The Possibility of Improvement of the Human Condition: Exploring the Works of Karl Marx and T. S. Eliot

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Authors
Rodriguez, Javier
Advisor
Street, Alex
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Date of Issue
2022
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Title
The Possibility of Improvement of the Human Condition: Exploring the Works of Karl Marx and T. S. Eliot
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Abstract
In this presentation, I will explore two different views about the concept of progress to define the role of progress and find what is the most appropriate approach of progress for humans. Karl Marx explains in The Communist Manifesto that progress is reached through class struggle, just like everything else regarding social issues has changed throughout human history. T.S. Eliot in his poem The Waste Land goes another direction, approaching the degradation of human condition after WWI, and although progress is not explicitly mentioned in the poem, the effects of the ruthless pursuit of it can be perceived. While both authors acknowledge that there can be setbacks and even regression instead of progress, they differ on the possibility of positive outcomes in the human pursuit of progress. Marx envisions a future with endless possibilities to those proletarians that join the class struggle to progress in their rights. On the other hand, Eliot has a much more pessimistic approach of any human quest for significant improvement on any area. The relevance of this topic is on the fact that there might be a possible equilibrium that allows humanity to continue our quest for progress safely with a minimal amount of risk taken in the fact that a certain invention can be used for evil instead of good.
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Honors Scholars Program