The Pursuit Of Balance: Karl Marx And Mary Shelley

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The Pursuit of Balance Karl Marx and Mary Shelley had opposing views towards people as individuals, but believed that society as a whole needed to reach a new level of consciousness directed towards equality. Shelley saw both the violent repercussions and benefits of the French Revolution and Haitian Revolution and believed that the source of the unrest came from the lack of effective care. Unrestrained power in the hands of the people can have destructive consequences; even though the original goal may be to restore balance, it can create more chaos instead. Marx saw the Bourgeoisie controlling the lives of the Proletariat and blamed the imbalance of power on the class system. The Bourgeoisie could have helped the proletariat be more successful,…show more content…
Marx has a stadial view of history. Society started out as the primitive hunter and gatherer (“Age of Innocence”), next was the Agricultural Revolution which rose from families, to neighborhoods, and then to cities. Feudalism created the “chaotic” class system, which needed to be balanced out by the next step--communism. Scientific laws control history, and we know this because of empirical observations. He believed “national one-sidedness and narrow-mindedness” was becoming “impossible” to change (Marx, 16). Shelley saw that “modern system of science ... possessed much greater powers than the ancient” and could be harnessed to be both “real and practical” (Shelley, 39). This was also seen though the perspective of empiricism. Although, Shelley gives warning when Frankenstein says, “Natural philosophy is the genius that has regulated my fate” (Shelley, 39). Frankenstein lived a miserable life because of his obsessive thirst for knowledge, and because of the monster’s hatred and violent actions, which were the result of abandonment. Shelley let the reader question whether any kind of science was safe, or if it was dangerous. It was “a country of eternal light,” but one must remember that light can make things clear, and that too much light can create a raging fire (Shelley,

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