Karl Marx And Historical Materialism

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Having been born during the period wherein immense industrialization characterized the different parts of Europe, Karl Marx (1818-1883) was particularly attuned of the changes in social, political, and economic systems taking place in the region. By examining the effects of industrialization as well as drawing from the ideas of German theorist Hegel and Feuerbach, Marx developed his concept of dialectical historical materialism which is a way of illustrating the change from one society to another (Cuzzort and King, 1980). For Marx, society exists primarily to fulfill the needs of the people, noting that the process of material production is the base of all human societies. The process of material production, according to Marx, entails two important components: the forces of production-which include tools, technology, and human skills, and the relations of production-refer to the social relations of individuals in the production process (Ritzer, 2011). Karl Marx’s perspective plays a major role in understanding our contemporary Caribbean societies such as understanding the problems and contradictions that exist in society and it provides an articulated vision for change. In contemporary Caribbean societies, as in any capitalist society, there exist two main social groups: the powerful and the powerless. Marx’s perspective enlightens us about the continual struggle that both groups are engaged in. Those who have power and resources will not give up voluntarily, and those with
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