moral protest: he tears up the mythical veil of reification, deciphers the "hieroglyphics" of value and grasps social human realities concealed by the opacity of the market.
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In this work, in which the process of workers' physical and intellectual degradation is dissected, the chapter on fetishism is the key to understanding his humanism. But would the "new critics" really read it? Regarding the concept of humankind, texts that better express the principles that guide Marx's anthropology and pedagogy can be referred to: a the central and dialectical role of work; b the idea of the omnilateral individual in which "work time" and "free time" are balanced.
According to Marx and Engels, education cannot be spoken of without referring to the socioeconomic realities and the class struggle that characterizes and sustains it. Thus, education loses all appearances of idealism and neutrality and all anti-industrial romantic reminiscences are rejected. This interpretative model introduces two proposals that are considered revolutionary: a reference to productive work, contrasted with the whole of the intellectual and spiritual tradition of education; b affirmation of a constant relationship between education and society.
Within Marx and Engels' works, these texts present coherence over a year period with their ideas on shaping individuals, which coincide with the workers' movement. This is seen in the text of three political programs: a for the first historical movement that took on the name of the Communist Party ; b for the first International Workers' Association ; c and for the first United Workers' Party in Germany In this paper, only their main traits are outlined.
In , in the Communist Party Manifesto , Marx and Engels proposed polytechnic schools: "Free public education for all children and abolition of all child labor in factories as practiced today. Combination of education with material production, etc. It can be seen that, from the outset, the formulation of Marxism contained the principle of the role of work in social transformation and full human development.
More than once, Marx drew attention to this essential aspect of his philosophy, as in the criticism that he made regarding the program approved by the Party in the city of Gotha , in which he dealt with the question thus: "The paragraph on schools should at least demand technical schools theory and practice , combined with primary schools" Marx, , p.
In his Criticism of the Gotha Program , he also took up a position against "popular education under the auspices of the State", by stating:. This matter of popular education under the auspices of the State is completely inadmissible. Here, the distinction between the State as guarantor for the functioning of schools and the State as educator is evident, along with freeing people simultaneously from the Church and State, a proposition that exceeds the current situation. In the Instructions to delegates to the first congress of the International Workers' Association Geneva, , Marx not only reaffirmed that all adults should work with both their brains and their hands, but also made it clear that "education means three things: intellectual, physical and technological education" Marx, , p.
However, education based on these three dimensions would only materialize in practice if the workers gained political power, as shown by the following:.
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Even if the factory legislation, which comprises the first concession dragged out with great effort from capital, solely combines elementary education with factory work, there is no doubt that the inevitable achievement of political power by the working class will bring in both theoretical and practical technological education, in workers' schools Marx, , p. In addition, in Das Kapital , Marx emphasized the idea of surmounting humankind's unilateralism with omnilateralism, through showing that private ownership made people obtuse and unilateral.
The division of labor creates unilateralism and all of the negative determinations are placed precisely under this sign, in the same way that all of the perspectives of humanization are placed under the opposite sign, omnilateralism. But what does omnilateralism mean in Marx and Engels? This concept is inevitably linked with work, which is one of the fundamental categories of the historical materialism that consequently occupies a central position in Marx's pedagogical proposals. Differing from Hegel's concept, Marx did not see work only in terms of its positive aspects.
He wrote in his Manuscripts that Hegel "takes the point of view of modern national economists. He views work as the affirming essence of humankind. He only sees the positive side of work and not its negative side" Marx, , p. Since work is the subjective essence of private ownership in capitalism, it appears to workers as owned by people other than the workers. In this work, Marx drew attention to the problem of the relationship between workers and production and indicated that the alienation consists not only of their relationship with the products of their labor, but also of the act of production itself.
Marx concluded in the end that work is lost to individuals themselves, writing thus:. So far, we have examined only one aspect of workers' estrangement or alienation, i. However, estrangement is not only shown in the result, but also and especially in the act of production, within the productive activity itself. Firstly, this labor is outside of the workers, i. Consequently and primarily, workers only feel whole when away from the work, while feeling distant when at work. They feel at home when they are not working and away from home when they are working.
Thus, in the way that religion and people's internal fantasies of the brain and heart act independently of individuals and on them, i. They belong to others and are lost to the workers themselves Marx, , p.
Thus, the alienation process among humankind originates from the division of labor and all individuals subjected to this division become unilateral and incomplete. Unilateralism is therefore a negative point in Marx and Engels' concept of work. On the other hand, they showed that without work, which is a historical part of human activity, life itself would not exist, as demonstrated in the Manuscripts : "work, vital activity and productive life itself appear to people only as the means for satisfying a need: the necessity of physical existence" Marx, , p.
Furthermore, Marx and Engels stated that to be able to "make history", humans had to be in a living condition and consequently, their first historical action was to create the means to satisfy these needs: the production of their own material lives. On this basis, the following can be seen in The German ideology :. It may refer to consciousness, religion and anything else that distinguishes between humankind and animals. However, this distinction only starts to exist when humankind starts to produce its means of life, the step forward that is consequent to body organization.
Through producing their means of existence, humans indirectly produce their own material lives Marx and Engels, , p. Only after observing the multiplication of needs on the first productive basis, i. It only arises with the needs and demands of contacts with other humans. Where relationships exist, consciousness exists in my view. Animals do not have relationships with anything and in fact are unaware of relationships. For animals, relationships with others do not exist as relationships. Consciousness is therefore a social product and will continue to be so for as long as there are humans Marx and Engels, , p.
Karl Marx - Wikipedia
Humans therefore are in a fully objective and subjective position to act consciously of their own free will, since it is this voluntary and universal nature of human activity that contrasts with the domain of naturalness and chance. However, social relationships of production based on private ownership of the means of production alienate individuals from their capacity to act consciously.
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Consequently, such individuals no longer dominate the social relationships needed for their material and spiritual development. Through domination, they are not fully individual, but unilateral members of a given sphere and they live in the kingdom of necessity and not of liberty. Marx and Engels showed that work lost all appearance of personal manifestation in capitalism. Therefore, only through appropriating all of the instruments of production would it be possible to achieve personal manifestation, i.