Introducing the individual

by Jehu

In the German Ideology, Part 1, Section D, Karl Marx and Frederick Engels mention the term, individual, 98 times. In each case they are not speaking of the individual as an abstraction, but the real individuals of whom society is composed. They are clear on this:

The individuals, who are no longer subject to the division of labour, have been conceived by the philosophers as an ideal, under the name “Man”. They have conceived the whole process which we have outlined as the evolutionary process of “Man,” so that at every historical stage “Man” was substituted for the individuals and shown as the motive force of history. The whole process was thus conceived as a process of the self-estrangement of “Man,” and this was essentially due to the fact that the average individual of the later stage was always foisted on to the earlier stage, and the consciousness of a later age on to the individuals of an earlier. Through this inversion, which from the first is an abstract image of the actual conditions, it was possible to transform the whole of history into an evolutionary process of consciousness.

These individuals are the subject of this blog.

Advertisements