Essay on Karl Marx 's Materialist Conception Of History

1406 Words Dec 18th, 2016 6 Pages
“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 other vital ways to categorise our society, such as race, gender, sexuality, etc. The aim of the essay is to explain to what extend Karl Marx’s materialist conception of history can be applied in the examination of politics today. The central idea of Marx’s materialist conception of history is the fact that the economic structure always determines all other parts of the society and the course of the society. Economy is the base of the society which defines the superstructure, which includes culture, politics, education and religion and dictates how said superstructure operates. (Wolf, 2003). At the same time these elements of superstructure protect and assure the power of the base. Marxists’ theory argues that history changes because…

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