Chart on DARWIN, MARX, AND EINSTEINWhat were the impactsof the ideas of DARWIN, MARX, and EINSTEIN upon popular culture and the mass society of the early 20th century Darwin's impact - Marx's...

Chart on DARWIN, MARX, AND EINSTEIN

What were the impactsof the ideas of DARWIN, MARX, and EINSTEIN upon popular culture and the mass society of the early 20th century

Darwin's impact -

Marx's impact -

Einstein's impact -

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rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Number 8: You're talking about the United States, I was talking about Europe. European labor unions, especially those in Germany, were heavily influenced by Marxist revionist thinking, which emphasized not class revolution, but working within the contexts of precisely the structures of government that you describe. Suggesting that a moderate like George Meany is somehow representative of all labor unions at all places at all times is completely ahistorical, as is conflating Marx with 20th century notions of communism. In any case, even within the United States, many labor unions embraced Marxist ideas about the relationship between workers and capital. You cite George Meany, I could just as easily cite Bill Haywood or Eugene Debs. 

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rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Marx's ideas also inspired the socialist movements and labor organizations that were instrumental in achieving vital reforms for workers. Millions of Europeans in industrialized countries joined leftist organizations whose leaders were influenced by Marxist thought. Most of the "brutal and murderous dictatorships" of the twentieth century seized on the strains of Marxism that they could use to provide ideological support for power. Others drew on other intellectual traditions. But North Korea has little to do with Marx as he was understood in his own time and immediately after, which was the topic of this question.

As for Einstein and Freud, both contributed to an atmosphere of intellectual uncertainty in the early twentieth century. Einstein seemed to suggest, among other things, that our understanding of the natural world was not based on knowable truths, and Freud argued that mankind was driven as much by irrational urges as by reason. Their work, along with thinkers like Nietszche, undermined many of the basic assumptions that educated Europeans had shared since at least the Enlightenment.

This mood was reflected in the art, music, and literature of the period, which tended to reject traditional conventions- think of writers like Kafka, painters like Picasso, and composers like Stravinsky. The First World War only accelerated this trend, giving rise to writers like Joyce and TS Eliot and artists like the Dada movement.

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vangoghfan | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Marx did indeed have an enormous impact on the twentieth century. Thanks to his ideas, some of the most brutal and murderous dictatorships in the history of mankind were established. A couple of them are still around. North Korea is a great example of a society that still takes Marx seriously.

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enotechris | College Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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Albert Einstein (1872-1955) is seen as the central figure in the Second Scientific Revolution, analogous to Isaac Newton (1642-1727) in the First Scientific Revolution in the 1700's. Newton is credited as one of the developers of calculus, with which he was able to describe the workings of the physical world mathematically.  His system worked well until the late 1800's, when science was attempting to apply its understanding of physics to the atom -- where it failed. Einstein's Special and General Theories of Relativity ushered in the Quantum Mechanics Age, culminating in the understanding that matter and energy are the same thing. His thinking divided physics into Classical and Modern applications.

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Darwin also had a great impact on society and popular culture. Look at the Darwin Awards. People are "celebrated" for their ignorant behaviors (which speaks to Darwin's idea of Survival of the Fittest). While some people may not know about Darwin's direct influence, any web-surfer has certainly come across the Darwin Awards.

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Marx had a huge impact on society.  He influenced the Russian Revolution and other communist revolutions.  His ideas were innovative.  He believed that the common people should not be under the yoke of dictators, and under capitalism many worked and few had wealth.

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madelona | College Teacher | eNotes Newbie

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Marx had a huge impact on society.  He influenced the Russian Revolution and other communist revolutions.  His ideas were innovative.  He believed that the common people should not be under the yoke of dictators, and under capitalism many worked and few had wealth.

 Marx's ideas were innovative surely, yet also heavily charged with the sensitivity he bore towards thoses living in the kinds of conditions prevelent at the time.  He, himself, was supported to some extent by Engels.  He was frequently unemployed, was forced to live in squalor, saw his wife and two children succumb to the diseases of the day.  He was witness to the separation of the classes and in reply to #6, much of this influenced the performing and visual arts of the time.  Optimistically, he was trying to convince the poor that they had the right to speak out and search for justice.  Pessimistically, he went too far, and his initial good intentions were twisted into being tools of power rather than justice.

Does anyone else see suggestions of the "Occupy" movement we see today, and its call to the 99% to call the 1% to act in justice?

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ragarm | (Level 1) eNoter

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Marx's ideas also inspired the socialist movements and labor organizations that were instrumental in achieving vital reforms for workers. Millions of Europeans in industrialized countries joined leftist organizations whose leaders were influenced by Marxist thought. Most of the "brutal and murderous dictatorships" of the twentieth century seized on the strains of Marxism that they could use to provide ideological support for power. Others drew on other intellectual traditions. But North Korea has little to do with Marx as he was understood in his own time and immediately after, which was the topic of this question.

As for Einstein and Freud, both contributed to an atmosphere of intellectual uncertainty in the early twentieth century. Einstein seemed to suggest, among other things, that our understanding of the natural world was not based on knowable truths, and Freud argued that mankind was driven as much by irrational urges as by reason. Their work, along with thinkers like Nietszche, undermined many of the basic assumptions that educated Europeans had shared since at least the Enlightenment.

This mood was reflected in the art, music, and literature of the period, which tended to reject traditional conventions- think of writers like Kafka, painters like Picasso, and composers like Stravinsky. The First World War only accelerated this trend, giving rise to writers like Joyce and TS Eliot and artists like the Dada movement.

That's just wrong. See the quote from George Meany, above in reply to #2.

You propagate an urban myth with this line. Actually, the alliance between socialism and labor union movements postdated the formation of the AFL-CIO, as that quote makes apparent. Those two movements formed a modern alliance that was not envisioned by Marx and Engles. Labor unions exist within the framework and structure of non-communist governments. Labor unions, it can be argued, actually depend on classes, and would die away in any realization of Marx's vision of a classless society.

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ragarm | (Level 1) eNoter

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Marx had a huge impact on society.  He influenced the Russian Revolution and other communist revolutions.  His ideas were innovative.  He believed that the common people should not be under the yoke of dictators, and under capitalism many worked and few had wealth.

To call Marx's ideas innovative is preposterous. As George Meany, President, AFL-CIO said:

"The conflict between communism and freedom is the problem of our time. It overshadows all other problems. This conflict mirrors our age, its toils, its tensions, its troubles, and its tasks. On the otucome of this conflict depends the future of all mankind."

Innovative? Hardly. His ideas predate the French Revolution, predate the Magna Carta. The only innovation was to interpret the nobility and religous classes in terms of civil authority. It was a mere relabeling of classes, in that regard.

The more innovative aspect of Marx's ideas was that he advocated forcing the whole body of humanity into a gigantic social image which conformed completely to his dream of a perfect society. He and Englels outlined their "Manifesto to the World" in these six principles declared for the Communist League's second congress in Brussels:

"1. the overthrow of capitalism, 2. the abilition of private property, 3. the elimination of the family as a social unit, 4. the abolition of all classes, 5. the overthrow of all governments, and 6. the establishment of a communist order with communal ownership of property in a classless society."

It was in this sense that Marx called for: "Working men of all countries, unite!"

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