How do Marx's theories describe the growth of reason in human society?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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For Marx and Engels, the growth of reason in Status Quo  human society has to be directly linked to dialectical materialism.  The presence and seeping of dialectical materialism to all aspects of human consciousness includes how reason is seen and how it justifies the market economy.  Marx sees reason as having grown to a point where it is used to justify and explain capitalism.  The reason that is currently used in the capitalist system is what Marx believes props up the market economy and the suffering of the proletariat.  Marxist theories view reason in the Status Quo as part of the dialectical materialism that has a hold over social orders in its attempt to both justify capitalism and its own sense of self.  For Marx's theories, once the presence of dialectical materialism is evident and once it is understood as underlying social orders and the justification of capitalism, a new form of reason emerges.  This vision of reason is one in which it becomes reasonable to expect that capitalism will give way to a socialist order where the ownership of the means of production will pass from the bourgeoisie to the proletariat.  This vision of reason in Marx's theories makes clear that once the presence of dialectical materialism and the abuses it has perpetrated has become fully understood, there will be a transferal and change in power.  It is reasonable in Marx's theories to expect this because historical consciousness moves in such phases, with a next one embedded in the reason-ability of human society transforming into one where the means of production are publicly and socially owned.

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