Marksizm'de Çıkar Kavramı: Büyük Sovyet Ansiklopedisinden

Çıkar,  toplumsal eylemlerin, olayların ve hedefli çabaların gerçek nedenidir, tüm bunların arkasında çeşitli doğrudan etkide bulunan iticiler bulunur: güdüler, niyetler ve fikirler… Bireyler, toplumsal gruplar ve sınıflar bu güdüler, niyetler ve fikirlerin itmesiyle kendi çıkarları için yukarıdaki eylemlere katılırlar.

Hegel, çıkar teorisinin geliştirilmesinde önemli bir rol oynadı. Kendisinden önceki Kant gibi, Hegel de çıkar kavramının kaba duyumsallığa, insanın doğal durumuna indirgenemeyeceğini vurguladı. Hagel şöyle yazdı: "Tarihin yakından analizi, insanların eylemleri onların ihtiyaçlarından, tutkularından ve çıkarlarından kaynaklandığı gösteriyor….  ve sadece bunların baskın bir rol oynadığını bize gösteriyor ." (Hegel, Toplu Eserler, cilt 8, Moskova-Leningrad, 1935, s. 20) .

Marksizm, toplumsal düşünce tarihi boyunca ortaya çıkan çıkar üzerine görüşlerin tüm olumlu özellikleri miras alır; bunun yanında da  toplumsal çıkarın nesnel temellerine vurgu yapar. F. Engels, "Her verili toplumun ekonomik ilişkileri, öncelikle çıkarlar olarak kendini gösterir" (Marx-Engels, Toplu Eserler, 2. baskı, cilt 18, s. 271). Ekonomik ilişkiler, toplumun sınıflara bölünmesine yol açtığı ölçüde, sınıf çıkarları, ulusal çıkar, grup çıkarları ve bireysel çıkarların genel çeşitliliği içinde en önemli, en kapsamlı ve belirleyici olanlarıdır.

In the view of G. V. Plekhanov, the 18th-century French materialists C. A. Helvétius, P. Holbach, and D. Diderot made the first comprehensive attempt to explain the life of society in terms of interest. They contrasted people's interests with both divine predestination and random occurrences of the historical process, viewing interest as the actual basis of morality, politics, and the social structure as a whole. "If the physical world is subject to the law of movement, then the world of the mind is no less subject to the law of interest. On this earth, interest is an omnipotent wizard, which alters before the eyes of all beings the appearance of every object" (C. A. Helvétius, Ob ume, Moscow, 1938, p. 34). However, the French materialists did not go beyond the limits of an idealistic understanding of the life of society, insofar as social interest was viewed by them as merely the sum of individual interests. The latter were inferred from the sensory nature of man, which on the whole remained fixed. From this came Helvétius' thesis that hunger and love rule the world.

G. Hegel played an important part in developing the theory of interest. As  Kant before him, Hegel emphasized the irreducibility of interest to raw sensation, to man's natural state. "Close analysis of history convinces us that the actions of people proceed from their needs, passions, and interests … and only these play a dominant role" (Hegel, Soch., vol. 8, Moscow-Leningrad, 1935, p. 20). People "strive to satisfy their interests, but as a result of this something further is also realized, something which is secretly contained within people, unrecognized and not entering into their intentions" (ibid., p. 27). According to Hegel, interest is something greater than the content of intent and consciousness. This "surplus" manifests itself in the end results of man's acts and is associated for man with the intricacy of universal reason, with the absolute idea, which realizes itself in history through an endless diversity of needs and interests.

Marxism preserves all of the positive features in interpretations of interest derived throughout the history of social thought; along with this it emphasizes the objective bases of social interest. "Economic relations of each given society," wrote F. Engels, "are manifested primarily as interests" (K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 18, p. 271). Insofar as economic relations give rise to the division of society into classes, class interests are the most substantial, profound, and determinant interests in the overall diversity of national, group, and individual interests. Social interests are determined by the economic status of various social groups. At the same time such interests cannot be equated with these situations since these interests do not exist apart from their various manifestations as moods, opinions, emotional reactions, ideology, and so on. In contrast to economic materialism, which absolutizes economic interests, Marxism-Leninism proceeds from the fact that the content of fundamental class interests is much broader than the economic needs of that class. The attitudes of a given class or social group toward the aggregate of sociopolitical institutions and material and spiritual values are fixed in social interests.

One of the most significant features of the materialist understanding of history consists of an explanation of the interdependence between interest and ideology. "The 'idea' always disgraced itself insofar as it differed from the 'interest'" (K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 2, p. 89). V. I. Lenin wrote that "people always have been the foolish victims of deception and self-deception in politics, and they always will be until they have learnt to seek out the interests of some class or other behind all moral, religious, political, and social phrases, declarations, and promises" (Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 23, p. 47).

Several very important principles are identified with the question of the classification of interests. Interests are distinguished according to degree of commonality (individual, group, social); area of orientation (economic, political, spiritual); nature of the subject (such as the nation, state, or party); degree to which the interests are conscious (interests that operate spontaneously and those that are based on prepared programs); opportunities for implementation (real and imagined); and the relations of interests with the objective trends of social development (progressive, reactionary, conservative).



In psychology, interest is an attitude of an individual toward an object as something of immediate value and attraction. The content and nature of man's interests are associated with the structure and dynamics of his motives and needs, as well as with the nature of those cultural forms and means of objective assimilation of reality which he is able to make use of. The formation of a motivational sphere during the process of child development, as well as the assimilation, perfecting, and progressive internalization of means and methods of acting, transform initially instinctive, involuntary, and situational-episodic interests of the child into conscious, voluntary, and stable interests. To the degree that the object is disclosed, interest in the object may develop into an independent need for it (cognitive, aesthetic, or other need). The problem of the purposeful formation of interest, still little developed in contemporary psychology, has great significance for practical work in training and upbringing.


Marx, K., and F. Engels. "Sviatoe semeistvo." Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 2.
Marx, K., and F. Engels. "Nemetskaia ideologiia." Ibid., vol. 3.
Engels, F. "K zhilishchnomu voprosu." Ibid., vol. 18.
Lenin, V. I. "Karl Marks." Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 26.
Lenin, V. I. "Tri istochnika i tri sostavnye chasti marksizma." Ibid., vol. 23.
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Lewin, K. Psychologische Situation bei Lohn und Strafe. Leipzig, 1930.
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