MESSAGE TO READER FROM THE AUTHOR: Below is a summary of Karl Marx’s theorizations of dialectics and historical materialism that I put together. What I review is the main contributions of Karl Marx’s work that contributes to how many critical scholars theorize the place of capitalism and hegemony in what we see as the history of “modernity”. This encyclopedic entry is NOT a replacement for reading Marx’s work. Your thoughts and analysis on a text matter and you should read things for yourself to confirm and evaluate their value and context to your political ideological development.
Karl Marx Encyclopedia Entry
Karl Marx’s philosophy of history is an inversion of Hegel’s ‘idealist conception of history’ that argues that society is determined at any given time by its material conditions. Marx’s theory of historical materialism, “led him to the view that instead of the state being the basis of “civil society,” as Hegel held, civil or bourgeois society is the basis of the state” (Tucker, 1978:16). Marx’s historical materialism reveals that no means of social reproduction can exist without the necessary material conditions. This articulation also reveals that the very circumstances that create social phenomena also harbor the means for their demise: their contradiction. Continue Reading