Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Marx's Materialist Theory of History - Summary and Explanation

Marx’s future-oriented perspective has its basis in his materialist conception of history. He suggests that the ways societies provide for their material well-being affects the type of relations that people will have with one another, their social institutions, and the prevailing ideas of the day. Marx uses the term “the forces of production” to refer to the ways in which people provide for their needs. Marx uses the term “relations of production” to describe social relationships that dominate the productive capacities of a society.  Under capitalism, the forces of production lead to a set of relations of production which pit the capitalist and the proletariat against one another.  To change the relations of production, Marx felt revolution was necessary. Revolution arises from exploited classes agitating for change in the relations of production that favor transformations in the forces of production.

More summaries of Marx's writings and ideas: