Marx Historical Materialism Essay

Criticism has plucked the imaginary flowers which adorned the chain, not that man should wear his fetters denuded of fanciful embellishment, but that he should throw off the chain, and break the living flower ...

Thus the criticism of heaven transforms itself into the criticism of earth, the criticism of religion into the criticism of right, and the criticism of theology into the criticism of politics.” The task confronting Marx was to inquire into the realities of social life.

This conception is common to all “schools of materialism.” What distinguishes Marxism materialism from other schools must be learned from its various polemical works dealing with practical questions of politics and society.

To Marx materialistic thought was a working method.

This was the task of the group of young intellectuals of 1840 among whom Marx grew up and rose to a leading position.

Marx Historical Materialism Essay

While still a student Marx submitted, although reluctantly, to the force of the Hegelian method of thought and made it his own.

But the bourgeoisie found itself confronted instead with a hostile regime, an omnipotent police, and press censorship which suppressed every criticism of the reactionary government.

The struggle between these forces, which led to the revolution of 1848, was first conducted on a theoretical level, as a struggle of ideas and a criticism of the prevailing ideology.

His study of the French Revolution and French socialism as well as English economy and the English working class movement, in collaboration with Engels during their stay in Paris and Brussels, led towards further elaboration of the doctrine known as ” (1859).

Marx and Engels themselves refer to this system of thought as materialism in opposition to the idealism of Hegel and the neo-Hegelians. Engels, discussing the fundamental theoretical problems of historical materialism in his and in his booklet on Feuerbach, states in the latter publication: “The great basic question of all philosophy, especially of modern philosophy, is that concerning the relation of thinking and being ...


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