Historical Materialism

10:00am Saturday 3 September

About this session

Theories abound concerning why society changes. Some reduce it to the actions of ‘great men’. Others assert that there is a natural tendency towards progress and enlightenment. In the Communist Manifesto Marx and Engels argue that “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles”. Clashes between classes and revolution are at the centre of Marx’s understanding of how society changes. Historical materialism is Marx’s theory of history. It takes as its starting point the organisation of production and the social relations people enter into to put production into motion.

This session will explore the materialist philosophy which underpins Marxism.

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