Marx and Historical Materialism.

Essay by [KTF]S.E.S.University, Bachelor'sA-, October 2003

download word file, 4 pages 5.0

Downloaded 84 times

Historical materialism explains the possibility of transcending capitalist society at the hands of the working class through the belief that the capitalist society's means of production are outgrowing its relations to production.

The nature of work poses the universal assumption that humans must work to survive and will do so through the easiest, most efficient means possible. Thus, a division of labour will result alongside with the production of a surplus due to the search for quicker and ever more efficient means by the division of labour to produce a greater number of products in a shorter amount of time. The surplus in turn, will provide individuals with more time to develop new tools, and even faster, and better ways of producing the needs and demands of society. The excess surplus will also allow for some individuals to not have to work at all and rather, simply control the means of production, and focus solely on improving the modes of production (which include the means/forces of production, and the relations to production involved in producing products) while simultaneously manipulating the relations to productions to become favourable to the maximization, and continuous expansion of surplus value.

This relentless pursuit for growth however, was not how capitalism started out. The relationship between human productive powers and capitalism's social relations was facilitative which highly contradicted the needs and desires to expand the development of human productive capabilities. This however, was merely the beginning for the surmounting problems capitalism would face.

Capitalist societies can be broken down into two predominant classes: the ruling class and the working class. The ruling class' success is based on the oppression of the working class. More specifically, the amount of surplus value that can be generated is directly proportionate to the amount the worker's labour is exploited. The...