In: Other Topics. From any given vantage point, a river looks much the same day after day. But actually it is constantly flowing and changing, crumbling its banks, widening and deepening its channel. The water seen one day is never the same as that seen the next. Some of it is constantly being evaporated and drawn up, to return as rain.
Marx’s Theory of Historical Materialism
Historical materialism , also known as the materialist conception of history , is a methodology used by scientific socialist and Marxist historiographers that focuses on human societies and their development through history, arguing that history is the result of material conditions rather than ideals. This was first articulated by Karl Marx — as the "materialist conception of history". Historical materialism is a fundamental aspect of Marx and Engels' scientific socialism , arguing that applying a scientific analysis to the history of human society reveals fundamental contradictions within the capitalist system that will be resolved when the proletariat seizes state power and begins the process of implementing socialism. Historical materialism is materialist as it does not believe that history has been driven by individuals' consciousness or ideals , but rather subscribes to the philosophical monism that matter is the fundamental substance of nature and therefore the driving force in all of world history.
Historical Materialism (Socialism)
When there is a divide in economics in a society people strive for equality and we see this happen through revolutions. The bourgeoisie in a capitalist society are the ruling class that owns the means of production and exploits the lower working class. The elite of the two classes are the capitalists, manufactures, bankers and the proletariat class are the laborers. In a society like this there is a lot of class conflict because of the divisions people suffer from. Marx's goal was to eventually eliminate the two classes and that way everyone will be equal and there would be no class struggles.
Marx's theory, which he called "historical materialism" or the "materialist conception of history" is based on Hegel's claim that history occurs through a dialectic, or clash, of opposing forces. Hegel was a philosophical idealist who believed that we live in a world of appearances, and true reality is an ideal. Marx accepted this notion of the dialectic, but rejected Hegel's idealism because he did not accept that the material world hides from us the "real" world of the ideal; on the contrary, he thought that historically and socially specific ideologies prevented people from seeing the material conditions of their lives clearly. Marx's analysis of history is based on his distinction between the means of production, literally those things, like land and natural resources, and technology, that are necessary for the production of material goods, and the social relations of production, in other words, the social relationships people enter into as they acquire and use the means of production. Together these comprise the mode of production; Marx observed that within any given society the mode of production changes, and that European societies had progressed from a feudal mode of production to a capitalist mode of production.