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historical materialism

noun
1.
(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
1920-1925
1920-25
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for historical-materialism

historical materialism

noun
1.
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
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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