historical materialism

historical materialism

noun
(in Marxist theory) the doctrine that all forms of social thought, as art or philosophy, and institutions, as the family or the state, develop as a superstructure founded on an economic base; that they reflect the character of economic relations and are altered or modified as a result of class struggles; that each ruling economic class produces the class that will destroy or replace it; and that dialectical necessity requires the eventual withering away of the state and the establishment of a classless society: the body of theory, in dialectical materialism, dealing with historical process and social causation.


Origin:
1920–25

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World English Dictionary
historical materialism
 
n
the part of Marxist theory maintaining that social structures derive from economic structures and that these are transformed as a result of class struggles, each ruling class producing another, which will overcome and destroy it, the final phase being the emergence of a communist society

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