Historical Materialism And Karl Marx's Theory Of Marxism

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“History was the – mostly unconscious – creation of labouring men and subject to observable laws” (McLellan, 1975, p. 38). Karl Marx (1859) argued that changes in the course of history occurred when existing material forces “come into conflict with the existing relations of production”, which undoubtedly lead to a revolution and progression to the next stage of development. This essay will look at the theory of historical materialism that was proposed by Karl Marx, arguments for the base and superstructure theory and his understanding of class relations. It will also examine its relevance to modern politics, engaging with the idea that Marxists’ theory is making emphasis on economy and class relationships and class consciousness, overlooking …show more content…
While, some of his ideas are still relevant to these days, a significant amount of criticism of his theories emerged since. Marx’s theory provides a very narrow view of the world and people’s relations, as it overlooks other ways how the society can the categorised, mainly focusing on classes. According to Marx, people start to identify themselves with the class they fit in and this leads to a creation of a class consciousness (Marx and Engels, 1848). It might be argued that the materialist conception of history is not accurate today, because class struggles are being replaced by struggles of other social groups. In the politics of the twenty first century many other social problems have appeared or have started to be spoken of more openly, such as gender and race inequality or oppression of sexual and ethnic minorities. People classify themselves according to other aspects other than classes, which results in an emergence of different community consciousness, for instance LGBT+. Society’s views and ideas regarding sexual minorities changed over the period of time, because this problem has started to be addressed publicly and globally through a variety of social institutions, such as media and education with the rise of LGBT civil rights movements. Even though it cannot be said that acceptance of LGTB rights radically moved our society to the next stage of development, it can be argued that it changed the social institutions that Marx referred to as superstructure without any cardinal change occurring in an economic base. Additionally, Marxists’ key theories provide a western heterosexual masculinised account of the world, which should not be accepted as the only right representation of the society we live in. Many social groups are excluded from Karl Marx’s narrative,

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