Base And Superstructure By Karl Marx Essay example

1009 Words Dec 8th, 2015 5 Pages
In “Base and Superstructure”, Karl Marx contemplates the reality of social consciousness and its relationship to individual agency. Marx asserts that is the process of material production that guides the political and intellectual structures of society. He theorizes that society consists of two parts: the base and the superstructure. The base reflects the forces and relationships of production (such as the relationship between employee and employer and the technical division of responsibility and labor) that people enter into in order to produce the material necessities and amenities that society relies on. The superstructure refers to all other social structures that govern and reflect ideology and culture. Marx argues that the superstructure grows from the base, suggesting that society is dominated by its economic reality. Because the ruling class holds the majority of material wealth, the superstructure therefore operates to support and rationalize the interests of the ruling class. Marx recognizes the social ramifications that exist due to the relationship between the superstructure and material production. He posed a new way to think about the relationship between ideology and lived reality. The relationship between the base and superstructure suggest that the material conditions of society determine the desires and needs of social reality. The superstructure creates the conditions that legitimize the relations of production so they seem natural and innate. The…

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