Basic Marxism, Concepts of Historical Materialism

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Introduction to the dialectical and materialist concept of history


  • Marxism between past and future
  • On materialist dialectics
  • The problem of “historical materialism”

1.Dialectics : from Hegel to living Marxism

  • a.Hegel : dialectics and history
  • b.Engels and Marx, critics of Hegelian dialectics of history
  • c.Marxist traditions
    • i.“Diamat”
    • ii.Negative dialectics

2.Some problems of “historical materialism”

  • a.The Introduction to A Contribution to the critique of political economy
  • b.The material basis : nature and economy
  • c.Social classes and the complexity of social formations
    • i.Class struggle
    • ii.Gender
    • iii.On “Races” and nationalities
  • d.The State and Power
    • i.About State Power
    • ii.Micro- power
  • e.Ideology
    • i. “Conscience as a reflection” and “utopian conscience”
    • ii.Capitalism as seduction

In order not to conclude


- A few fragments from Hegel on the importance of method

- Excerpt from Karl Marx, Preface to A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy (1859) – in Marx and Engels Selected Works, Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1969

- Excerpt from Engels to C. Schmidt (October 27, 1890)in Marx and Engels Selected Works, Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1970

- Excerpt from Friedrich Engels, 'The part played by labour in the transition from ape to man' – in Engels, Dialectics of Nature, Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1954

- Iselin, 'Another world is not possible without another mode of production' (IVP no.334, Oct. 2001): within the Ecology debate article

- Excerpt from Fréderique Vinteuil, 'Marxism and feminism' (translated from Critique Communiste, spécial Marx, 1983)

- Excerpts from Michel Foucault, 'On power' (1976) — translated from Foucault, Dits et écrits 1954-1988, Paris: Gallimard, 1994

- Francisco Louça, 'Tides of change: culture in historical perspective' (IVP no. 322, June 2000)